rss_2.0Ornis Hungarica FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Ornis Hungarica Hungarica Feed of the Common Crane ( L.) in Hungary since the 19 century to modern times<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In the present study, I summarized the data on Common Crane <italic>(Grus grus)</italic> nesting published in the Hungarian ornithological literature from the mid-19<sup>th</sup> century to the present day. Based on these data, it can be observed that the crane was never a frequent nesting species in Hungary. It probably nested regularly until the early 19<sup>th</sup> century, then occasionally until the 1910s, after which, apart from two occasional reports, no nesting data were available until 2015. From this year onwards, it started nesting again in the Transdanubian region. In the examined period, 55.6% of the nests (n=25) originated from the Transdanubian region, 37.0% from the Tiszántúl region, and 7.4% from the Duna-Tisza area. The observations recorded during the nesting period showed a strong correlation with the spatial distribution of confirmed nests. 82.6% of the observations recorded (n=23) were from the Transdanubian region, 13.0% from the Tiszántúl region, and 4.3% from the Duna-Tisza region.</p> <p>The distribution of nesting data between regions varies not only spatially but also temporally. The nesting data from the Duna-Tisza area and Tiszántúl region date back to the 19<sup>th</sup> century, with the exception of one report, while the most recent nesting data are from the Transdanubian region (Vas and Veszprém counties).</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue variations of song and rain calls of the Chaffinch across the ranges of three subspecies<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>We analyze the variability of the Chaffinch’s <italic>(Fringilla coelebs)</italic> song and rain calls in 20 populations localized along a transect of about 3,000 km, crossing the territory of European Russia between the White Sea, Crimean Peninsula and the Caucasus Mountains. Three subspecies of Chaffinch inhabit this area: European <italic>(F. c. coelebs)</italic>, Caucasian <italic>(F. c. caucasicus)</italic>, and Crimean <italic>(F. c. solomkoi)</italic>. The results of cluster analysis based on song show that the populations of Crimea and southeastern Dagestan stand out the most. All other populations fall clearly into two clusters corresponding to the European and Caucasian subspecies. In most of the European subspecies vast range in Russia, the “buzzing” dialect of the rain call is widespread. Only in the extreme northwest of Russia, it is replaced by a whistling dialect. In most of the Caucasus and in the Ciscaucasia, Chaffinches also emit exclusively whistling sounds, but of a completely different structure. In the Western Caucasus, Chaffinches perform also a whistling call having a unique two-syllable structure. The Crimean peninsula is inhabited by whistling Chaffinches as well, although the frequency modulation of its call is different from that of Caucasian subspecies. We discuss the spatial distribution of song types and of rain calls dialects within the ranges of subspecies and in the contact zones between them.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of representatives of the family Phasianidae from Mátraszőlős 3 (Nógrád county, Hungary) by means of recent finds of Badenian age<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The article reviews of the Galliformes fo from the Mátraszőlős 3 site in Hungary from the Middle Miocene. A total of 200 bones have so far been recovered from site at Mátraszőlős 3, of which the identification of 95 bones will be discussed in this article, including anatomical differences between species. Within the fossil record, <italic>Palaeocryptonix hungaricus</italic> (Jánossy 1991) and three species of <italic>Palaeortyx</italic> have been identify (<italic>P. phasianoides</italic> Milne-Edwards, 1869, <italic>P. gallica</italic> Milne-Edwards, 1869 and <italic>P. brevipes</italic> Milne-Edwards, 1869). Only one bone of <italic>P. brevipes</italic> was recovered. As the appearance of the members of the family can be traced back to the early Oligocene, while the majority of the species are of Neogene origin, the study contributes to a better understanding of the distribution of extinct pheasant speciesin the Carpathian Basin.