A massive wintering of mallards was detected in Voronezh for the first time. The coordinator of the “Seraya Sheyka 2019” Rally (Gray Neck, named after the similarly-named Soviet cartoon – RIA “Voronezh”) run by the Bird Protection Union of Russia shared the observation results on Sunday, January 20.

Most of the waterfowl spend winters in warm countries, however lately they have often been spotted at water reservoirs in winter. In order to find out which bird species tend to stay for such “cold wintering”, specialists and volunteers of the Bird Protection Union of Russia conduct traditional winter survey of waterfowl and semi-aquatic birds named “Gray Neck”. In 2019, the rally was conducted on January 19 and 20.

The Voronezh coordinator of the rally reported that the fact of massive wintering of mallards had been registered this year for the first time. Most of the birds are spending the winter at the pond in Central Park. According to the data as of January 20, 162 birds were wintering at the pond.

– In doing so, the number of birds has been steadily increasing from mid-September to the third decade of December. There are three species of waterfowl registered in the Voronezh Region: mallard, goosander, and dabchick. The only massive species among them is mallard (98.76% of the registered birds). Other species are solitary, - the rally coordinator noted.

Also, the specialist pointed out that Voronezh was the largest center of wintering of waterfowl in the Region. At the same time, wintering depends on additional feeding by people. In Voronezh, birds are more trustful and allow people to approach them more closely than in the rest of the region where it is hard to even take a picture of them.

In February of 2018, only one wintering bird was spotted at the pond in Central Park of Voronezh. One of Voronezh families gave the bird a house.