Bird community of open habitats of Kotlina Orawsko-Nowotarska valley in non-breeding season. - M.Ciach, D. Wikar, M. Bylicka. - Berkut. 15 (1-2). 2006. P. 55-65.
During the 2002/03 – 2004/05 non-breeding seasons the bird species composition and density was analysed in the open habitats of Kotlina Orawsko-Nowotarska valley. Permanent transects having a total length of 31,5 km were controlled in the middle and at the end of each month from October to March. The results were analysed in four meteorological periods (autumn, early winter, winter and early spring) determined on the basis of multi-annual meteorological data. A total of 77 species was observed (from 36 to 56 during individual periods). Total mean density changed significantly and for individual periods were respectively: 152,7; 43,9; 58,6; 167,1 ind./10 km. Relatively distinct and constant was the group of dominant species, which includes Black Grouse, Common Buzzard, Fieldfare, Rook, Raven and Common Crossbill, and temporary Skylark, Jackdaw, Starling and Goldfinch as well. During individual periods the degree of domination underwent changes. The density of Black Grouse was 6,3–7,6 ind./10 km; Common Buzzard 3,9–7,1 ind./10 km; Fieldfare 1,5–59,4 ind./10 km; Rook 0,1–10,9 ind./10 km; Raven 4,7–7,5 ind./10 km and Common Crossbill 1,7–7,5 ind./10 km. High number of recorded species result from the rich structure of the environment which makes Kotlina Orawsko-Nowotarska valley similar to extensively developed river valleys but different from the typical farmlands of lowlands. Probably severe atmospheric conditions are responsible for the low total density of birds during the winter as well as the domination of birds with large bodies of which densities were significantly higher than in lowlands. [English].
Key words: winter birds community, southern Poland, habitat.
Address: M. Ciach, Department of Forest Zoology and Wildlife Management, Agricultural University of Kraków, Faculty of Forestry, al. 29 Listopada 46, 31–425 Kraków, Poland; e-mail: