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Great tit – generalist or instead specialist?

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Tue, 14.02.2017 - 09:15

Scientific news from the Year of the Great Tit edited by Marko Mägi, marko.magi@ut.ee , bird ecology researcher at the University of Tartu
Translation Liis


Published in Estonian 29.12.2017

Ecologically species can be divided into specialists and generalists. While the specialissed species are adapted to specific environmental conditions and rapid changes may become difficult for them, then generalists can cope with a variety of conditions – both urban and rural, warm or cold, in forests or open spaces. Thus it is no surprise that that the generalists are often synanthropes, or associated with humans, i e species that have been able to adapt urban life and become numerous, due to their high adaptivity and small selectivity. One of the best known generalists is man himself who can cope in all regions (except the Arctic areas). Few animal species manage to match humans in this.

Erratic boulders

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Sun, 12.02.2017 - 12:12

Text and photos Tiit Hunt, www.rmk.ee
Translation Liis

 

One of the characteristics in Estonia’s new visual identity is the concept of erratic boulders. Estonia has the greatest number of erratic boulders in the whole of Europe.

This might inspire nature fans to go on a trip to see some of the more sizeable giant boulders for themselves for a change. Bare trees and an almost non-existent snow cover favour such ventures in all ways. Even in a dense thicket all kinds of geological sights stand out much more clearly now. 

Great tit loses one-tenth of its body mass during long winter night

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Sun, 12.02.2017 - 11:57

Text University of Tartu bird ecology researcher Marko Mägi and coordinator of the Year of Great Tit Margus Ots,

The great tit that has been staying overnight in the nest box has gathered many viewers via the webcam. Lately it has arrived in the nest box in the evenings between 16.00-17.00 and left by 8.00 at the latest in the mornings. Thus it sleeps more than 15 out of 24 hours during the dark period. How much energy does the tit use during the long winter nights and how much weight does it lose?

The camera image is transmitted by OÜ Teetormaja: www.tt.ee

Winter menu of roe deer

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Fri, 10.02.2017 - 11:42
Sisu
metskits võrseid söömas
The fur coat of dense tube-shaped hairs helps to withstand low temperatures. How winter conditions will be managed is mainly influenced by the thickness of the snow cover.
Photo: Tarmo Mikussaar

 Posted by the Animal of the Year team in Estonian 08.02.2017
 

This winter brings only pleasure for roe deer. Thick, layered snow does not prevent movements nor make it difficult to get at food.  Digging a sleeping place needs no hard work either. Unlike elks, roe deer must not sleep on snow, only on the ground. Otherwise health problems quickly arrive. Pneumonia or diarrhoea would very probably mean that the next spring will remain unseen.

Badger does not sleep

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Fri, 10.02.2017 - 11:20
Sisu
mäger talvel
Trail camera image from Valgamaa. Badgers are awake.
Photo Kalmer Lehepuu

Posted by the Animal of the Year team, 05.02.2017

 


The Year of the Badger has ended but here is a recent trail camera image of badgers. The snow has come and gone, and come and gone again this year in Valgamaa. At most there was about 10 cm of it. At  present there is no snow and it seems as if the sleep of badgers has vanished with the snow. From January 23rd they have come out of the burrow every evening  at about 7 o’clock to go on their badgers’ business.

Kalmer Lehepuu