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue in small mammal food resource niche metrics of Western Barn Owl at the nesting pair and local population level<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In the present study, we investigated food resource niche parameters and the degree of specialization of two local Western Barn Owl <italic>(Tyto alba)</italic> populations in two different demographic phases as the crash (2015–2016) and outbreak (2019–2020) of the Common Vole <italic>(Microtus arvalis)</italic>. The study was conducted in two parts of the Transdanubian region of Hungary, namely in Duna-Drava National Park (DDNP) in the southeastern part, and in Fertő-Hanság National Park (FHNP) in the north-western part. For the analysis, we used food consumption data of 20–20 randomly selected breeding pairs from the DDNP population, while 14 and 17 breeding pairs in FHNP population in the crash and outbreak periods, respectively. Since the small mammal consumption of owls represented 99.3% of the total number of individuals, only data of small mammals as main food resource were taken into account during the analysis. Based on a trait-based framework which taking into account the resemblance between resources, Rao’s quadratic entropy metrics was used to estimate the food resource niche breadth at local owl populations and the breeding pair level. The small mammal resource utilization of owls was dependent on populations. The niche breadth of DDNP population was significantly smaller than FHNP population. The estimated niche overlap at the individual level was significantly different between the two populations. The calculated value of specialization of barn owl populations was significantly higher in north-western than south-eastern population. The niche breadth of the owl population living in the DDNP was significantly higher during the crash period. In contrast, the estimated niche breadth of the population living in FHNP did not differ significantly between the two demographic phases. Based on our result, the applied trait-based framework of resource niche pattern analysis demonstrated that the differences of niche breadth were explored in more detail by this method between the local Barn Owl populations of different geographical region.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of avian diversity between managed and unmanaged wetlands in Patna, Bihar, India<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>We compared the bird diversity of a managed (Rajdhani Jalashay) and an unmanaged wetland (Mustafapur) in Patna, Bihar, India. We recorded bird species by using point counts and fixed-route monitoring. At Rajdhani Jalashay, a total of 73 species were recorded, of which 15 species were winter visitors. Two species were in the Near-threatened category: Ferruginous Duck <italic>(Aythya nyroca)</italic> and Alexandrine Parakeet <italic>(Psittacula eupatria)</italic>, while the others were of least concern. At Mustafapur wetland, 67 species were recorded with 11 species as winter visitors. Simpson’s species diversity index was 0.78 at Rajdhani Jalashay, and 0.81 at Mustafapur wetland. The number of species of waders was 17 at Mustafapur wetland and 11 at Rajdhani Jalashay. The total number of Lesser Whistling-duck <italic>(Dendrocygna javanica)</italic>, a resident bird was almost double (526) at Mustafapur wetland than that at Rajdhani Jalashay (234). The nitrate level was twice higher and the phosphate level was four times higher at Mustafapur wetland than those at Rajdhani Jalashay. The difference in species number and composition between the two wetlands may be attributed to the eutrophication resulting from high nitrate and phosphate levels at Mustafapur wetland. Unfortunately, the Mustafapur wetland is under threat due to human influences. The protection and sustainable management of natural wetlands is required for saving the biodiversity of the area.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and linear infrastructure in Chhattisgarh, India: species composition and conservation concern<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>We investigated the species diversity of diurnal raptors along the selected linear infrastructure projects in northern Chhattisgarh, India, between December 2020 and September 2022. The study identified a total of 14 raptor species, consisting of 11 species in Accipitridae, two in Falconidae, and one in Pandionidae families. Two species were under threatened category of the IUCN red list, the Vulnerable Indian Spotted Eagle <italic>(Clanga hastata)</italic> and the Near Threatened Pallid Harrier <italic>(Circus macrourus)</italic>. Linear infrastructure development, such as roads, railways, pipelines, canals, and power lines, is expanding rapidly, causing the degradation and fragmentation of habitats, and leading to the loss of biodiversity. Unfortunately, the impacts of linear infrastructure on bird populations in India have not been adequately studied, resulting in limited understanding and few measures to mitigate these impacts. This study specifically focuses on the status of raptors along selected linear infrastructure intrusions and provides baseline information that can help in understanding their conservation needs. The findings of this study underline the necessity of implementing appropriate measures to mitigate the negative effects of linear infrastructure development in India.