rss_2.0Ornis Hungarica FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Ornis Hungarica Hungarica Feed field survey of bird feeders in two Hungarian cities<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Bird feeding by people is one of the most popular human-wildlife interactions globally. Urban ecology studies generally recognize that cities offer a more favourable habitat for many wintering birds compared to natural areas, primarily due to the increased availability of the winter food sources provided by people. However, actual field surveys about the residents’ bird feeding activity are rare. Here we surveyed bird feeders during the winter of 2021–2022 at 5-5 locations in two cities in Hungary. We recorded the number and type of bird feeders, the type of food offered, the number of bird species and individuals visiting the feeders. The density of feeders was higher in Veszprém, a middle-sized city (range: 60.1–206.1 bird feeders/km<sup>2</sup>) compared to Budapest, the capital city of Hungary (23.3–83.0 bird feeders/km<sup>2</sup>). The most frequent food types were fat balls, seed mix, and sunflower seeds in both cities. We registered a total of 516 individuals of 24 species on the feeders, and found that the type of the feeder, but not the city, significantly affected both the number of individuals and species visiting bird feeders. These results help to get a more complete picture of how the winter food supplies of birds are shaped by urbanization.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue distribution and breeding location of the Stock Dove in Algeria<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Algeria hosts seven species of the Columbidae family, including pigeons and doves, the majority of which have been the subject of numerous studies, but none have been conducted on the Stock Dove <italic>(Columba oenas)</italic>. Data on this species are still scarce, and its distribution is limited only to Kabylie in northern Algeria. Species occurrence data were collected from September 2022 to August 2023 using the point count method. However, the species was recently recorded in several new localities (20 stations) in West Algeria, at Sidi Bel Abbès and Tlemcen. All our observations were made in a semi-arid bioclimatic area at an altitude ranging between 750 and 1,216 m. Nesting sites were located on woodland and forest edges, not far from water sources, and feeding sites were located in open, natural, or agricultural environments where cereal seeds, grasses, flower buds, and young green shoots were consumed. It could also cohabit with other species of pigeons and doves.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of a Middle Spotted Woodpecker with aberrant, brown-coloured plumage<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Birds with atypical colours in their plumage are not uncommon however, the potential causes of such aberrations have not been widely examined. Aberrant brownish-rufous phaeomelanin is one type of plumage colour that has been recorded in numerous bird species, including those which essentially contain only eumelanin (black) pigments, including several European woodpeckers. A Middle Spotted Woodpecker <italic>Dendrocoptes medius</italic> with aberrant phaeomelanised plumage observed in the Bükk Hills, Hungary, is detailed here and an evaluation of the possible nature of this form of plumage discussed.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue n. sp., a new species of cormorant from the Late Miocene of Hungary<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>We describe <italic>Phalacrocorax bakonyiensis</italic> n. sp. an extinct member of the cormorants (Phalacrocoracidae). The fossil was found in 2021 by geologist János Futó in the sediments of a small cave cavity on the side of Várhegy in Sümeg, a part of the Bakony Mountains of West Hungary, where Late Miocene (MN11–12) vertebrate fossils have been found in the past decades. The total number of bone fragments collected was 14, of which only three can be identified. Two of these belong to adults and one, due to its poor preservation and size, to a very young specimen.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue photographic record of a colour aberrant Spotted Dove from the Brahmaputra valley of Assam, India<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Colour aberrations are rare conditions in birds that are caused by genetic as well as environmental factors. Among the colour aberrations in birds, albino, leucism, progressive greying, brown, dilution, ino, and melanism are the best known. This report describes an observation of colour aberration in a Spotted Dove <italic>(Spilopelia chinensis suratensis)</italic> from India. It was recorded in the Deobali Jalah (an IBA site) of Nagaon district, Assam. The recorded individual exhibited a pale plumage with normal eyes and some light brown colour in some of the feathers, indicating this to be a form of dilution. The report also represents the first photographic documentation of colour aberration in Spotted Doves from Brahmaputra Valley of Assam, India. Further research is necessary to comprehend the causes of colour aberration in Spotted Doves.