The Ukrainian Bird Ringing Centre

History of Banding of Birds in Ukraine

Scientific banding of birds began more than 100 years ago. In 1899, the Denmark teacher Hans Christian Mortensen from Viborg banded for the first time 165 juvenile starlings. He tagged birds with aluminium rings with his own minted address and number. In next year the first data of findings of these birds were collected at their wintering areas. In 30 years after Mortensens invention, hundreds of thousands of birds were ringed and 9.2 thousand of recoveries were received. This resulted in the first ever Atlas of Migrations of Birds (Schuz E., Weigold H. Atlas des Vogelzugs. Berlin. 1931).

In the former Russian Imperia, bird banding was utilized for the first time exactly on the territory of present independent Ukraine. In 1907, landowner F. Falz-Fein in his own estate Askania-Nova and his colleague H. Riberger tagged two birds with ROSSITTEN rings (Germany). In next few years, the numbers of banded bird grew considerably. During 1907-1923, in the estate Askania-Nova 1908 birds were banded with ROSSITTEN rings. More than five recoveries were received from long distances.

In 1912 the first batch of the Russian rings marked ORNITHOL. KOMITET MOSKWA was made, 13 thousand total. In the same year, ornithologists began to band birds with these rings in several areas of Ukraine, namely in present Kyiv, Poltava, Sumy and Kharkiv regions. On the territory of the estate Askania-Nova they used both ROSSITTEN and Russian rings.

In Ukraine after First World War, usage of the German and Russian rings continued. In addition, during 1924-1939 the Moscow Biological Station of Young Naturalists produced rings marked MOSKWA ͔ (the Biostation of Young Naturalists) in large quantities. These rings were also used on the territory of Ukraine. In particular, in 1927-1932 1326 birds were banded with ROSSITTEN and 1242 with MOSKWA ͔ rings.

In early 1930s All-Ukrainian Union of Hunters and Fishers produced rings marked CHARKOW Д in limited quantity to band ducks. Those rings were the first made in Ukraine. Unfortunately, banding using these rings proved unsuccessful due to unskilled registration and accounts. Information of findings of several birds banded with these rings was received, but initial banding data were impossible to determine.

Several thousands of birds were banded with POLONIA VARSOVIA rings in five areas of Poland (present Volyn, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Rivne and Ternopil regions) in 1932-1939. Data base contains information of records of 138 birds banded there.

In Moscow the Bureau of Banding of the Biological Station of Young Naturalists was established in 1927 to coordinate bird ringing. Later, in 1934 the Bureau was reorganized in the Central Bureau of Banding at Committee of Protected Areas. The scope of bird banding increased each year in the former Soviet Union. For example in 1954, 100 thousand birds were ringed and 260 thousand in 1960. In the former USSR bird ringing was most active in 1970s and 1980s. In particular, 389343 birds were banded in 1983 and 309021 in 1984.

In the middle of XX century in Ukraine, natural reserves became the main areas of bird banding. Nearly 350 thousand of birds were banded in Chornomorskyi reserve during 19471974, 16741 in Azovo-Syvaskyi reserve in 19481956, and 21187 in the Lebedyni Islands branch of Krymskyi reserve in 19491967.

The Ringing Bureau of was established in Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in 1957 to regulate bird banding. Unfortunately, the Bureau did not manage to fulfill that task. Even mediating the cooperation of the Bird Ringing Centre in Moscow and ringers in Ukraine was inadequately carried out. A lot of banding reports were lost, therefore it was impossible to find out necessary information when recoveries were received. Thus, tens of recoveries were lost without initial information. Even now the total number of birds banded with MOSKWA rings on the territory of Ukraine is unknown due to direct connections of the Ukrainian ringers with the Bird Ringing Centre in Moscow. The same is for the information on bird banding for a few years, especially the 1930-1960s.

In early 1970s active studies of bird migration were started in the former USSR. It subsequently caused the appearance of new centers of large scale bird banding. I. I. Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology at National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine became one of main center of these studies. In particular, 229891 birds of 96 species only were banded on autumn migrations of 19762001 at the Ornithological Station Lebedivka at the left bank of Kyiv reservoir of Dnipro River. The Odesa State University became the second new center of bird ringing, and its ornithologists in 19741984 banded 91009 birds. Bird banding was also continued in traditional ringing centers, such as Chornomorskyi reserve and the Lebedyni Islands branch of Krymskyi reserve. In the middle of 1980s, the Azov-Black Sea Ornithological Station was established in Melitopol city and its employees devote a lot of their time to bird banding, catching 512 thousand of birds a year. Thus, Ukrainian ornithologists banded from 40 to 60 thousand birds in 19762001. For instance, there were 46087 banded birds in 1983, 40618 in 1984, and 54830 were ringed only by scientists of I. I. Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology and the Azov-Black Sea Ornithological Station in 1989.

Considerable quantities of birds were banded in 1990s but average number decreased gradually to 20 thousand, and in 20102014 to 10 thousand a year. During 19912014, more than 410 thousand of birds were banded in total, including 280 thousand with KIEV rings, approximately 100 thousand with MOSKWA, more 43 thousand with HELGOLAND, 1278 with ATHENS, 1146 with BOLOGNA, and 371 with HIDDENSEE.



About the Centre

History and Workers

The Ukrainian bird rings

Data Bases of the Ukrainian Bird Ringing Centre

History of Banding of Birds in Ukraine

Atlas of Migrations of Birds of Ukraine



vul. B. Khmelnytskogo, 15, Kyiv-30, 01030, UKRAINE

polud@izan.kiev.ua (Head of the Centre A. M. Poluda),
ring@izan.kiev.ua (office of the Centre)

+380 (44) 235-01-12



I. I. Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology, 2004-2018