March, 2013 - The first migrants
The warm weather in February resulted the first observations in Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) in the Carpathian basin on February 21, 2013 when one individual was observed near Hódmezővásárhely (Hungary). This is an early data of their return from the wintering places. Further three single individuals were seen on March 7 in Nagybánhegyes (Hungary), on March 10 in Subotica (Serbia) and on March 11 in Požega (Serbia). In mid-March the winter conditions returned to the area but it did not stop the return of Barn Swallows. On March 14 in Budapest and on March 16 in Szeged there were further single individuals observed. White Storks (Ciconia ciconia) and Black Storks (C. nigra) also returned earlier this year from their wintering locations. The first data about White Stork arrival was recorded in Srpski Miletić when one individual was seen on his nest. Both stork species were observed on their nests with snow on it which is a rare phenomenon.
December, 2012 – The first record Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris in Sombor
During the regular autumn ringing of Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus at Bager Pond (UTM CR 57 22, northern periphery of town Sombor) on November 18, 2012 one individual of Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris was observed. The bird was seen in low flight at sunset from the direction of water-course Mostonga to the reed bed of Bager Pond. The day before (November 17, 2012) under similar conditions a bird with identical size and shape was seen but because of bad visibility it could not be determinate. We assume that the Eurasian Bittern spend the day at water-course Mostonga looking after food while the night he spend in the reed bed of Bager Pond. This species is actually frequent in large reed beds. This data is valuable for town Sombor because till now we did not possess information’s abut that the Eurasian Bittern was observed at such small reed bed (1.3 ha) in urban area.
November, 2012 – Large number of Eurasian NuthatchSitta europaea in Sombor
During the regularly filed work in Sombor in autumn 2012 (September, October) large number of European Nuthatch Sitta europaea was recorded in the parks, park-forests and tree avenues on the territory of town Sombor. There were up to 28 (12-28) individuals observed which is actually four times more than in average years for this period of the year.
October, 2012 – The first record of the European Otter Lutra lutra on the territory of town Sombor
On October 21, 2012 during the regularly fieldwork done on the territory of the town Sombor there was an European Otter Lutra lutra recorded in the bank area of the Veliki bački canal near Vrbara (UTM CR 56 27). According to the information we possess this is the first individual recorded on the territory of the town. Only two km northern from Sombor there was also an individual recorded in June, 2011 at Severna Mostonga near Nenadić (UTM CR 57 14). In our regions the European Otter is a protected species; the population shows a slight increase. If we consider that the last individual was killed in the 1950s near Bezdan, than this observation in Sombor is a valuable data.
August, 2012 – Results of Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus color ringing in Sombor municipality in 2012
The color marking of Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus is for the third year conducted in Sombor municipality (2010-2012), while the general monitoring for five years (2008-2012). The color ringing was done on 19 localities in 2012 on the entire territory of the municipality on three different habitat types: large canals, small melioration canals and ponds. During the mentioned season a total of 546 individuals were ringed (276 adult, 19 juvenile and 251 nestlings). From the total number of captured birds (312) 36 individuals already possessed color rings from the earlier years which is the evidence that some of the birds come back to the reed habitats on the territory of the municipality.
June, 2012. – Eco workshop: Characteristics and importance of water ecosystems in town Sombor
In collaboration with the „Klub za zaštitu i odgoj ptica (Club for bird protection and nurture), Sombor“ and biology teacher Stevan Zurković the NPSS – Natura organized an eco-workshop on May 25, 2012 at Veliki bački canal at the location Pik. This workshop was a part of the project which is entitled: Characteristics and importance of water ecosystems in town Sombor. The aim of this workshop was to involve the pupils of primary schools in the ecosystems of the Veliki bački canal in the urbanized area of the town, i.e. to get the basic knowledge of species that can be found at this habitat and to understand the connections between the trophical structures. The most interesting group where the birds because they could be easily spotted in flight and on water. The second part of the workshop will be organized in September, 2012 at Pond Bager. The project was supported by the assembly of town Sombor.
