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Michal Noga

Winter breeding of the Long-eared Owl (Asio otus) in South-Western Slovakia

On February 9, 2005, 3 juveniles of the Long-eared Owl Asio otus aged 14-18 days were observed in the urban area of Trnava. During the same period, breeding of the Long-eared Owl was reported from the Czech Republic and Italy. Winter breeding probably occurs more frequently with this species than anticipated, but has so far escaped our attention.

Open access

Michal Noga

Abstract

A count of hen harriers Circus cyaneus was carried out at roost sites in south-western Slovakia from 1 992-2013. The number of sites and also the frequency of survey visits were different in different years. A total of 1 03 counts were carried out. Hen harriers were not seen roosting at the sites in 13 cases. In all, 10 localities with 14 roost sites were checked. Hen harriers roosted in sedge (5) or in ruderal associations (6) and meadows (3). A total of 634 individuals were recorded roosting. There were 483 brown birds (adult females and immature birds in the first calendar year) and 151 grey birds (males in the second calendar year and older). The average number of hen harriers at the roost sites ranged from 3 to 9 individual birds. The maximum number was at least 27 individuals (December 15, 2011 ; a minimum of 18 brown birds and 9 grey birds, Moravský Svätý Ján, Pacitov locality). The percentage of roosting males was 23.76%. The time period of roosting was also recorded. The last individuals were observed flying over the site from six minutes before sunset to 40 minutes after sunset. The average time of the last observation was approximately 1 7 minutes after sunset. The average luminosity at the last observation of an active individual bird was 28 lux. Hen harriers migrate from October to March in the study area. Occurrences in September, respectively in April and May, were very rare. Most registration and the highest number of individual birds were recorded in October, but especially in December and February.

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Lucia Kečkéšová and Michal Noga

The diet of the Common Kestrel in the urban environment of the city of Nitra

The diet of the urban Common Kestrel population was studied in Nitra during 2003-2005. Totally, 671 prey items were identified by the analysis of pellets and prey remains collected under the nesting sites. Insect, mainly represented by order Coleoptera, was found to be the most abundant prey. Regarding biomass, the Common Vole (Microtus arvalis) was predominated. In comparison with other articles published, the studied sample was rather rich in the Lesser White-toothed Shrew (Crocidura suaveolens) and the House Mouse (Mus cf. musculus).

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Michal Noga and Martin Dobrý

Abstract

The short-eared owl is a regular migrant and hibernant in the Záhorie region (SW Slovakia), though this species mostly escapes attention. In 1998 the species was found nesting in this region, and in 2012 individuals showing territorial behaviour were regularly observed, with high probability of nesting. Nesting habitats were localities with a high representation of meadows, corresponding to the preferred nesting sites in Slovakia. The foraging range of wintering birds was comparable with those from neighbouring regions (W Slovakia, Hungary), but with a higher number of harvest mice Micromys minutus and long-tailed field mice Apodemus sylvaticus. In both years when the nesting of birds was recorded, snowfall was significantly lower. Food sources were not monitored at these localities.

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Michal Noga, Luboš Vadel and Roman Slobodník

Abstract

The red-footed falcon (Falco vespertinus) migrates throughout the territory of Slovakia regularly, though it rarely breeds here. In the present paper we have reviewed and summarised its observations between the years 1905–2016, focusing on the spring and autumn migration periods and its occurrence outside the breeding season. In total, we have gathered the data on 799 observations of 3,717 individuals. Considering the unsystematic data collection, the data should be taken with caution and may rather serve for information purposes only. However, they provide useful basic items of information regarding the species’ seasonal dynamics in Slovakia and its phenology, and document the evident increase in the number of individuals observed since 2014.

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Jaroslav Mikuš, Michal Noga and Vladimír Nemček

First breeding of the Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) in the "Borská nížina" lowland (SW Slovakia)

In 2007, breeding of the Imperial Eagle in locality "Devínske jazero" lake (near the village of "Vysoká pri Morave", SW Slovakia) was observed. The pair fledged 2 young. This was the first recorded breeding of this species in the "Záhorie" region. The eagles also bred the following year, 2008. During breeding, a change of male occurred so the nest remained unproductive (one fertile egg was found in the nest). Both cases suggest the current trend of occupying new sites in the Southwestern part of its breeding range.

Open access

Vladimír Nemcek, Michal Noga and Martin Dobrý

Abstract

Five juveniles of the imperial eagle were tracked during 2011-201 2. Movements were monitored in the western part of Slovakia and in the border area between Austria, Hungary and Slovakia. Three eagles came from the Záhorská nížina Lowlands and the others from the Malé Karpaty Mts and the Podunajská nížina Lowlands. Post-fledging movements were recorded in areas around the nests. Post-fledging areas covered a large territory (minimum convex polygons - 89, 941 , 969 km2). During the postfledging period the eagles carried out exploratory flights (1 2-33 km from the nest). One temporary settlement area (TSA) was identified in the border area between Austria, Hungary and Slovakia (minimum convex polygon - 68 km2). Two eagles with radio transmitters were recorded in this area. In the TSA and the post-fledging areas two habitat categories were dominant: arable land and forests. Heterogeneous agricultural areas were also important in the TSA (8%).

