Durankulak Bird Ringing Camp

Campaign description

Durankulak Bird Ringing Camp

Bird ringing camp at the Bulgarian Black Sea coast for study and protection of birds

Durankulak Bird Ringing Camp is a 5-year scientific research organized at Durankulak Lake, NE Bulgaria by the Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research and the National Museum of Natural History – both at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Balkani Wildlife Society and Mr. Patrick Bergkamp, a lifelong ringer from the Netherlands. The scientists and bird-lovers started in 2019 the first […]

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Durankulak Bird Ringing Camp is a 5-year scientific research organized at Durankulak Lake, NE Bulgaria by the Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research and the National Museum of Natural History – both at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Balkani Wildlife Society and Mr. Patrick Bergkamp, a lifelong ringer from the Netherlands. The scientists and bird-lovers started in 2019 the first systematic study of bird migration in the area and created the group O.R.I.O.L.U.S. The aim of the group is to organize the camp annually from mid August till mid October and to make it a centre for scientific work, environmental education and protection. Durankulak Lake is a wetland of international importance located within a NATURA 2000 site, a protected area, and the best preserved part of the Black Sea coast.
Migration of birds was not systematically studied along the Northern Black Sea Coast of Bulgaria. There is no bird-ringing station in the region and also in the whole Varna and Dobrich provinces. Until 2019 occasional short term ringing activities, mostly during summer and autumn, have been carried-on at Durankulak Lake and Shabla Tuzla Lake (organized mostly by scientists from the Bulgarian Academy of Science). Although these studies didn’t cover long periods of time, they clearly show that these sites are very good resting sites for a high diversity of migratory birds, especially passerines and waders. Thus scientists and volunteers formed the group O.R.I.O.L.U.S. and decided to start long–term research there aiming to study the characteristics of the migration of passerine birds. In August-October 2019 they organized the first autumn ringing session at Durankulak Bird Ringing Camp. The aim was to obtain information about the species composition of migrants and local birds, their numbers, timing and seasonal dynamics of migration, the existence of migration waves and their dependence on climatic factors, origin and flight direction of the migrants, time of resting of particular species at the site, etc.

A total of 9344 birds of 84 species were captured and ringed in autumn 2019. Durankulak Lake and its surroundings are very suitable places for setting a long-term ringing camp during autumn. The average number of birds captured per day per 100 meters of mist nets was 89.9.

High numbers were reached not only for many common long-distance migrants for the whole Europe but also for some much rarer and locally abundant species as red-breasted flycatcher (Ficedula parva), Savi’s warbler (Locustella luscinioides), river warbler (Locustella fluviatilis), moustached warbler (Acrocephalus melanopogon), bluethroat (Luscinia svecica). Special interest also lies in the capture of five citrine wagtails (Motacilla citreola) – a very rare transitional migrant in Bulgaria. Timing and scale of autumn migration of that species over the country still remains unknown.

The purpose of the future activities is to gather data about the species composition and timing of the passerine migration comparable to the results obtained in the neighboring functioning stations as Atanasovsko Lake (Bulgaria), Kalimok (Bulgaria), Chituc (Romania), Agigea (Romania) and Kizil Irmak delta (Turkey).
The Durankulak Lake Birds Camp is looking for students and volunteers that want to learn how to ring and identify birds, their sex, age and specific subspecies features from hand. Previous experience with birds would be helpful. During the field studies in 2019 about 45 experts and volunteers from Bulgaria and abroad participated.
A successful 2020 camp would promote nature-conservation of the Black Sea. Participants in the camp will also learn how to identify, report and counter threats to the fragile coastal and marine ecosystems.

Photo credits:
© Andrey Ralev, www.perangua.com: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10
© Kristiyan Dimitrov: 3
© Rosa Vroom, www.rosavroom.co: 8

Photo Gallery

Our Needs

On-site help
Cooking, patrolling, transportation of people and materials (if you have a car)
Help in bird ringing, monitoring and protection; assessment of impacts on Black Sea ecosystems
Communication work Urgent
  • We need your help
Photo and video reporting
Equipment and gears
Tents, sleeping bags, mattresses, gas for cooking, flashlights

Languages we speak

  • Bulgarian
  • English
  • Russian

What we do

What we offer to volunteers

  • Accommodation
  • Bird identification lessons
  • Bird ringing lessons
  • Rock climbing
  • Sea bathing

Documents

Durankulakresults2019_MI.pdf

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