SEEN - SE European Bird Migration Network
2000 Przebendowo
9-10 December 2000,

Przebendowo, Poland

3rd  Workshop of the SE European Bird Migration Network

25 participants from 7 countries took part in this workshop. Programme of this meeting comprised several presentations and up-date on current work of SEEN, formal sessions (election of the Board) and a computer software session.


 •  Grant 1998 – 2002

According to available funds and submitted needs, most of SEEN members got technical support i.e. nets, field forms, orientation sets, rulers etc. were distributed. Some funds for year 2001 will be available.  

 •  Trainings/Visits

The aim of all trainings and visits was to establish uniform methodology for SEEN members so effectiveness of research of bird migrations could be increased.
  • in Poland: 9 persons from Belorussia, Palestine and Russia were trained in methods of fieldwork of bird migration at two ringing stations
  • 7 ringers went to Palestine and Russia (Gumbaritsy, Zvenigorod, Makarovka – Tatarstan ) ringing stations to train local ringers in methods of fieldwork
  • visit to Israel
    Thanks to hospitality of Reuven Yosef we visited the International Birding and Research Center in Eilat and discussed future co-operation in this region. Thanks to our host, we also visited several ringing sites in the North of Israel and met Palestinian people to discuss their co-operation with the SEEN. Results: two ringing stations in Palestine (Talitha Kumi, Jericho) and one in Jordan (Hashemite) joined SEEN in 2000.

 •  Egypt project (1999, 2000)

Egypt is recognized as one of the most important countries on the SE birds migratory flyway. There is a plan to establish an on-going ringing programme in this country, and finally to establish ringing station and ringing centre ran by Egyptian people. In 1999 with help of Mindy and Sherif Baha El Din and Mr Andrew Grieve (OSME), the potential sites for ringing stations were identified. Unfortunately the programme planned for autumn 2000 did not start. Last year SEEN was offered to join international project in Wadi El Rayan Protected Area coordinated by Italians. Our task will be to establish bird ringing station at the area; pilot study will start in spring 2001.

 •  Bird Station Manual

First SEEN publication was printed in 2000. It consists of two parts:
  1. Field data collecting with the separate chapters for the passerine and wader stations, as well as “Bird mortality and the bird’s welfare” chapter.
  2. Application of collected data with several different methods of evaluation of data.
This publication is a basis with the aim to set standards for collection of data and therefore to enable effective exchange of data.
Copies of the book were distributed to all SEEN members.

 •  The SEEN logo

Unfortunately Board received a very few proposals. The decision was made to use logo based on a wind-rose image. Every SEEN member is encouraged to use the logo in every activity that is recognized as the SEEN work. Logo can be obtained from the Board.


First results of bird ringing at Turov station
Summary of bird ringing in Southern Belarus
Dimitri Zhuravliev (Belarus)

In this region during 1946-1974 in total 42 thousands birds were ringed. Turov ringing station started its work in 1996. The station is situated on the flood plain of Prypeć River. Habitat is very mosaic: there are willow forests along the river, then oak trees and bushes. In 1996-2000 almost 6 thousand birds of 108 species were ringed, several recoveries were recorded. The most common were the Blue Tit (Parus caeruleus), Great Tit (Parus major), Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) and Robin (Erithacus rubecula).
Plans: there is hypothesis that big number of birds migrate along Dniepr River towards the Black Sea, thus there is a plan to run ringing project in that area also.

The history and perspectives of ringing and study of bird migration in Belorussian Lake Area
Siarhei Darafeyev (Belarus)

In northern part of Belorussia birds have been ringed since 1960. These were passerines but also Ciconiformes as well as Picoides. Several recoveries were recorded. In following years regular ringing was conducted, mostly on nesting birds. During 40 years, 25 thousand of birds were ringed. Since 1965 also wintering catching with traps is made. Last year with SEEN help 20 nets were founded and already 600 birds of 27 species were ringed.

Research project of ringing station Sumony and Toemoerd
Agnes Lepold, Andrea Ruff (Hungary)

Research project at Lake Sumony started in 1983, while at Toemoerd in 1997. The aim of the projects is to study both breeding and migrating birds.
Sumony ringing station
Ringing follows methods of Actio Hungarica. Birds are caught during post-breeding – autumn migration period. There are 18 nets put in homogenous reed bed and in dry bushes. The most common species are: Hirundo rustica, Acrocephalus schoenobaenus, Sylvia atricapilla, Riparia riparia, Acrocephalus scirpaceus, and Erithacus rubecula.
Several studies on the Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus) were made. So far, migration of the species and stop-over sites became well known. Its long-term number dynamics (1983-1997) shows that up to 1991 there was a decline in number, but since 1991 there was an increase. Most probably, it is because of decline in wetland habitat and several droughts in Hungary. In addition, wing-length and recapture studies were made. According to the analysis, it appeared that in late July short-winged birds migrate, while in the end of August long-winged birds from Baltic Region pass the area.
Toemoerd ringing station
Research is conducted since middle August up to end of November. Most of nets are in dry bushes, few of them in marsh areas. By now more than 9 thousand of birds were ringed. Most common are: Erithacus rubecula, Turdus merula, Sylvia atricapilla, Phylloscopus collybita and Regulus regulus. Catching dynamics in 34 species was evaluated.
Toemoerd ringing station is also very active as educational centre.

