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Help with the research and conservation of birds in Bulgaria Fund

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Who we are: We are Durankulak Bird Ringing Camp Assoc. Prof. Dr. Petar Shurulinkov! Our camp takes place on the Black Sea coast in the protected area of Lake Durankulak. Every year, between 15 August - 1 November, we live in tents and ring birds, where we welcome all aspiring bird researchers and volunteers of all ages and we strive to provide them with knowledge about nature study and preservation. What we do and why it’s important: Our primary objective is to study and document bird migration through Via Pontica - Europe’s second largest migration route, which runs along the Western part of the Black Sea Biogeographic Region. We do this by ringing birds! Bird ringing is one of the simplest yet most important ways of studying birds and bird migrations. By marking birds, we can track both their movements within a specific territory and migrations across long distances to and from their wintering grounds. Ringing is often the only way we can observe birds’ lifespans and the ages at which different species reach sexual maturity and begin to breed. Bird ringing provides population ecologists with crucial data on survival rates, causes of death, age distribution and population size for a given bird population. What we’ve achieved since the beginning: For the past four field seasons of the camp (2019-2022), a total of 53 717 birds /including recaptures/ of 124 species have been captured and ringed. Most of the captured birds have been measured and photographed, sex and age determined. Also birds ringed during the camp have already been recorded in other countries - Romania, Albania, Israel, Ukraine. On Durankulak we caught birds ringed in Belarus, Slovakia, Finland, Romania and Estonia. We also caught four very rare or new for the Bulgarian ornithofauna bird species. New to the Bulgarian ornithofauna is the species of Dark-crowned Warbler (Phylloscopus fuscatus). For the second time in Bulgaria was recorded and for the first time was caught a Blue-tailed Godwit (Tarsiger cyanurus). One Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus) and 4 Pallas's Leaf-Warblers (Phylloscopus proregulus), which are also very rare species for the Bulgarian ornithofauna, and which have been caught less than 10 times before. Other rare bird species of which 2-10 specimens were caught. In total are the Red Finch (Carpodacus erythrinus), the Yellow-headed Bunting (Motacilla citreola), the red-throated pipit (Anthus cervinus), the Lesser Snipe (Lymnocryptes minima) and the Corn Crake (Crex crex). A total of 140 experts and volunteers took part in the camp's activities over the three seasons. As a result of the work, three scientific papers were published including the more interesting ornithological findings: What we need: Our work is critically dependent on volunteers and donations to secure and maintain the camp’s equipment and scientific facilities: • different size aluminum rings • tools for bird ringing – ringing pliers, band openers, weighing scales, calipers, wing rulers, holding bags • mist nets and poles for bird capturing • portable speakers for playing bird records • rechargeable batteries for playback speakers • fuel for the transport of volunteers, bird ringers and shift coordinators • ringer’s handbooks • food for participants We need your support to continue our research on birds and Bulgaria’s wildlife.

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