Branta: Transactions of the Azov-Black Sea Ornithological Station, 140-146
Breeding of the Yellow-legged Gull (Larus cachinnans Pall.) in Kharkiv Region
A. S. Nadtochiy, V. F. Chernikov
The Yellow-legged Gull (Larus cachinnans Pall.) for the first time nested in Kharkiv Region on Pechenizke fishponds (up to 30 pairs) in 1995. The ponds are located on the left-bank floodplain terrace of the SiverskyiDonetsRiver, near its confluence with the VelikyiBurlukRiver, in front of the dam of Pechenizke Reservoir (between villages of Bazalievka (Chuhuiv District) and Novokomsomolske (Pechenihy District). The total area of ponds is 660 hectares. In 2004 the area held 200-300 pairs of the Yellow-legged Gull.
In 1994-1996, the species (10-20 pairs) nested in ash-and-slime depositing tanks of the Zmiivska Thermal Power Station (Komsomolske Village, Zmiivka District), located at Lake Lyman (Siverskyi Donets River Volley). This lake has been a power station’s cooling pond since 1961.
In 1999, a breeding colony of the Yellow-legged Gull was found on a two-hectare island (48º59´00´´N and 36º02´50´´E) of Orelkivske Reservoir (Lozova District). The reservoir, with an area of 625 ha, was built in the OrelkaRiverValley (a left-bank tributary of the OrelRiver) in 1981 and is a part of the Dnieper-DonbasCanal (connected with Krasnopavlovske Reservoir). The island lies as far as 1km from the main dam near the village of Orelka.
According to inquiries of the reservoir’s staff, the gulls started nesting on the island during 1994-1995. A Yellow-legged Gull’s colony covered a territory 100m x 80 m in size on the elevated north-east of the island with a vegetation cover represented by Tanacetum vulgare L.
Mean density of nests was 9-10 per 100m². Building material of many nests included plastic bags. Clutches consisted of 3-4 eggs. In the day of observation, on 4.05.1999, hatching of first chicks was observed in 30% of nests. In recent years, the colony has decreased to 500-600 nests due to overgrowth of trees and shrubs and occupation of the island by other bird species (Grey and Night Herons, Large Egret, Cormorant).
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