of the Azov-Black Sea Ornithological Station
The most western in Eurasia summer gathering of Demoiselle Cranes has been kept under observation since 1990. The birds concentrate along the southern coast of the Central Sivash (western shallow water bay of the Sea of Azov) around two areas, distilled by irrigation waters. The birds use these freshwater areas as drinking sites in the daytime and at night. The number of Demoiselle Cranes in the gathering runs up to 1000 by the end of August. From the middle of summer the time budget of daily activity were taken until this gathering could be considered as premigratory. Five most obvious activities are distinguished. Each of them was characterised by different composition of behavioural acts, time and energy expenditures, direction and place of its realisation: “passing the night” - “watering” - “foraging” - “watering" - “daytime rest”- “watering” - “foraging” - “watering” - “nextpassing night”.
The beginning of hunting in this areas results in decrease of the gathering and in change of tactics of cranes ’ daily movements. In the second part of summer Demoiselle Cranes' diet is characterised by the presence of juicy plant components (about 1/10-1/30 of excrement volume) that differ it from the ration of Common Cranes spending the summer in the Sivash where these diet components are practically absent. Protection of place of the cranes' gathering is necessary’.Read the paper in a PDF file