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue White-backed Woodpecker in Hungary: results of a two-year nationwide survey<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper summarizes a two-year (2021 and 2022) survey which sought to determine the breeding population of White-backed Woodpecker <italic>(Dendrocopos leucotos)</italic> in Hungary. The survey was initiated by the Hungarian Woodpecker Group of MME/BirdLife Hungary and was the first to be conducted nationwide on this species. All hill ranges where the species was historically known to occur were visited. A total of 31 observers were involved, and 102 UTM squares in which White-backed Woodpeckers were known to breed, or potentially breed, were visited. The results suggest that the Hungarian breeding population of this endangered species ranges between 480 and 800 pairs.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue composition of the Atlas Flycatcher in Northeastern Algeria<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The diet of the Atlas Flycatcher, an endemic bird species of North Africa is studied in Northeastern Algeria in the forest of Guerrouch in the Taza National Park. The diet analysis was based on the examination of the faecal sacs of the nestlings (n=150) collected in nest boxes installed in a mixed formation of Algerian oak and African oak <italic>(Quercus canariensis</italic> and <italic>Quercus afares)</italic>. A total of 854 food items were identified, representing 49 prey taxa. The analysis of centesimal frequencies by class revealed the clear dominance of Insecta with 85.12%, followed by Arachnida 13.34%, Gastropoda 1.28% and Malacostraca 0.23%. Regarding orders, the diet was constituted mainly of Coleoptera 44.37%, followed by Hemiptera 21.89% and Araneae 13.34%. The size of the prey taxa varied between 3 and 14 mm with an average of 7.11±3.14 mm. The best represented size class was that which varies between 3 and 4.37 mm. To test the homogeneity between the 4 nest boxes sampled, an <italic>ANOVA test</italic> was applied. The results show the presence of 2 distinct groups of nesting boxes concerning the variable number of families / faecal sacs.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and time of the day affect visual lateralisation in Greater White-fronted Geese<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Sensory lateralisation, defined as the separation of functions for processing information from the sensory organs between the hemispheres of the brain, is a variable characteristic of the nervous system influenced by external factors. The plasticity of lateralisation is an important factor influencing the assessment of lateralisation on individual and population levels. We tested the influence of sunlight and time of the day on the visual lateralisation of Greater White-fronted Geese <italic>Anser albifrons</italic> when following their partners. Most of the individuals showed no preference to observe a partner with one of their eyes. Among the lateralised birds, a significant prevalence of right-eyed individuals was revealed. The highest proportion of lateralised individuals was observed in cloudy conditions. Direct sunlight, particularly in the morning, interfered with the emergence of visual lateralisation. Thus, the effect of sunlight and time of the day on lateralisation in birds should be taken into account when evaluating lateralisation in field observations and experiments.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue study of annual and daily capture-recapture and biometrics of two treecreeper species ( spp.) in the post-breeding season over 23 years in western Hungary<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In this study, we detected and compared changes in the annual and daily captures of the Eurasian <italic>(Certhia familiaris)</italic> and Short-toed Treecreeper <italic>(C. brachydactyla)</italic> in the timing of their post-breeding movements, in the length of minimum stopover duration (MSD) in the area, and also in biometrics in western Hungary. The birds were captured and ringed, or recaptured from the end of July to the first weekend of November in all years from 2001 to 2023. The annual captures of both species indicated stable populations in this period, with milder February months having a positive effect on annual captures. There were similarities and differences in the movement strategies and habitat selection of the species. During the post-breeding season, the Eurasian Treecreeper was more strongly associated with the scrubland and forest edge than the Short-toed Treecreeper. There were two autumn capture waves in September and October for the Eurasian Treecreepers and just one in September for the Short-toed Treecreepers, which were primarily consisted of birds captured only once. There were no significant differences in wing length of the three capture intervals (July-August, September, October-November) in either species, which suggests that the dynamics of post-breeding movements cannot be explained on the bases of possible differences in the behavior of sexes, ages, or populations. The proportion of birds captured only once was about double of that of stopovers in both species each year. The average real length of stopover duration in the area for Eurasian Treecreepers was 94.25 days, and 84.31 days for Short-toed Treecreepers. The length of MSD in the area was not significantly associated with wing length and body mass in either species. Individuals of both species did not gain fat stores significantly during post-breeding season.