May, 2012. – The first record of the Black Kite (Milvus migrans) on the territory of town Sombor
On May 18, 2012 at the northern periphery of the town Sombor (UTM CR 57 33) an adult Black Kite (Milvus migrans). individual was observed. The bird circled relatively low from the top of the ground (ca 10 m). The Black Kite was occasionally annoyed by a Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix). This species can be observed eventually during migration on the territory of town Sombor. A few pairs breed in the forests of the floodplain area of the Danube but we do not poses a precise number of the nesting pairs in the area.
March, 2012 – International Eurasian Ornithological Congress 2012
Between April 12 and 15, 2012 the 4th International Eurasian Ornithological Congress will be held in Baja, Hungary. The aim of the Congress is to popularize the new trends, cognition and results of studies in ornithology. Beside the scientific program (symposiums, poster sections) there will be also opportunities to establish new contact with the participants of the meeting.
February, 2012. – Birds of Sombor in extraordinary winter conditions
Low temperatures and snow cover resulted not only generally extraordinary conditions in towns but in change in number of birds too. On bird feeders species richness and number of individuals increased. Most frequent guests were Finches (Fringilla coelebs) and Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla). There were also species recorded who visit feeders rarely; Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus), Crested Lark (Galerida cristata) and Linnet (Carduelis cannabina).
February, 2012. – Irresponsible reed burn
Unfortunately, we are every year confronted with the fact of reed burn in ponds, marsh and reed beds along the canals in February and March. Most of people are not informed that this is forbidden by law of nature protection and can have unpredictable consequences on animals which inhabit reed beds. Reed habitats are important for many animal species because they find here hiding places and food supply during autumn and winter. People who burn reed refer that they do burning because tick destroy. But it is well known that ticks do not inhabit reed stands. Ticks mainly live in grass and weed up to 1 meter. The NPSS – Natura appeals on the citizens not to burn reed beds and that they should forward this appeal to other inhabitants too. According to the legislative the penalty for legal persons is between 500.000 and 1.000.000 dinars while for physical persons this tax ranges between 5.000 and 30.000 dinars. The regulation of the reed stand is controlled by the water management companies. They cut reed in certain time intervals which is in accordance to the law. Members of NPSS – Natura recorded on February 2, 2012 that one of most important reed habitats of Sombor, Bager pond, was burned completely.
January, 2012 – The results of IWC in Western Bačka district
The IWC is one of the widespread and oldest bird censuses in the world. The first census was conducted in 1967 and our country, the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) joined to this action in 1982. From that date this census is relatively regularly conducted in our country. The aim of the IWC is to count the birds during January which stay on rivers, lakes, marshes and other type of water habitats, and to define the factors of disturbance which affect these birds. During the long year of counting we will be able to recognize the population movements of the species. Recording of important water bird habitats is also relevant because this is a way to appeal on the importance of the wintering locations for the birds. In 2012 the IWC has been organized by the Bird Protection and Study Society of Vojvodina, Novi Sad. Many volunteers with their NGO-s joined this action including NPSS – Natura too. The was held between January 14 and 22, 2012. Results of the IWC will be sent to the national coordinator who forwards them to the European coordinator. The IWC was completely done in in the Western Bačka district in 2012. A total of 5000 specimens were recorded within 33 species. The most interesting species was the Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus) while the Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)was the most common.
December, 2011. - Wintering of Sparowhawk (Accipiter nisus) in Sombor
The Sparowhawk (Accipiter nisus) is not a breeding species in town Sombor but he is a regular winter guest and can be also seen during spring and autumn migration. During the field work last winter we recorded up to 15 individuals in the town. In winter 2011/2012 maximum 10 birds were registered. We assume that the mild weather is the reason because of the low number of individuals. Adult specimens are rarely ringed because these birds often escape out of the mist net. In the last three decades there were only two birds ringed on the territory of the town. On december 3, 2011 near Pond Bager one female was ringed.
