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November 2015. - The poisoning of Common Buzzards Buteo buteo in Sombor

On November 12, 2015 the members of the Nature Protection and Study Society – NATURA recorded two specimens of dead Common Buzzards Buteo buteo in the district of Rokovci – Čaire of town Sombor. The cause of death was feeding on poisoned corps of domestic fowl. The unknown offender placed the poisoned corps of domestic fowl near the entrance of a below ground of a fox Vulpes vulpes with the aim to poison them. Beside that the protected Buzzard feeds on small mammals and other small animal species, he often consumes corps. The law in Serbia forbids any kind of poisoning of animals in the nature. The case was accused to the Provincial institute for nature conservation, with hope that the culprit will be found and penalized.


October, 2015 – Winter monitoring of Sparrowhawks Accipiter nisus in Sombor

During the autumn and winter period of 2015/2016 the members of the Nature Protection and Study Society – NATURA plan to conduct a detailed monitoring of the Sparrowhawks Accipiter nisus in town Sombor. The monitoring will be realised by using colour ringing method and by regular counting of individuals. The aim of this monitoring is to explore the potential oscillations in the number if this species during the autumn and winter period. As far we do not possess any information on that single individuals spend a longer time in the town or are individuals vagrants, i.e. in the town appear regularly new individuals. We hope that colour ringing will help answering this issue.


December, 2014 – Extremely high number of tits

The local population of tits in Sombor is small, but in the time span between October and March they can be observed in larger or smaller flocks in the town. The number of the wintering individuals varies from year to year, but in the last and this winter the number of tits displayed two extremities. In winter of 2013/2014 there were no wintering tits (guests), only local individuals were recorded. Such low number of tits in winter was never recorded in the past 35 years since birds have been regularly monitored in Sombor. During this winter, 2014/2015, we are witnessesof a record number of tits in the town. For example, in the time period between October 1 and November 30 the following numbers of individuals were ringed:
• 1260 Great Tits, Parus major, twice more than in the best entire year
• 512 Blue Tits, Cyanistes caeruleus, twice more than during the best year
• 41 Coal Tits, Periparus ater, until now there were altogether 12 individuals ringed
According to the information from colleagues, large number of tits had been also recorded in the entire Serbia. We do not know the exact origin of the birds, since no recovery was found yet. However, we assume that these tits come from the eastern part of the European Russia or even from the Ural. Unfortunately, in those scarcely inhabited areas a small number of birds in being ringed and this results low chances to recover them.


May, 2014 – The fell of the White Stork Ciconia ciconia nest in Sombor

On May 13, 2014 in the late afternoon the nest of the White Stork Ciconia ciconia near the Bager Pond fell from the high-voltage pole. The reason of the fell of the nest is not clearly known, because there weren’t any weather disasters on that day. This nest existed for over four decades, where the White Stork returned continually every year. However, the local conditions are excellent for the breeding of the White Stork, so the birds begun to build a new nest in the nearest surrounding, which will be ready at begin of June 2014.


April, 2014 – Reed burn on Bager Pond again

The reed was burned again on the Bager Pond on April 6, 2014, after the reed burn in February, 2012. Almost 90% of the reed bed burned down, which affected significantly the avifauna of the pond. Early migrants were rarely recorded this spring, while common breeders like the Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus delay and came in smaller number back. It is obvious that some citizens destroy reed beds, nevertheless that environmental NGOs appeal every year on conserving reed stands.


November, 2013 - March, 2014 – What happened to the tits in winter 2013/2014?

The winter 2013/2014, was one of the warmest in the past 150 years (100 average temperature for the period November–February was 1.2 C°; average for the period November - February, 2013/2014 was 4.9 C°). Furthermore, in the last 35 years we never recorded such low number of tits: Great Tit Parus major, Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus, in town Sombor as in winter2013/2014. Practically, we can say that the local breeding population stayed for wintering (Great Tit: 50-100 pairs; Blue Tit: 3-5 pairs); winter guests from north-eastern Europe did not come. Consequently, the bird feeders were rarely visited by tits during this winter.

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Only at end of March House Sparrows Passer domesticus and the local breeding pairs of Great Tits started to visit the feeders more regularly. However, we do not know the exact reason why tits did not come to spend the winter in the region as normally. At the east coast of the Baltic Sea, Vente Ragas (www.vros.lt) bird ringing is conducted in the last 50 years; however, in the autumn 2013 there was a record number of Great Tits ringed. This means that Great Tits from North and North-eastern Europe moved to their wintering range, in this winter to West Europe. According to ringing data we know that Great Tits come to spend the winter in Sombor from West Russia, Ukraine, Belorussiaandfrom the northern Carpathians. We assume that these birds spent the winter at their breeding range probably due to upcoming of the uncommonly mild winter.



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