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of seasonal change and anthropogenic activities on the avifauna composition in a seasonal wetland of India<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Seasonal wetlands harbour a mosaic of habitats that support a variety of niches for bird species. When seasonal change and anthropogenic activities are coupled with the landscape, the species richness and species composition are presumably influenced by such factors. This study aimed to evaluate avifauna diversity, to investigate feeding guilds, and to determine the impact of seasonality and tourism pressure as anthropogenic disturbance on the avian community of a wetland. Comprehensive surveys were conducted to gather all necessary data, followed by the application of analytical methods to assess the hypotheses formulated in the current research. A total of 61 bird species belonging to 14 orders have been recorded during this year-round study, where Passeriformes was the most dominant order with 27 bird species. The species richness was highest in winter, and five feeding guilds were identified. This study revealed a significant role of seasonality, and tourism pressure on avian species richness of Bortir Bil. The outcomes of the present study could serve as an important baseline to adopt sustainable and bird-friendly management plan for this seasonal wetland.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of body mass and taxonomic order on the masses of functionally classified groups of the jaw musculature in birds<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>There is increasing interest from evolutionary biologists in the evolution of avian bill shape, how the bill is used during feeding and, in particular, the bite forces the bill can deliver. Bite force exhibits isometry with the total mass of the jaw musculature, but there is variation in the functional categories of the jaw muscles in different avian taxa. Qualitative descriptions of the jaw musculature do not allow analysis of the relative contributions that adductor or retractor muscles play in generating a bite force. This study is a meta-analysis of published data for body mass and the mass of the jaw musculature in 66 bird species from 10 orders. The masses of the different muscles contributing to adduction and retraction in closing the jaw, and to depression and protraction in opening the jaw, were summed and allometric relationships explored before investigating the effects of taxonomic order on these relationships. The categories of muscles, and the masses of each category of jaw musculature varied among avian orders. Some species, such as the flightless ratites, had relatively small jaw muscle mass but parrots had an additional adductor muscle. Phylogenetically controlled relationships between body mass and the mass of each muscle category irrespective of taxonomic order were isometric. However, analysis of covariance revealed significant interactions between body mass and taxonomic order. Most orders had low values for body-mass-specific muscle masses in the jaw with the notable exceptions of the Passeriformes (songbirds) and Psittaciformes (parrots). The values of these orders were 3–4 times greater, although the relative amounts of muscles contributing to adduction and retraction were similar in Psittaciformes, but adduction was markedly higher in Passeriformes. The results of these analyses highlight the lack of species-specific data for most birds, which is adversely impacting our understanding of the anatomical features that are determining the functional properties of the bill during feeding.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue ecology of the endangered Algerian Nuthatch endemic to the Babors′ Kabylia (Northeastern Algeria): Implications of conservation<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The endemic Algerian Nuthatch <italic>Sitta ledanti</italic>, is classified as an endangered species by the IUCN and protected species by Algerian law. Available information on its nesting and breeding biology is sporadic and incomplete, the purpose of which is to provide additional data on the different aspects of multi-site nesting of the species. 22 nests are monitored across five forests, during the nesting season of 2021. An endoscopic camera was used to monitor eggs and nestlings in the nests during the whole study. Most of the nests (n = 20) were constructed in different parts of the dead trees such as trunks or branches of the Atlas cedar <italic>Cedrus atlantica</italic>, the Algerian oak <italic>Quercus canariensis</italic>, the African oak <italic>Quercus afares</italic> or Cork oak <italic>Quercus suber</italic>. The laying dates were from early April to the end of May when April 28 (± 13 days) is the laying season’s median start date. The average clutch size was 4.6 (n = 21). The mean hatching success was 89.2%, while mean fledging success was 88.2%. The nestling sex ratio was 14 males versus 18 females. Data on clutch dates and fecundity of breeding pairs should be considered in any conservation approach and strategy in the context of habitat management and preservation.