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and spatial distribution of White Stork population in Kosovo in 2017 and 2018<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In this study, during 2017–2018, for the first time in Kosovo, research on the census, distribution and population dynamics of the White Stork was made. 61 new nests were found in the whole country territory and together with 22 known nests, the total population is recorded to 83 nests and 72 breeding pairs. In total, 461 chicks were raised in the successful nests. Breeding success for the country territory during the observation period of all breeding pairs was 3.18, and 3.19 of all breeding pairs that raised chicks. The mean breeding density for the entire country was 0.67 breeding pairs/100 km<sup>2</sup> in 2017 and 0.70 in 2018. For the potential feeding habitats, it was 2.19 (2017) and 2.28 (2018). The densest area, the river basin of Lepenci held 2.48 pairs for 100 km<sup>2</sup>. 48.61% of all recorded White Stork nests were located on various poles.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of avian deformities in Nepal<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Avian deformities have been recorded in a variety of bird species all over the world. However, they have not been studied in Nepal, although there are increasing sightings of these deformities. Injuries, genetic mutations, environmental factors, infections, radiation, and other factors can cause deformities. In our study, we collected data from numerous field trips, conversations with bird watchers and experts, and social media posts in Nepal. We reported 24 cases of avian deformities in 16 different bird species across 12 districts in Nepal, suggesting that certain abnormalities persist in a high proportion of previously unstudied birds. We discovered different types of color abnormalities (6 cases of leucism, 3 albinism, 4 partial leucism, 1 brown mutation, 1 melanism, and 3 unidentified color aberration), 5 cases of avian keratin disorder (AKD), and 1 case of both leucism and AKD. The majority of these cases affected corvids and other birds frequently living and nesting near human settlements, indicating that causative agents such as anthropogenic toxicants and environmental degradation could be important contributors. There is a scarcity of research on avian deformities and diseases in Nepal, thus more research on avian abnormalities, such as the pathophysiology of AKD and genetic studies, should be performed.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and conservation status of the Western Barn Owl in Zala County, Hungary. An overview of 39 years of data<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In this study, we analysed the occurrence, nesting, and ringing data spanning 39 years for the Western Barn Owl <italic>(Tyto alba)</italic> population in Zala County. Data on Barn Owl surveys originate from 166 out of the total of 258 settlements in the county. During the examined period, nesting was recorded in 74 settlements, while an additional 28 locations have confirmed Western Barn Owl presence (pellets, owl sightings). Furthermore, surveys were conducted at least once in an additional 64 locations without any sign of the species. Based on Barn Owl presence and nesting data, preferred locations for the species can be identified at the local and landscape level. Nesting may be occasional in some places, while a few traditional nesting sites, which show nearly continuous occupation over decades, can be considered stable. The results from Zala County are in line with other research, highlighting the continued importance of church buildings for the species’ nesting. Maintaining these buildings is essential for the conservation of a stable population. Given the decreasing number of accessible churches, there is a need for providing alternative nesting sites. In addition to building closures, the future doubling of the length of motorways in the county will pose another significant threat to the regional population.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue population changes of the Moustached Warbler in a Central Hungarian wetland habitat<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In recent years, the breeding populations of many migratory songbird species have declined in the Carpathian Basin. However, there may be significant differences between different geographical regions, as most species have a much higher chance of successful breeding in protected areas. This is also the case for the Moustached Warbler, one of the most habitat-specialist passerine. It colonises only perennial, unharvested reedbeds, therefore its conservation management is essential. We studied the population changes of this species between 2001 and 2022 at Lake Kolon in Izsák, based on bird ringing data from 10–24 July. Data of 12,817 ringed and 5,075 recaptured birds were used in the analyses. The annual capture rate decreased significantly during the study period. The proportion of juveniles was higher at higher water levels during the whole breeding season. In contrast, when looking at winter and first and second broods separately, water level had no effect on the juvenile/adult ratio. This is because the birds compensate for unsuccessful first broods by increasing the proportion of second and replacement broods. If the first broods are successful, the ratio of second and replacement broods will be lower. As reed management is practically non-existent in this area, the perennial reedbeds provide suitable nesting conditions for the species. Changes in the wintering sites may be responsible for the declining trend. Protection of the area is of particular importance for the conservation of the species.