New possibilities to study owl migration
Przemysław Busse (Poland)

Operation Baltic is focused on passerines but since the beginning regularly some owls were caught also. Since 1995 special nets for owls and raptors were used. Seasonal dynamics of the Long-eared owl (Asio otus) and Tengmalm’s owl (Aegolius funereus) caught in 1961-1994 was carefully studied. Analysis revealed that owl migration is very concentrated, there are very short but well-pronounced waves of passing birds. Moreover, this fact was supported by catching results in 2000, when large number of owls was ringed (nearly 650 birds of 5 species).

Review of orientation studies in Scarlet Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus at the Biological Station Rybachy
Nadejda Zelenova (Russia)

Since 1960, few thousands of Scarlet Rosefinches were caught and ringed but there were only 2 recoveries (Scandinavia, Turkmenistan). This study focused on their orientation abilities. Kramer’s cage (1 m in diameter) with 8 perches connected with electronic device recording bird activity was used Birds spent few days up to several weeks in the cages. There were adult (caught in spring) and young birds as control and hand-raised nestlings divided into two groups. In one of them, there were birds that could see the sky only during daytime and in the second - birds that all the time were kept in laboratory. Results show that birds kept in captivity were able to choose the same direction as the control group.

The role of estuaries of the Azov Sea northern coast in passerine migration (Molochni Liman as an example)
Elena Diadicheva (Ukraine)

Molochni Liman is separated from the Azov Sea by the spit. It is covered by reeds, and in upper regions by forest. Studies are made every year for ca. 2-3 weeks, everyday four hours in the mornings and two hours in the evenings. Birds are caught with 89 mist-nets. Several characteristics of bird migration in this area were found. Spring migration consists of 3 main waves with different species composition; similarly autumn migration can be divided in several waves. Long-term number dynamics was studied in Acro species. In 1994 declined in number was observed, most probably it resulted from natural cycles of reed bed conditions.

Some aspects of the Great Tit migration
Anatoly Poluda (Ukraine)

25 years ago, it was assumed that the Great Tit (Parus major) in Ukraine is not a regular migrant. In mid 70ties because of trapping, ringing and visual observations this species was found as migrating. Data from 1976-2000 were analysed. Birds were caught in Rybachy type trap at Lebedivka ringing station. In 1983, 1984, 1988 and 1989 the largest number of birds was ringed. 
Sex/age structure: young birds are dominant (young females are more numerous than males), then adult males and the least numerous are adult females. 
Recoveries: most distant were 1600 km NE of breeding area and 1100 km SW of wintering area, ca 50% of recoveries come from less than 40 km.
It was also found that young males migrate further (150 km) than young females do (106 km); and adult females migrate further (290 km) than adult males (85 km).

Field studies of directional preferences of some night migrants
Agnieszka Trocińska (Poland)

Results of studies with a new field method that enables to study directional behaviour of night migrants also during daytime were given. Thanks to cooperation of the stations working within SEEN Network, data were collected at several localities in Israel, Estonia, Poland, Russia and Ukraine. Several species were studied. The results were in accordance with other data, like recoveries but also revealed some new aspects of bird migration in the region.

SE migration direction of the Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) – what is known and what is still unknown.
Katarzyna Mokwa (Poland)

There are many recoveries of the Blackcap ringed in Scandinavia, from Norway to Finland, and recovered on migration in Cyprus and on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. This group of birds winters in East Africa. There are few recoveries of the Blackcap on the Balkan Peninsula, which is also a wintering ground of the species. These individuals were ringed in southern parts of Norway and Sweden. It is possible that the breeding area that these birds originate from is quite limited. Nevertheless, to prove this hypothesis more numerous data are essential.

SEEN at the Middle East - slide show
Agnieszka Trocińska (Poland)

Slide from the visits in Egypt, Israel and Palestine were shown giving an overview of the SEEN activities in that part of the region.  

SEEN standards for the collection and the exchange of data e.g. computer programme for orientation data input
Przemysław Busse (Poland)

Computer software that is used to input orientation data, as well as to prepare the data into a standard form used by different spreadsheet programmes, was presented.
A vital need for setting standards for data collection was discussed.  

Ornithological studies at the Courish Spit – demo version of CD
Nadejda Zelenova (Russia)
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