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue modelling for predicting habitat suitability and future range of Black-breasted Parrotbill ( Gould, 1836) in Northeast India<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Habitat suitability models are powerful tools in predicting species distributions and assessing the potential impacts of environmental changes. In this article, a habitat suitability model was developed for <italic>Paradoxornis flavirostris</italic>, a threatened (Vulnerable) bird species found in the northeastern part of India, using remote sensing data and machine learning techniques. The occurrence records for <italic>P. flavirostris</italic> were considered from primary as well as multiple secondary sources like GBIF &amp; eBird, and bioclimatic variables such as temperature, precipitation, and humidity were collected from <ext-link ext-link-type="uri" xmlns:xlink="" xlink:href=""></ext-link>. Then, MaxEnt algorithm was used to model the habitat suitability of <italic>P. flavirostris</italic> based on the collected data. Additionally, the model was also run to project the future range of <italic>P. flavirostris</italic> under different climate change scenarios. The model also predicts potentially suitable habitats for <italic>P. flavirostris</italic> outside of its current range, suggesting areas where the species may expand or contract its distribution in the future. This research provides valuable insights into the habitat suitability and potential range dynamics of <italic>P. flavirostris</italic>, and can inform conservation planning and management efforts for this threatened bird species.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue data to the historical breeding of the Eurasian Woodcock in the Carpathian Basin<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The Eurasian Woodcock is a regular breeder in the wooded areas of the Carpathian Basin. In the past, several literature reviews on the distribution and breeding biology of the species in the Carpathian Basin have been published, but these have ignored the annual reports on spring returns collected between 1894 and 1926 under the coordination of the Hungarian Ornithological Centre. These included 379 nesting records from the present area of Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine. The majority of the data came from the Carpathians, with a smaller number from forested areas in the lower mountains and hills. It was particularly rare in lowland areas, with most of the records coming from floodplain forests. The spatial distribution of the data is somewhat at odds with that described in recent summary works. From the Northern Carpathians and the Eastern Alps, however, these sources report fewer nestings, and most of the data come from Transylvania. The temporal distribution of the data is consistent with previously published results. In some cases nestings were found in late February and early March. The peak of nesting was in April, with only a small number of nestings reported in the second half of May. Breeding occurred significantly later in areas at higher altitudes. Nevertheless, it can be concluded that knowledge of the species’ nesting in the Carpathian Basin is still incomplete.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue microbiota of Barn Swallow nestlings in Northeast Algeria<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The intestinal microbiota plays an important role in the digestion of food provided by parents to their hatchlings. Non-pathogenic bacteria in the digestive tract can be significantly beneficial to the host species, while pathogenic bacteria can reduce hatchling survival and lead to a decline in the number of new generation. Microbiological analysis of cloacal microflora of hatchlings revealed a highly diverse microbial load present from hatching until fledging (at 15 days) in Barn Swallow <italic>(Hirundo rustica)</italic>. The intestinal microflora of 15-day-olds was the most diverse, and two groups are dependent on age: CPG and Lactobacilli are mostly present in hatchlings of the second and third ages (10 and 15 days). Our research was conducted to identify certain bacterial species, such as <italic>E. coli</italic>, <italic>Salmonella</italic>, <italic>Pseudomonas</italic>, <italic>Lactobacillus</italic>, <italic>Streptococcus</italic>, and <italic>Staphylococcus</italic>. The presence of most species was related to age, while the presence of <italic>Salmonella</italic> was accidental.