Our research

Bird rings. Photo Etienne Debenest

Bird Ringing

Bird ringing is the most time consuming activity at the bird observatory, starting after midsummer and continuing for the remainder of the season until the end of September. When the weather is favourable, ringing takes place every morning from sunrise to noon.

The ringing is standardised which means that the same number of mist nets are used at the same sites year after year. Through this standardisation it is possible to compare different years and analyse changes in the bird populations.

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Black-headed gull

At the beginning of the 1990's attention was drawn to the fact that the Black-headed Gull population declined in all of Sweden, a national project was initiated to investigate the causes and Kvismare Bird Observatory participated in a study in Rysjön’s colony. The production of juveniles was measured, nestling weight at different ages and predation was studied. It was found that too few young birds survived and these results were applied to more places around Sweden.

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Census of Lapwing and Curlew

Lapwing and curlew have been surveyed since 1967, this now takes place in a field area south of Nyängen. The short version of the results is that the Lapwing held its population number relatively well while the curlew declined and recently been lost as a breeding species in Kvismaren. The lapwings also breed in restored wetlands and have been gradually increasing, while the large-scale agricultural changes have not been accepted by the curlews.

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Blåsippa. Foto Etienne Debenest

Census of Sörön

In 1965 a census began of a deciduous forest, called Sörön, it lasted for 40 years with the same person carrying out the census, until 2004. It has since continued, in a somewhat modified form.

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Tranor. Foto: Magnus Friberg

Cranes and geese

In recent years nesting greylag geese, along with the number of geese and cranes on passage has increased significantly in Kvismaren. The first species reaching large numbers during migration was bean geese in the early 1980's. The geese that stop over in Kvismaren are mainly taiga bean geese and are in the area from September to November. Then they fly south to their wintering grounds in Scania and Denmark and then return to their major stop over sites between February and March before they move on, to Finland and Russia.

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Trastsångare. Foto: Olga Nadeina

Great reed warbler

In 1983 the study began of a relatively new nesting bird in Kvismaren - Great Reed Warbler. These studies have since expanded considerably and it has been run for many years directly from Lund University. Over the years this project has generated six doctoral dissertations and many more scientific articles.

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Hooded crow

This species has been surveyed at regular intervals since 1968. Nowadays, the species is an important predator in the bird community at Kvismaren. Therefore, it has always been valuable to have knowledge of the population size. There was a strong focus on the crows being associated with mercury poisoning in the 1960s. A 1964 census showed that there were only nine pairs in an approximately 5000-acre survey area around Kvismare lakes. Thereafter, there has been a strong increase and stabilization in recent years.

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Marsh harrier. Photo Magnus Friberg

Marsh harrier

Even before the Bird Observatory started, (from 1954) there were counts of breeding pairs of Hen and Marsh Harriers within the reserve. The breeding of Hen Harriers ended after the year 1962 but the number of pairs of the Marsh Harrier has developed positively. Over the years there have been many studies including territoriality, breeding biology and population monitoring.

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Moult in adult birds

Started in 1968 rather tentatively, a study of the moulting adult birds caught in Kvismaren began; this is when birds are replacing feathers completely after nesting. As of 1973, almost all the specimens caught in this category are investigated according to their moult. This take place on a special form; a schematic diagram of the wing and tail.

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Ortolan bunting

This species have been surveyed at irregular intervals since 1968. Nowadays, they’re almost extinct in southern Sweden as a breeder and there are only 10 or so singing males in Kvismaren. In the beginning of 2010 we started a project to determine how they are to be preserved as a breeding species. In Kvismaren work is ongoing to verifying the nesting outcome when active measures are taken by land owners and land left fallow by the edges of fields. In the spring these areas are not planted and therefore presumably protecting the breeding habitat of the Ortolan’s.

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Osprey

In 1971, in collaboration with the Museum of Natural History we started a census of Osprey. The origin of this collaboration was the poor breeding performance of Ospreys seen at the end of the 1960s. Almost simultaneously, reports came from abroad about the thinning of their egg shells that affected many bird species and could be attributed to the use of DDT. It turned out that Swedish Ospreys were influenced by this; at its worst around 15% of the population (in the early 1970's).

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Pungmes. Foto Magnus Friberg

Penduline tit

In 1989, there was a large establishment of Penduline Tits in Kvismaren when nine individuals were present. The year after there was 14-21 individuals. Penduline Tit have a very exciting breeding biology and from the outset many individuals were colour-ringed. For such a small bird it is very mobile both within a breeding season and between years. It turned out that the Penduline Tits in central Sweden can be viewed as a single population. A male was moving for a few years between Köping, Kvismaren, Tåkern, Roxen and Venan! The species is both polygamous and polyandrous.

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Savi's warbler

In 2012 a project started in which the Savi’s Warbler, a recently established species Kvismaren be studied this has been funded by the Elis Wides fund. The aim is to find out how many individuals are present and how many nests are in the reserve. The secondary aim is to acknowledge if the population is still held up by stray birds or if we have a small yet established population.

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Starling

In 1988, 100 Starling nest-boxes were placed in four groups around in Kvismaren. The project is being conducted under the project PMK (Project for environmental quality monitoring) at the Environmental Protection Agency through the University of Lund. These nest-boxes, which are managed by the Bird Observatory, have been monitored thoroughly so that number of pairs and breeding results could be calculated.

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Wetland surveys

Over time, restored areas around the lake have been surveyed to decipher breeding wetland species. In 1981, Lake Rysjön was restored. From 1982, all breeding wetland birds have been monitored and production of young calculated. In recent years, the Bird Observatory has had closer co-operation with the provincial government. From 2009, we have done censuses on all wetland birds for the provincial government covering all parts of the wetland nature reserve.

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