October, 2011. - New records of Moustached Warbler (Acrocephalus melanopogon) on the territory of town Sombor
On June 21, 2011 and October 18, 2011 two juvenil Moustached Warbler (Acrocephalus melanopogon) was caught in a mist net on Bager Pond (see map) in the outskirts of town Sombor. This species was registered only once before (October 13, 2010) on the territory of the town. The Moustashed Warbler is a rare breeding species in Serbia – betveen 70 and 100 pairs. For nesting it uses large areas covered by reed and cattail but during migration it can be seen on small habitats too.
October, 2011. - The large number of roosting Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) at Bager Pond
During the regularly field work in October, 2011 in the northen perifery of town Sombor, at Bager Pond large number of Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) were registered. These birds visit tre reedbeds of Bager Pond because roosting. It is well known that Starlings use large reedbeds for roosting. But this appearance is a fenomenon because even 6000 birds stay for the night on such small area (1,3 ha). It was, also observed that Starlings come to drink water to this place.
June, 2011. - Monitoring of the Great Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) in Sombor municipality
On territory of Sombor municipality the local breeding population of Great Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) was monitored . Between April and July adult males and females were color ringed. The used color rings contain engraved caracters. This method of color ringing was successfuly used for larger bird species, like Gulls (Larus), Spoonbills (Platalea) and Herons (Ardea). Untill now there was another method of color ringing used for the Great Reed Warbler, when rings with different colors were put on both legs of the bird. The colors were always combined, so that their order was changed or a new ring with an other color was replaced. That method is inasmuch better than our new one because the colors can be better seen (if they differ clearly) than the code imprinted in the ring. But the method has two disadwantages, if we want to read the complete combination of the colors we need to see both legs of the bird, while in our method it is enough only one (right leg). The Great Reed Warbler often leans on one leg during their singing and so the reading of the colors is more difficult. The second disadvantage is that there is a very small range of combining colors, and the overlap in Europe became more frequent.
The color marking metod will give us good oportunities to follow the movements of the breeding population in Sombor and surroundings. At the moment this is the most best monitored area in Europe for Great Reed Warbler.
May, 2011. - Color ringing of Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) on the teritory of Vojvodina
During spring 2011 Spoonbills (Platalea leucorodia) were ringed near Čoka and at Bečej fishpond. Totally about 150 juvenil birds ringed. In this year there was another colony near Baranda but because if the high water level in the marsh ringing activity was not possible. During the ringing in Čoka one adult was recovered with Croatian ring (ringd in Slavonski Brod 2004). The project was funded by the german organisation Euronatur, and was realised by the members of NPSS Natura and Association of Naturalists „Riparia“. In this summer there was adult Spoonbill recovered in Germany and Swizerland at the same day. This bird flew over 100 km at that day. Speciment was ringed in 2009, in Serbia.
April, 2011 – Forum of marine tourism
On April 15 and 16, 2011 the Forum of marine tourism will be held in Bezdan (Serbia).The aim of this meeting is to enlive the waterways in this region (NW Bačka) which will contribute a better life and the staying of youth. The organisators are UN Dunavski propeler and TU Vikend, Bezdan in cooperation with Nature Protection and Study Society – Natura, Sombor and JP Vojvodinašume, Sombor. Regarding to this forum photo contest was announced with topic „Birds on water habitats of Gornje Podunavlje and Veliki bački kanal“. Photos should be sent to the following adress: firstname.lastname@example.org (up to two pictures per author). Photos can be sent for the contest till April 10.
February, 2011 – Bird feeding action of Klub za zaštitu i odgoj ptica „Sombor“ and NPSS Natura
In corporation with the Klub za zaštitu i odgoj ptica „Sombor“ winter bird feeding action took place on the Veliki bački kanal near PIK on February 12, 2011. Seed mixiture was provided by the Klub za zaštitu i odgoj ptica „Sombor“. During the cold days in winter seed is excelent food for tits (Paridae) and finches (Fringillidae). For trushes there were apple fixed on branches. After bird-feeder were placed out the team of this action recorded a few interesting species on Veliki bački kanal and its banks; Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris), Common Coot (Fulica atra), Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes), Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo) and Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus).