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue spring migration and distribution of Common Crane in the Carpathian Basin during the late 19 and early 20 centuries<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>During the early 21st century, the Carpathian Basin was recognised as one of the world’s most important migratory area for the Common Crane, but it is not completely clear, what was its status during the late 19<sup>th</sup> and early 20<sup>th</sup> centuries. Between 1897 and 1916, a total of 1487 field observation data were published in the journal Aquila from the Carpathian Basin. Our work analysed the timing of the spring migration, how it differed between years and geographical regions, and how the temperature and geographical variables reported above influenced the timing of the migration. The results show that the migration routes of the species have changed significantly over the last century. During the study period, the migration concentrated in the eastern part of the Carpathian Basin, and was particularly rare in the Great Hungarian Plain. There was on average a two-week difference in the timing of migration between the western and eastern parts and between different years. The start and peak of migration were weeks later than today, and this change is mainly due to the effects of climate change. Geographical factors did not influence the migration of the species, whereas higher air temperatures advanced the timing of the migration.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue impacts of land use change on partridge’s population in the Marghazar valley of Swat District, Pakistan<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In landscape ecology, it has become increasingly essential to understand the consequences of past, current, and future human land use patterns for biodiversity and ecosystem function. The most significant factor affecting biodiversity loss is land-use and land-cover change (LULCC). We examine here the impact of long-term changes in LULCC from 2000–2020 on the biodiversity of Marghazar valley in Swat District. Information was also gathered on the perceptions of the surrounding communities based on the flow of ecosystem services (ES), historical changes, and the causes of those changes. Satellite imagery data were used to map LULCC, identify possible causes, and assess the impact of LULCC on the population of partridges. In the last 20 years, forest area has reduced by 23 km<sup>2</sup> (33%) and the seasonal water body has declined by 1.015 km<sup>2</sup> (2.15%). There was a 38.5 km2 decrease in agricultural land. In contrast, the built-up area increased by 384%, resulting in a total growth of 26.3 km<sup>2</sup> and an expansion of 41.1 km2 grassland. Deforestation, agricultural expansions, urbanization, economic considerations and changes in land tenure policy were identified to be the main drivers of LULCC. The primary impact of LULCC on partridges in the studied area are land degradation, population declines, habitat disruption, displacement of partridges by livestock and increasing human-wildlife conflicts. Despite ongoing human pressure, the Marghazar valley still provides extensive habitat for wildlife. Interventions may be needed to maintain biodiversity and ensure long-term ecological services in the area.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue distribution of Eurasian Spoonbills outside the Carpathian Basin – the results of the Hungarian colour-ringing project based on twenty years (2003–2023)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The Eurasian Spoonbill <italic>(Platalea leucorodia)</italic> is a migratory waterbird. We used the confirmed observations of colour-ringed individuals (2,735 specimens) of the Hungarian population collected outside the Carpathian Basin between May 2003 and February 2023. 546 Spoonbills occurred in 28 countries. They used mainly the Central Mediterranean Flyway, however, some individuals were seen along the East Atlantic Flyway or the East Mediterranean Flyway. Three individuals were observed north of the Alps, too. A small proportion of Spoonbills crossed the Sahara and they occurred in the Sahel zone, between Sudan in the east and Senegal and Mauritania in the west. A few individuals were observed on Saharan wetlands in Algeria during winter. The most important destination for the Hungarian (Pannonian) population during the migration is Tunisia, where many of them spend the winter, primarily in the tidal area of the Gulf of Gabes. The first adults reached North Africa (Tunisia) on 28 July during their southward migration, while the last ones stayed there until 23 April. The first observation of juveniles in North Africa (Tunisia) happened on 31 August. Immature, 2- and 3-cyold birds spend the summer in unknown numbers in Tunisia. The majority of Pannonian Spoonbills migrate through the Balkans and Italy and some stay there to winter, mainly in Italy. Some of the immatures spent the summer in Italy. In southern Europe, the peak of the spring migration was in March, and the peak of the autumn migration was in September. There was also a difference in the migration of different age groups: in Southern Europe, the migration peak of adult birds falls between March and April, while most of the immatures were observed in May and June during northward migration. The peak of the southward migration in all age groups was observed in September. In the southern part of Europe, there may still be adults migrating north on 13 May, while other adults may already migrate southward on 15 May. The earliest juvenile migrating south was documented on 30 June in Italy.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue 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