How to find the Ural Owl in Serbia

10,000 Birds

The Ural Owl inhabits old and undisturbed boreal forests, in an unbroken belt from Sweden and Finland across Russia to Japan, and is rarely seen to the south, only here and there, in the Carpathians (Slovakia/Ukraine/Romania/eastern Serbia) and Dinaric Alps (Croatia/Bosnia/western Serbia).

Awkward Fostering

4 The Love Of Animals

In 2006, in Yalta private zoo (Ukraine) two white lions were left without mother’s care. It turns out that people are not the only ones, who can adopt children – animals are good at this as well. Especially it is associated with dogs, which may raise kids of other species and even of scary and dangerous representatives of wildlife!

2012 122

Critically Endangered: Sociable Lapwing

10,000 Birds

Reasons for their decline include steppes being turned into arable fields – the reason they disappeared from Ukraine and European Russia, on migration they are hunted with guns and falcons, and on their wintering grounds natural habitat is dwindling in the absence of once large herds of wild ungulates (one should try to see these animals as gardeners of a well-kept landscape). Gujarat, December 2010. Target for today: critically endangered Sociable Lapwing ( Vanellus gregarius ).

2014 79

The European Christmas Bird Count

10,000 Birds

These globally threatened raptors breed from Ukraine eastward through Siberia and only a few come to overwinter here. I remember studying the map of countries participating in the i nternational mid-winter w aterbird c ensus, where the USA wasn’t marked. How can it be, I asked someone from the Wetlands International, the IWC umbrella organization, only to learn that USA has its own scheme. Oh, and what is that? The Christmas Bird Count was the answer.

2019 54

Some Yummy-scented Winter Birding

10,000 Birds

The idea behind the visit was to read as many plastic leg rings as possible and among some 30,000 gulls, in three hours the four of us managed to read more than 40 rings, including some Caspian Gulls from Ukraine and to find the first European Herring Gull for Serbia (when I started birding, there were Herring Gulls all around, but two splits later, they are a rarity down here). Not so long ago, there was a question on this blog : which is the most interesting gull in the world?

2015 57

Book Review: Spillover – Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic

10,000 Birds

My parents are in England, should I be worried about the conflict on the other side of Europe in the Ukraine?” It’s six weeks to the day till I go to Africa, and of late conversations about the subject have taken a reliable and predictable detour. “Aren’t I worried about Ebola?” ” To which I reply “No, not personally.” ” I’ll sometimes add “It’s in West Africa, I’ll be in South Africa.

2014 56

We are Just Money Grubbers

10,000 Birds

The Greater Spotted Eagle mostly breeds from Ukraine eastward and in Serbia is only a rare but regular wintering species (several birds are recorded every winter). Out of just under 200 bird species I observed this year in SE Europe, there are 6 threatened species. Some of them were always uncommon in the region, others are highly localised, some are hard to notice among thousands of similar birds, but others were abundant recently and one of them still is, despite the decrease in numbers.

2016 67