Ornithophenological observations

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The aim of the program is to register the seasonal changes in bird populations. The collected data is used primarily in the study of bird migration and in monitoring bird populations.

The first phenological observation network was established by the Estonian Naturalists’ Society in spring 1922. Until 1948 only early spring observations were registered, but later observations were carried out all year round. Today observers collect data about the arrival of birds in spring and about their departure in autumn, and the arrival and departure of wintering birds, especially of cranes, geese and Brant geese. The observation data has been systematised and published (the publication series Abiks loodusvaatlejale (Nature Observer’s Aid)).
Thanks to regularly collected data, the project of ornithophenological observations has made it possible to observe long-term changes in Estonian avifauna. In 1994–1998, the results of the project were used in the Estonian national program of biological monitoring.
Over the course of this project, the number of people participating has varied greatly. At first there were about 60 consistent participants. The number rose in the 1970s to 234 observers. Today, the EOS receives annual observations from approximately one hundred participants. The methodology of ornithophenological observations is quite liberal – there are no strict rules about when and where exactly one should go outdoors. Collecting such data has only one requirement: regular trips to nature.

Project manager: Tiiu Tali (feno@eoy.ee)

Form for ornithophenological observations
Form for the most exciting observations throughout the year