Open access

Ján Obuch, Štefan Danko and Michal Noga

Abstract

We completed data on the diet of the barn owl (Tyto alba) predominately from pellets for the period of the last 50 years from Slovakia. We analyzed material from 251 locations and 16 territorial units. The aggregate represents 119,231 pieces of prey from 47 species of mammals (Mammalia, 95.7%) and 58 species of birds (Aves, 3.9%), with a small representation of amphibians, reptiles (Amphibia and Reptilia, 0.2%) and invertebrates (Invertebrata, 0.2%). The obtaining of food among the owls is limited to synanthropic environments and the surrounding agricultural landscape, and the centre of its distribution in the recent period (i.e. the past 50 years: 1965-201 5) has been concentrated mainly on the southern parts of Slovakia. In this environment the common vole (Microtus arvalis, 59.6%) is the primary prey. Additional prey are rodents of the family Muridae: Mus musculus (5.6%), Micromys minutus (2.2%), Apodemus microps (2.2%), A. flavicollis (2.0%), A. sylvaticus (1 .6%) and A. agrarius (1 .5%); insectivores of the family Soricidae: Sorex araneus (6.2%), S. minutus (2.4%), Crocidura leucodon (4.8%) and C. suaveolens (2.8%); and the house sparrow Passer domesticus (2.9%). In the higher situated Turcianska kotlina Basin the species M. arvalis (74.3%) has higher domination, and instead of the white-toothed shrews the water shrews Neomys anomalus (2.8%) and N. fodiens (1 .3%) are more abundantly represented. In 3 localities owls focused on hunting bats; for example, in the church in Ratková the order Chiroptera made up 35.2% of prey. From the subrecent period (i.e. from before more than 50 years ago) we evaluate 4 samples from the territory of Slovakia with 15,601 pieces of prey ofT. alba. Before more than 50 years ago owls were also more abundantly represented at higher elevations in Slovakia, evidence of which is Weisz’s collection of pellets from 1 6 localities in the Ondavská vrchovina Upland in the years 1945 to 1963, but also a registry of data from the 19th and 20th centuries from higher located basins. In 4 samples of food from the subrecent period diversity in the representation of owl prey is higher, accompanied by low domination ofM. arvalis and a more abundant representation of murids from the genera Mus and Apodemus. The oldest sample, dated to the 16th century, is from a church in Žilina-Rudiny

Open access

Roman Slobodník, Jozef Chavko, Jozef Lengyel, Michal Noga, Boris Maderič and Michal Baláž

Abstract

The population of the red-footed falcon in Slovakia inhabits the north-western edge of the species' breeding range. This breeding population is relatively small and came near to extinction during the population decline of this species in central Europe in recent decades. Thanks to increasing numbers of breeding pairs in Hungary, the Slovak population began to grow again. Moreover, some differences in breeding biology associated with breeding in nest boxes were found. Here we describe the dependence of the small isolated breeding population in Slovakia on the core population in the more eastern parts of the Carpathian Basin, and the impact of supporting activities (nest boxes) on this raptor species in Slovakia.

Open access

Filip Tulis, Roman Slobodník, Vladimír Langraf, Michal Noga, Zuzana Krumpálová, Zbyšek Šustek and Anton Krištín

Abstract

The red-footed falcon and Eurasian falcon represent two syntopical falcon species. While the Eurasian falcon is considered a common and numerous species in Slovakia, the red-footed falcon population has undergone a considerable decline during the past few decades. Nowadays it nests in a single locality in Slovakia, the Sysľovské polia Special Protection Area, which forms the northern and fragmented border of the species distribution area in Europe. By analysing prey remains from 9 nests (from 1998, 2001, 2013, 2014 and 2016), we identified 433 prey items belonging to 35 taxa and 9 orders. Every year, invertebrates made up the major part of the diet spectrum, in which Calosoma auropunctatum, Tettigonia viridissima, Zabrus tenebrioides, Anisoplia aegetum and Rhizotrogus sp. were the most frequent species of prey. Of the vertebrates, Microtus arvalis was the most hunted prey species. By supplementary analysis of 21 photos, we extended our knowledge on the diet by other 6 taxa. The peak of the M. arvalis population growth in 2014 did not manifest itself in the red-footed falcon diet composition. In 1998, 2014 and 2016 we also studied the diet of a syntopical species, the Eurasian kestrel. By analysing prey remains in 22 nests, we identified 1,151 prey items belonging to 37 taxa and 7 orders. In 1998 and 2014 vertebrates predominated, especially the common vole, however in 2016 invertebrates prevailed. This fact could be a reaction to the M. arvalis population peak in 2014 and its decline in 2016. These results suggest that this variability in the foraging behaviour of the Eurasian kestrel, an opportunistic predator, during the hunting of invertebrates increases the diet similarity and overlapping of the food niche of both studied falcon species.