The unusually high appearance of Tree-creeper (Certhia familiaris) in town Sombor during winter 2010-2011
During the regularly winter fieldwork in Sombor in December and January there was a larger number of Tree-creeper registered (Certhia familiaris). The species was mainly registered in Park-forests Šumica and Šikara. The Tree-creeper was also registere in habitats which are not characteristic for them (Štrand). During the reproduction season these birds firstly inhabit forests along the Danube River, while during hard and snowy winthers they come to urban areas, like town Sombor. However, it is assummed that the larger part of the wintering population of this species comes from the northen part of Europe. Similary like the relative species, the Short-toed Tree-creeper (Certhia brachydactyla). The Shor-toed Tree-creeper appears much lesser in Sombor the Tree-creeper, during the winter 2010-2011 the species was only once found. According to the observations in the last 30 years the Tree-creeper was registered and ringed in the town in 2000, 2001,2002 and 2010 (Mérő & Žuljević, 2010: Birds of Sombor), while in December 2010 it was recorded seven times. The data published about the Short-toed Tree-creeper in the monograph Birds of Sombor (Mérő & Žuljević, 2010), also show how rare this species in Sombor is where only one individuals was registered in the last three decades.
We presume that the Tree-creeper will stay during the whole winter (perhaps till end of March) on the territory of the town of Sombor. We can expect this species mainly in park-forests and parks of Sombor, but in it appears in rows of trees and in backyards where trees grow. Therefore, the morph of this species is very similar to the Short-toed Tree-creeper, so the best way to determinate the species if we take a picture or according to the call of the bird. The call of the two species differs. Calls and songs of birds can be easily downloaded from the web.
Biodiversity or biological diversity means an earnable variability of all living creatures, the differences between the ecosystems and among species which are a part of them, to the genetic variations in a species. The science which deals with biodiversity is ecology. The Convention of Biological Diversity was declared on June 13, 1992 in Rio de Janeiro on the United Nation Conference on Environment and Development.
On our planet now days there lives about 1.6 million registered animal and plant species. However, the scientists presume that the total number of species on Earth is larger and estimations say that this number is between 4.5 and 5 million. The assumption show that 50 species extinct per a day, while the process of rising one new species can last between 1 000 and 10 000 years.
The European Union set the aim that the decrease of the biological diversity in Europe should be stopped in 2010. That is why 2010 is the year of biodiversity. To presume that this goal was realised it is needed that the components of the biodiversity are reliable. Such a monitoring means data collection of species and their habitats. The day of biodiversity is May 22.
Serbia is not a member of the European Union, but we hope that there will be maximally done for the protection of biodiversity in our country too. We presume that most of the priority is the effective conservation of the remained natural habitats. It is not enough that an area is declared as protected on “paper”, it is also important that an adequate conservation is done in praxis. We assume that it is important to do on the realisation of this goal in our country too, to stop the extinction firstly of vulnerable species and their habitats.
Now days, one of the most divers habitats in the moderate zone are wetland habitats, which are also the most vulnerable in entire Europe, so in Serbia too. The development of agriculture and draining of swamps and marshland in Vojvodina the natural wetland habitats almost disappeared. One of the priorities of the European Union is the conservation and restoration of the wetland habitats. The Ramsar Convention declares the protection of wetlands on the entire world. The Ramsar Convention was declared on February 2, 1971 in the Iranian town Ramsar.
October, 2010. – Bird feeding during winter
In the colder seasons of the year, like autumn, winter and early spring we can help the birds surviving by their feeding. For an activity like that it is only a little time and erfort needed, and the birds aprichiate that. The bird feeding in winter can be done almost everywhere. In parks, in backyards, on window sills etc.