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue interaction between Eurasian Eagle-Owl and canines (Carnivora, Canidae)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>We recorded vocal interaction in the natural environment of an Eurasian Eagle-Owl <italic>(Bubo bubo)</italic> with canines Gray Wolves <italic>(Canis lupus)</italic>, Red Foxes <italic>(Vulpes vulpes)</italic> and domestic dogs <italic>(Canis familiaris)</italic>. Vocalization was recorded using Olympus digital voice recorders. The calls of the male Eurasian Eagle-Owl were recorded by us in the frequency range of 200–420 Hz. The howl of a Gray Wolf was recorded in the frequency range from 300 to 1,100 Hz. Red Fox barking was recorded in the frequency range from 750 to 1,000 Hz. Barking of domestic dogs was recorded in the frequency range from 250 to 1,500 Hz. The vocalization of the Eurasian Eagle-Owl had an independent character inherent in the biology of the species. The Eurasian Eagle-Owl, with its cries, involuntarily provoked the entry of canines into joint vocal interaction, which can be explained by the high social activity of the latter. Co-vocalizations of the Eurasian Eagle-Owl and canines were noted in winter, spring and autumn, but mainly in spring (50%). The increased use of autonomous voice recorders, which record spontaneous vocalizations emitted by animals over long periods, will allow us to better document and study the importance of such interspecific interactions.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue aspects in Red-footed Falcon breeding colonies in the Po valley (Italy)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Ectoparasite fauna of <italic>Falco vespertinus</italic> breeding colonies was investigated in a system of artificial nests in the Po valley (Parma province), Italy, during four subsequent breeding seasons (2019<italic>–</italic>2022). Conservation actions regarding <italic>Falco vespertinus</italic> led to a great increase in its presence in the area. This rise was believed to coincide with an increase in the prevalence of hematophagous ectoparasites breeding in the nests, with a potential negative impact on the attractiveness of the breeding site. Ectoparasites collected from the nestlings’ bodies almost entirely belonged to a single species, Diptera <italic>Carnus hemapterus,</italic> with a quite variable prevalence in different years. Maximum ectoparasite load was consistently linked to younger than two weeks old chicks. <italic>Carnus hemapterus</italic> may pose a threat to less resilient specimens of <italic>Falco vespertinus</italic> because it feeds on live tissues, increases metabolic expenditure, and can introduce blood parasites. Nonetheless, this species is part of the ecosystem shared with the falcon and might have a conservational value itself. We propose that higher occurrence of this ectoparasite might be linked to diet parameters, especially the availability of small mammals and the lingering of prey remnants in the nests, as well as to the age of the parasitized nestlings. These findings might have important implications for the conservation of this rare <italic>Falco</italic> species.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue is the size of the Western Barn Owl hunting range in a mosaic landscape?<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Western Barn Owls hunt primarily small mammals in open areas, but they also hunt in urban, forest and wetland habitats. The landscape structure of their hunting range, therefore, affects the composition of their prey, knowledge of which can be a good starting point for estimating the size of their hunting range. Our goal was to estimate whether owls catch most of their prey within a circle with radius of 1, 2, 3, 4 or even 5 kilometres. In this study, we used five pellet samples of different size, collected between 2015 and 2019 from a settlement near the Drava River (Péterhida, Hungary). Our results showed that the annual distribution, diversity, and evenness of small mammal species detected from the samples was similar regardless of the sample size. The distribution of small mammal functional groups preferring urban, open, forest and wetland habitats was also similar. For this reason, the pellet samples were merged. Our results suggest that Western Barn Owls catch a significant part of their prey within a circle of 2-kilometre radius around its breeding or roosting site in the landscape, which consists of patches of habitat with a mosaic distribution. In a hunting range of this size, the proportion of small mammal functional groups preferring different habitats obtained from the pellets overlapped with the proportion of their preferred habitats.