Category Archives: Nezařazené

The loss of fallow land and farmland birds in Spain

A science blog post by Prof Richard Gregory has been published discussing the links between the loss of fallow land in Spain and the loss of farmland birds.

The story comes from the new research published in Scientific Reports by Juan Traba & Manuel B. Morales: The decline of farmland birds in Spain is strongly associated to the loss of fallowland.

The Great Bustard is one of the declining farmland birds which are typical for the cereal Steppe habitats in the Iberian Penninsula.
Photo by Martin Pelánek (

Miniworkshop on wild bird indicators 2019

On 11–12th March a miniworkshop dedicated to wild bird indicators took place in Solsona, Spain. The Forest Science and Technology Centre of Catalonia (CTFC) hosted more than 20 experts in bird monitoring thanks kind invitation from Lluís Brotons.

On Monday we discussed the new forest bird indicator. We suggested to produce two types of indicators – General forest bird indicator and Mature forest bird indicator. We also agreed to apply more objective, trait-based approach to species selection which was presented by Simon Butler. We identified future steps to be done to develop the new forest bird indicators and we will present them on PECBMS workshop in Evora.

On Tuesday we discussed possible future development of farmland bird indicator and other indicators such as Montane bird indicator, Mire bird indicator or Urban bird indicator on European and national scale.

On Wednesday EBBA2 meeting organized by Aleksi Lehikonen took place. We discussed potential research projects using EBBA2 data.

Discussions in CTFC.

The workshop took place in a wonderful countryside near Solsona.

Lunch in a local restaurant.

During the breaks there was also some time for birdwatching.

The 21st EBCC Conference Bird Numbers 2019 ‘Counting birds counts’ is coming!

The programme of the conference Bird Numbers 2019 is available here!

The guidelines for presentations (oral communications and posters) of the 21st EBCC Conference BIRD NUMBERS 2019, counting birds counts, is now online !

Please visit conference website for guidelines.

You can also follow us in Facebook social network.

We look forward to meeting you in 12 days in Évora!

Ruud P. B. Foppen, Chairman EBCC

João E. Rabaça, on behalf of the National Organising Committee

Bird Numbers 2019 offers a fieldtrip to Tagus Estuary

EVOA – Tagus Estuary Birdwatching and Conservation Area, Portugal – sees everyday guided tours carried out, as well as regular passerine and ducks ringing sessions. Since opening, more than 2500 birds have been ringed here, some with GPS. Every week bird counts are performed at the three lagoons within the area. Physical, chemical, and biological water parameters are also monitored to work towards increasing wetland knowhow.

Located in the heart of the most important wetland of Portugal, the Tagus Estuary Natural Reserve allows visitors to get to know and enjoy the unique heritage that exists between the floodplain and the Tagus Estuary.

Fig. 1 – Credits: Pedro Colaço
EVOA is managed by Companhia das Lezírias (, and opened to the public in 2013, already having received more than 38.000 visitors, including 22.000 students integrated in environmental education activities.

Fig. 2 – Credits: EVOA
Three freshwater wetlands are integrated in EVOA, equalling a total of 70 ha. These lagoons are very important for the birdlife, being used as refuge or nesting areas.

Fig. 3 – Credits: Pedro Colaço
To guarantee tranquillity for the birds, and to maximize the visitor experience and comfort during the visitation, there are six observatories amongst the lagoons, several inconspicuous viewpoints, and a Visitor Centre.

Fig. 4 – Credits: Pedro Colaço
EVOA sees everyday guided tours carried out. Since 2018, some are performed by electric car, which can drive around up to fourteen visitors. We also have workshops and other events every month. You can follow these activities at or on Facebook @EVOAves.

Figs. 5a, 5b – Credits: EVOA
There are regular passerine and ducks ringing sessions, in collaboration with the Coordinator of European duck nasal marking ( and ICNF (The National Institute for Nature Conservation). Since 2017, we have already ringed 664 ducks, including teals, pintails, shovelers, and mallards. The first European shoveler with GPS was ringed at EVOA on October 22nd, 2017.

Fig. 6 – Credits: Jacques van Wijlick
At EVOA, the mixed colony of collared pratincole, little tern, Kentish plover, and black-winged stilt is being monitored, but counting nestlings and flying chicks is a challenging task. There is still a lot to do in this field, and this is one of the projects that has been developed by ICNF with the EVOA team’s support. Research into potential egg or nest predators (mammals) is still needed.

Fig. 7 – Credits: Pedro Colaço
Physical, chemical, and biological water parameters are also monitored to help increase wetland knowhow and to prevent waterfowl diseases, like botulism. Last year, we became part of a Erasmus project, led by The Norwegian Dokka Upper Secondary School, with three other project partners including: WWT Martin Mere and the WLI initiative (UK), the Randsfjordsmuseum (Norway), and the Urdaibai Bird Centre (Basque Country, Spain). The project, named BioWet – Biological Diversity in Wetlands, aims to develop a monitoring tool that allows students visiting wetland centres to collect and upload data, showing the impacts of climate change on local wetlands. The partners will work with their local school students to carry out survey work and develop guidelines for collecting data, as well as feeding into the design of a user-friendly web-based database that will display their information.


The European Bird Census Council are encouraging registration for their 21st Conference “Bird Numbers 2019”, to be hosted by the LabOr – Laboratory of Ornithology in the beautiful Portuguese city of Evora, 8-13th April 2019.

Bird Numbers 2019 will cover a broad range of topics related to the monitoring of birds and their ecology and conservation, at both national and continental scales, and will consider the wider relevance of such work for science, conservation and society. The conference will feature invited plenary speakers, parallel lecture sessions, posters, thematic workshops, excursions and cultural events.

Whilst the exciting programme of plenaries, lecture sessions and workshops is now finalised, the deadline for the submission of poster abstracts is 31st January.
Suitable subject areas include:

    – atlases and studies of bird distributions;
    – biodiversity indicators;
    – surveys and monitoring of breeding birds;
    – waterbird monitoring;
    – new methods and technologies;
    – changes in wintering areas: long-distance migrants and migratory connectivity;
    – causes of change in bird populations and societal responses;
    – climate change impacts;
    – renewable energies and their effects on birds;
    – effects of conservation actions and policies.

Bird numbers 2019 is a collaboration between the EBCC, LabOr, the Institute of Mediterranean Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (ICAAM) and the University of Evora. We look forward to seeing you in Portugal for what will undoubtedly be a memorable conference.