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The article presents the results of the investigation of material on the genus Centrorhynchus Lühe, 1911 stored in the collection of the Department of Parasitology, Schmalhauzen Institute of Zoology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Five species: Centrorhynchus aluconis, C. globocaudatus, C. spinosus, C. conspectus and C. polissiensis sp. n. were studied and described. Centrorhynchus polissiensis sp. n., differs from all known species by the complex morphological characters, in particular, by the formula of proboscis hooks in combination with the number of large hooks with roots, by the number of hooks in anterior part of the proboscis, and by comparatively smaller eggs. C. polissiensis sp. n. is most similar to C. aluconis, C. conspectus and C. globocaudatus. The main differences between the species are in the proboscis armament, 13–17 hooks in a longitudinal row in C. aluconis, 16–18 hooks in C. conspectus vs 19–20 hooks in C. polissiensis sp. n., and in the egg sizes, 56–65 × 28–30 for C. aluconis, 68–72 × 33–35 for C. conspectus vs 45–55 × 25 for C. polissiensis sp. n. C. polissiensis sp. n. differs from C. globocaudatus in shape and morphology of the proboscis hooks. We do not confirm the record of C. amphibius from birds of the territory of Ukraine. The data on synonymy, hosts and distribution in Ukraine and in the world are given for seven species of the genus recorded in Ukraine. Illustrated descriptions about the material of collection are presented for five species. We provide an identification key for nine species of the genus Centrorhynchus of the birds of the fauna of Ukraine and adjacent territories.
Between 2005 and 2015 I undertook eight trips to Jordan during which I collected pellets from seven owl species. In them 14,203 food items were identified. Mammals (Mammalia, 46 species, 37.9% of prey items) formed the most numerous component, invertebrates (Evertebrata) made up 33.4%, birds (Aves, 25.4%) were represented with at least 104 species, reptiles (Reptilia) came to 3.2%, and two species of amphibian were identified (Amphibia, 0.2%). Pharoah eagle owls (Bubo ascalaphus) and Byzantine eagle owls (Bubo bubo interpositus) primarily hunt larger mammals and birds, although Agamidae and Scorpiones were also represented more frequently among B. ascalaphus. Mammals predominated among tawny owls (Strix aluco wilkonskii) (Mammalia, 58.9%), mainly the eastern rock mouse (Apodemus mystacinus) (24.9%). For wintering long-eared owls Asio otus otus the most important food was small birds (Aves, 78.3%), especially house sparrows (Passer domesticus), Fringillidae and Sylviidae. For barn owls (Tyto alba erlangeri) the principal prey was small mammals (83.1%), mainly mice (Mus sp.), Günther’s vole (Microtus guentheri), grey hamster (Cricetulus migratorius) and shrews (Soricidae). Hume’s tawny owl (Strix butleri) pellets contained mostly invertebrates (58.9%) and lizards, and their most frequent mammal prey were Wagner’s gerbil (Gerbillus dasyurus) and spiny mice (Acomys sp.). There was an even higher propostion of invertebrates (86.4%) among lilith owlets (Athene lilith). In addition to the insect orders Coleoptera, Orthoptera and Hymenoptera, remains of Scorpiones and Solifugae were also frequently found. The summarized results from individual owl species are compared with those gathered by the author in the surrounding Middle Eastern countries: Israel, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt.
Between 1995 and 2017 we carried out surveys on the Little Owl (Athene noctua) in Battonya town and Kevermes village in southern Békés county. In 2007 and 2017 we have surveyed nesting sites in the village and the outer areas of Kevermes. The population of the species was estimated at the beginning of the breeding season and in early summer with field observations. Between 1995 and 2017 we collected road-kill data within the entire administrative area of Battonya. We registered each fiund road-killed Little Owl. We found 64 road-kills in Battonya. The number of casualties of the species has increased unambiguously over the studied 23 years. Most of the road-killed Little Owls (53 individuals, 82.81% of the total) were found in summer (June–August). 51 road-killed individuals (79.69%) were noted in the outer areas of Battonya, and 13 specimens (20.31%) in the town. Our results highlight that vehicle traffic is an important mortality factor for the population. The Little Owl has a large population in this landscape, and the population size has increased over the last decade. In the background of this increase is most likely the rise in the number of abandoned houses because of the unfavourable economic and social situation in the region. The local pairs nested only on attics and roof structures in Kevermes, often in residential buildings. The buildings of modern agriculture do not meet the needs of the species. A large part of the population breeds in the village, because with the disappearance of the farms the breeding pairs of the outer areas of Kevermes have disappeared. However, in Battonya the species regularly breeds in the outer areas of the town. Finally, we also collected some ethnoecological data on how local people relate to the species.
A Great Grey Owl population on the territory of Polisskiy Nature Reserve (Olevsk and Ovruch District, Zhytomyr Region, Ukraine) was investigated in 2006–2008, 2013–2016. The main breeding locations were mesotrophic mires, where the lack of Birds of Prey nests made owls to breed on artificial constructions. Reproductive indexes of mean clutch size were similar to such indexes achieved in 1985–1996, and indexes of mean number of fledglings on active nest and breeding success decreased reliably.