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Pharaoh Eagle-Owl, , from Ara’r region, northern Saudi Arabia<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The diet of the Pharaoh Eagle-Owl, <italic>Bubo ascalaphus,</italic> was investigated based on 338 pellets collected from caves and underground caves in Ara’r region, northern Saudi Arabia. Small mammals constituted the highest number of consumed prey (75.75%), followed by arthropods (20%), birds (2.9%) and reptiles (1.26%). The Libyan Jird, <italic>Meriones libycus</italic>, was the most consumed rodent (26.46%) followed by Sundevall’s Jird, <italic>Meriones crassus</italic> (20.47%), while the least were Cheesman Gerbil, <italic>Gerbillus cheesmani</italic>, and Wagner’s Gerbil, <italic>Gerbillus dasyurus.</italic> At least three species of scorpions, <italic>Androctonus crassicauda</italic>, <italic>Compsbuthus</italic> sp. and <italic>Scorpio</italic> sp., and two species of reptiles <italic>(Ptyodactylus hasselquistii</italic> and <italic>Trapellus agnetae)</italic> were recovered. Study of owl pellet contents proved to be a valuable tool to study species composition in unexplored regions. Also, our findings substantiate the fact that the Pharaoh Eagle-Owl is an opportunistic species that adapts to available preys in its habitat.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue by young tortoises ( sp.) could induce their predation by the Eurasian Eagle-Owl<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Eating owl pellets by non-predator vertebrates is a rare and difficult-to-prove food chain relationship. In this paper, I reported the first record of a Spur-thighed Tortoise <italic>(Testudo graeca)</italic> eating a Eurasian Eagle-Owl <italic>(Bubo bubo)</italic> pellet with remains of a right Wood Pigeon <italic>(Columba palumbus)</italic> wing. Scavenging of food remains around owl nests by young tortoises may possibly explain the few cases of tortoise-eating Eurasian Eagle-Owls.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue record of brown plumage aberration in Indian Pied Starling from India<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Brown aberration in black plumage is defined by the progressive reduction of eumelanin in birds. The present report describes an observation of plumage with brown aberration in Indian Pied Starling <italic>(Gracupica contra)</italic> from the agricultural landscape of Shokliya village, Rajasthan, India. The observed individual exhibited browning in all the areas of the plumage that are normally black in this species, including the head, wing feathers, and tail feathers. However, feathers with no pigmentation remained white and unaffected. Genetic and dietary factors are thought to be major factors responsible for such aberrations in birds, but more research is needed to determine the exact reasons.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of roadkilled Western Barn Owls in Csanádi-hát region (SE Hungary)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The Western Barn Owl <italic>(Tyto alba)</italic> is a common breeder in Hungary. It is a resident bird of open areas, staying near nesting sites in winter. Its population is strongly influenced by food availability, weather conditions and several anthropogenic activities. One of the most important factors of these in recent decades has been road mortality. In this work, we processed data of roadkilled individuals and field observation records in the Csanádihát region in south-eastern Hungary from the period 1995–2022. In Battonya, we have been recording roadkill individuals since 1995, while observations of Barn Owl individuals from Kevermes have been available since 2005. The species is a regular, but scarce breeder in the area, so both the number of roadkilled individuals and the number of field observations were relatively low. Nevertheless, we had the opportunity to examine how the number of individuals of the species that were killed in the traffic varied over time and within years. According to our data, more birds collided during the winter, and also between July and November. This can be explained mostly by the seasonal lack of food and the fledging time of inexperienced juveniles. The temporal distribution of field observations were different from the dynamics of the roadkills, as the species was mainly observed during the breeding season. The exact population size of the area can be difficultly estimated, as it breeds mainly in attics of stable, granary and church buildings. The breeding population of Kevermes was estimated at 3–4 pairs and did not change significantly in the studied period. Over the same 28-year period, using the same methods to the two other most common nesting owl species of the region, we found that the within-year roadkill dynamics of the Little Owl <italic>(Athene noctua)</italic> and the Northern Long-eared Owl <italic>(Asio otus)</italic> differed from that of the Western Barn Owls, which may be due to the different feeding habits of the species. We can conclude that the number of roadkilled birds was proportional to the local population of the species.