Birds to be researched in Russian Winter project

The event is organized by the Russian Bird Conservation Union and lasts until 28 February.

“Winter is a special period for birds – the majority leave Russia for the south, and the remainder meet a unique set of problems, primarily with nutrition. The first such overwintering observation of ducks was conducted in Moscow. And we continue to obtain new data about birds in winter,” says Ilgizar Rakhimov, Chair of the Department of Bioecology, Hygiene and Public Health.

Students and employees are actively involved in observations during the whole winter. Dr. Rakhimov plans to offer the overwintering topic for a PhD thesis in the future.

“In December, we stumbled upon a shelduck – a rarely seen bird for our region. It was a big finding. Shelducks are known as south-loving birds, but they have been seen overwintering in Moscow for years now. And now we saw one as well. It means that shelducks are satisfied with the winter temperatures and can protect themselves from predators,” says Rakhimov.

As of now, over 50 persons are involved in this research, including both students and educators.

“Currently, we can name several birds which are considered traditional overwinterers in Kazan, such as rook, mallard, and field thrush. There are also several species who arrive from the north to escape more severe winters, such as bullfinch, waxwing, common redpoll, and snow bunting,” continues the interviewee.

In recent years, the quantity of field thrushes has decreased, and the number of owls has risen. During this new project, the numbers will be re-evaluated.

Notably, anyone can volunteer and provide their videos of birds to the project. The address is In 2021, over 1,200 people shared their materials with the scientists.


Source text: Alina Minnevalieva

Translation: Yury Nurmeev

Photo: Ilgizar Rakhimov

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