September 16, 2010- The promotion of the monograph “Birds of Sombor”
Over 100 people attended the promotion of the monograph “Birds of Sombor” of Thomas Oliver Mérő and Antun Žuljević which took in the large auditorium of the Town House on September 16, 2010. The sounds of the Japanese composition “Variations on Japanese Children’s Songs” (composed by Keiko Abe) performed by Milica Grubišić on the marimbaphone denoted the start of the promotion. The event was opened by Siniča Lazić, president of the Town Parliament. The authors presented the auditorium the content of the monograph and the methods used during the data collection. After the presentation questions were answered asked by the audience. The edition presents the avifauna of town Sombor, based on data collected during the last three decades. The book about the birds of Sombor is a highly acknowledgeble achievement, written in an interesting style, comprehensible and acceptable to a wide range of readers. The monograph presents a quantitative assessment of the avifauna of a town in Serbia for the first time and this affirms the importance of this work. The book was issued by the Nature Protection and Study Society – Natura. The project was financed by Gemeinde Gemeinsam Regionalkomitee Bodensee-Rhein, Romanshorn, Switzerland, Schweizerische Vogelwarte Sempach, Sempach, Switzerland, Nature Protection and Study Society – Natura, Sombor, Public Company VOJVODINAŠUME, Novi Sad, Public Communal Company ENERGANA, Sombor, Mrs. Margot Zweili and Mr. Patrik Attila Mérő.
January 17, 2010 - Placing up nest-boxes in Omladinski park
Members of Nature Protection and Study Society - Natura and pupils of elementary school “ Nikola Vukićević”, placed up nest-boxes in Omladinski park in Sombor. Nest-boxes have been made by children, their parents and teachers.
November 19 - The first record of the Little Bunting (Emberiza pusilla) in Serbia
During bird ringing in the reed of the pond Jezero kod Stanišića on the 19th of November 2009 in the net there was caught a young individual of Little Bunting (Emberiza pusilla). This species was not registered in Serbia yet.
October 03 - Weekend of BIRDWATCHING
Anent to the Birdwatching day (10.03.) in Europe, the Nature Protection and Study Society – Natura and the Ecological Movement Stanišić organized a field excursion for the children of elementary schools in Sombor. They observed over 20 birdspecies in the park-forest Šumica and along the bank of the Veliki Bački canal and water flow Mostonga, and recognized the phenomenon of the bird migration. In additionally the children recognized how important are the protection of nature and environment.
May 16 - Field excursion at the VBK
The Nature Protection and Study Society – NATURA organised a field excursion at the Veliki Bački canal near the Pik for the children of two primary schools of Sombor („21. oktobar“ i „Nikola Vukičević“) on the 16th of May 2009. The aim of the filed excursion was to present the children the habitats like the bank of the canal and the dam. First of all birds were observed.
It is very impotrtant to form in people and in children an ecological consciousness, to recognize our surroundings and to take care of. Forming a curative nature loving and conservation thinking, will bring our children the possibility to recognize the beautiness of the nature in their surrounding.
April 22 - The first meeting of the Nature Protection and Study Society – Natura (NPSSN)
On Wednesday, on the 22th of April 2009 the first meeting of the Nature Protection and Study Society – Natura (NPSSN) took place in the rooms of the Sombor Youth Boom in Sombor. On the first meeting ten members took part. The aim of the meeting was first of all, that the members learn knowing each other and their activities. Antun Žuljević and Thomas Oliver Mérő presented the work and participation within the Society and showed the participants the momentarily and planed activities. The major aims of the Society are the education of the citizens about nature and environment protection, and the study of biology and ecological needs of species.
Adratic Flayway (April, 14-17, 2009)
The ornithological conference in Ulcinj rallied ornithologysts from the ex Jugoslavija and Europe.
Publication "Birds of Sombor"
The autors of the book are Thomas Oliver Mérő and Antun Žuljević. Over 30 years the birds are observed and registered in Sombor. The appearance of the publication „Birds of Sombor“ will not just be give a better promotion to our town, but it will also avail as a good educational material and will motivate people in other towns too...
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