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue trend and breeding productivity of some migrant passerines in Hungary<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This study aimed to monitor the demographic changes of some closely related species based on bird ringing data from the CES (Constant Effort Sites) program in Hungary between 2007 and 2018, and to explore the reasons for these demographic changes. The CES program tracks breeding bird populations with standard methods. The studied species breeding in Hungary were from genera <italic>Sylvia</italic>, <italic>Curruca,</italic> and <italic>Phylloscopus</italic>. Among these species, the trends of some forest birds, like Eurasian Blackcap <italic>(Sylvia atricapilla)</italic>, Lesser Whitethroat <italic>(Curruca curruca)</italic>, Common Chiffchaff <italic>(Phylloscopus collybita)</italic> and Willow Warbler (<italic>Ph. trochilus)</italic> showed no substantial changes, and one of the open-habitat species, the Barred Warbler <italic>(Curruca nisoria)</italic> – a long distant migrant – showed decreasing trends. The Garden Warbler <italic>(Sylvia borin)</italic> – a trans-Saharan migrant but forest dweller – also experienced population declines. Short-distance migrants maintained stable populations. Common Whitethroat productivity displayed an increasing trend to compensate for population decline. Upon examining the Eurasian Blackcap, this study detected a strong relationship between the number of adult birds, productivity, and the number of adults captured the following year.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue habits of Rufous-legged Owl in a protected area of south-central Chile affected by mixed wildfire<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The diet of Rufous-legged Owl, <italic>Strix rufipes,</italic> a small raptor present in an Andean protected area, is described here. During the fall of 2017, 44 pellets were collected in the study area, being subsequently analyzed. The occurrence of small mammal prey items in pellets was compared with capture frequencies with live-trapping through Sherman traps. Regarding occurrence frequencies in the diet, arthropods were the most frequent (49.34%), followed by mammals (39.31%), birds (7.86%) and reptiles (3.37%). However, in terms of biomass, mammals had the highest biomass contribution. The observed frequency of consumed preys showed a random pattern, according to the captures of small mammals obtained with Sherman traps. The role of wildfire in the composition of prey in the observed trophic spectrum of these forest owls is also discussed.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of cranial adaptation in foot-propelled diving birds – foraging and visual fields of some piscivorous species<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The adaptation to an aquatic lifestyle has occurred several times during the evolution of birds. The transition from a terrestrial to an aquatic lifestyle requires enormous changes in morphology, physiology, and behaviour. In addition to many physical parameters, aquatic foraging is also a limiting factor, despite the fact that aquatic habitats are often rich in food and prey. Despite many previous studies (foraging, physiology, anatomy, ecology, etc.) and a large amount of data regarding piscivore foot-propelled diving birds, our knowledge on the possible relationships between cranial morphology, feeding mechanism, visual abilities and binocularity is still very limited. In this study, we attempt to achieve a deeper understanding of the visual abilities and foraging related attributes of 5 recent and 1 extinct species of foot-propelled diving birds. We attempted to measure the horizontal visual fields of these species using 3D visualization techniques. According to our model, the narrowest horizontal binocular field was measured in Anhinga <italic>(Anhinga anhinga)</italic>, and the widest was measured in the cases of Great Cormorant <italic>(Phalacrocorax carbo)</italic> and Goosander <italic>(Mergus merganser)</italic>. Our results support the prediction that binocular field variation among aquatic birds is primarily associated with foraging methods and activities.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue