of the Azov-Black Sea Ornithological Station
Branta Cover Language of the article: Russian Cite: Strigunov I, V. ., Milobog V, Y. ., Vetrov V, V. . (2003). Distribution and number of Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus) in Ukraine.. Branta: Transactions of the Azov-Black Sea Ornithological Station, 6, 59-66 Views: 296 Branta copyright Branta license

Branta Issues > Issue №6 (2003)

Branta: Transactions of the Azov-Black Sea Ornithological Station, 59-66

Distribution and number of Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus) in Ukraine.

Strigunov V.I., Milobog Y.V., Vetrov V.V.

A  breeding population  of Long-legged Buzzard  (Buteo rufinus)  has  been  existing  in  Ukraine  (Cherkassy,  Poltava  and  Kirovograd  region)  from  historic  times.

There  are  different  hypotheses  regarding  to  its  origin and  formation:  insular  hypothesis  -  from  its  former  range  (Strigunov,  1984,  1987)  and  invasive  one  - Balkan-PreCaucasian  origin  (Grinchenko  et al.,  2000).  Trying  to  solve  this problem  in  2001-2003  we  took  a  detailed  search  of the  Right-bank  steppe  and  a  part  of forest-steppe  zones  of Ukraine.  The  Left-bank  steppe  zone  was  also  partially  investigated.

About  15,000  km  were  ridden  by  "Niva"  car.  In  total  there  were  58  observations  of  Long-legged Buzzard during  its  breeding period,  51  records  can  consider  to  be  breeding ones.  Not  less  20  immature  and summering  individuals  were  also  registered.

Formation  and  distribution  of  Ukrainian  population  of  Long-legged  Buzzard  were  examined on  basis  of a  mapping method along with  using  literary  and  inquiry  data.  

Since  the  end of 19th  century  the  breeding of Long-legged  Buzzard  is  regularly  registered  in  Ukrainian forest-steppe  zone.  Comparative  analysis  of finds  (fig.  1,2)   clearly  demonstrates many-vectorial  invasion  of species from  the  near Dnieper part  of forest-steppe  zone,  where  the  insular  population  had  existed for  more  than  a  century.

Along with  this  Ukrainian  and Bulgarian  populations  began  increasing  their numbers practically  simultaneously  - from  1970s, probably  having almost  equal numbers.

First finds of Long-legged Buzzard nests  in  the south of Odessa  region  (2003)  evidently prove  the start of its  invasion from  Romania.  As for the  Crimean group  of this species, the  question  is  still  unclear.  Probably  it was formed from  wintering  individuals  of the forest-steppe  insular population.  We  estimate present numbers  of Long-legged Buzzard in  Ukraine  as  not  less  150-200 pairs.  Possible  reasons  of increasing numbers  of Long - legged Buzzard are  still under discussion.

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