The migration of swans Cygnus spp., in the Ukraine, USSR

V V Serebryakov, V N Grishchenko, A M Poluda


Survey results of swan distribution and migration throughout the Ukraine are presented for the years 1975-89. Determination of species was not possible from the records but the Mute Swan is the most likely species. Changes in swans’ ecology, such as new wintering and breeding grounds have resulted in changes in the dates and routes of migration. During the spring swans are recorded throughout the Ukraine. Spring migration occurs between late February to early May. Besides the well known flyway in the south along the shores of the Black, Sivash and Azov seas, two new flyways have recently appeared. The first runs from the southwest to the north and northeast along the rivers Prut, Dniester and Dnieper. The second traverses the Ukraine from west to east. The autumn migration is less intensive. During migration the flock size numbers 2-20 swans but the most frequent group size at inland sites is 2-4 birds. A mid-January census recorded more than 230 wintering sites. Almost half were inland containing groups of 3-27 swans.

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