Birds of Moscow and the Moscow Region

The “Birds of Moscow and the Moscow Region” project operates in the Zoological Museum of Moscow State University since 1999.

The main feature of the project, in contrast to previous undertaken efforts to study the birds of Moscow is that now birds became the subject of study among a wide range of bird watchers — not only professionals but also amateurs. We receive the results of individual and private surveys made in the Moscow region and therefore we get a three-dimensional and multifaceted picture of a bird life in Moscow and in its suburban area.

The underlying principle of the project that was laid down into it when the project had been launched boils down to the fact it brings together the people who are interested in the birds of our region and who are ready to provide a data collection center with the results of their observations. To be applicable for further processing, the submitted results should comply with a range of requirements, i.e. the results should be formalized in a special way (for these purposes there are specially designed cards to maintain birdwatching records). All granted materials are protected by copyright. An individual who had granted his or her material for inclusion into the project’s database holds all the rights provided by copyright law. Up to the present the project has seen several hundred participants.

The feedback principle is also important. Data collected by the project participants is analyzed and published in various editions (see Publications), particularly in the biannual journal ‘Moskovka’.

There is a specially organized Newsletter (birdnewsmoscow@yahoogroups.com), which provides a rapid information exchange between the project’s participants which also effectively contributes to a growth of number of observations and draws public attention to rare species and to rarely visited areas. Another positive effect of the newsletter consists in increase of popularity of places where you can find the maximum number of birds (see Places of interest). Exchange of information on the results of observations leads to the fact that observers begin to feel a sort of sport passion, i.e. it inspires participants to set off for discovery of more interesting places where birds could be found.

There are several projects (see Projects) which are carried out in the framework of the “Birds of Moscow and the Moscow region” program, therefore each program participant is free to choose any way of collecting data he or she likes, i.e. the one which mostly meets his or her preferences. The Zoological Museum hosts regular seminars.

Talented and sophisticated animal photographers also participate in the program and owing to their active support there were prepared for publication photo-guides (see Publications) of birds of European Russia. Fellows of the project are entitled to publish their most interesting photos in proceedings of the project as well as upload them to our website (see Photo reports). In the project’s forum participants discuss results of their birdwatching observations, as well as post pictures of birds.

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Photo - K. Kovalyev
Translation - Dmitry Vasilyev, Igor Fyodorov, Natalya Khmelnitskaya, N. Connolly, G. Groot Koerkamp