Winter Bird Count

Duration: 2005-present

Acopian Center for the Environment (ACE)
Participants: ACE staff and invited volunteers

The AUA Acopian Center for the Environment in cooperation with volunteers and enthusiasts from different fields, organized winter bird count in Yerevan Botanical garden.

Botanical garden is one of the largest green territories in Yerevan city with half-wild oases. There are several notable species of birds breeding there, such as Levant Sparrowhawk, Hobby, Long-eared Owl, Syrian Woodpecker, Golden Oriole, Common Nightingale, Greenfinch etc. Food availability compels winter bird species to come down and stay in the garden during the winter.

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The main aim of the count is to monitor:

  • bird species and their numbers
  • the period of their stay
  • the linear record analyze
  • the involvement of volunteers and enthusiasts into bird watching process

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We have been organizing annual winter bird count in Botanical garden starting from 2005. It lasts for about three month from the end of November till the end of December, and is conducted ones a week. Every count day in early morning we pass the same route with 1km length, during this we record all encountered bird species, their number, the approximate distance between the bird and observer, angle, height and their behavior. After passing the main count route we explore other parts of the territory for the species, which have been possibly missed earlier.

After several years it will be possible to analyze some details depending on winter birds in Yerevan and analyze effectiveness of linear count in comparison with diffusion watch and count.

This count gives us an opportunity to record strictly wintering bird species such us Redwing, Fieldfare, Common Goldcrest, European Siskin, etc.

Participation in winter bird count is a good experience for beginners: “Bird Identification Training”’ (ACE) students, student-zoologists and enthusiasts, who are interested in birds. This gives them an opportunity to study linear bird count technique and to improve bird identification skills. Every year about 8-12 young people join our winter bird counts.

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List of recorded bird species in Botanical garden

(2005 – 2009)

  1. Eurasian Sparrowhawk
  2. Common Buzzard
  3. Common Kestrel
  4. Common Woodpigeon
  5. Rock Dove
  6. Syrian Woodpecker
  7. Middle Spotted Woodpecker
  8. European Green Woodpecker
  9. Dunnock
  10. European Robin
  11. Redwing
  12. Mistle Thrush
  13. Fieldfare
  14. Common Blackbird
  15. Common Goldcrest
  16. Blue Tit
  17. Great Tit
  18. Eurasian Jay
  19. Common Magpie
  20. Western Jackdaw
  21. Rook
  22. Hooded Crow
  23. Common Raven
  24. House Sparrow
  25. Eurasian Tree Sparrow
  26. Common Chaffinch
  27. European Greenfinch
  28. European Goldfinch
  29. European Siskin
  30. Brambling
  31. Common Linnet
  32. Hawfinch
  33. Yellowhammer
  34. Rock Bunting