Address: METU Plantation-Lake Eymir, Middle East Technical University, Ankara/TURKEY 39.82793 / 32.846262

15 Nisan 2012 Pazar

April 14 / Influx of visitors !

Taking advantage of the weekend, bird lovers in Ankara influxed to our station. Thanks to all standing with us. Although they couldn’t have the chance to examine many birds in close, they seemed to be pleased to watch kinds of bird species and also to spend time in nature. We hope to see them again in following weeks.

We closed the day with 5 species out of 6 birds. Blackcaps and a jay were new for the station.

Blackcaps (male & female)

A Jay

Many thanks to Ali Can Öztabak, Oğuz Işık, Kuzey Işık, Neslihan Ayvaz, İlker Şahin, Umut Tekakça, Hamit Çağlar Karataş, Kerem Kaplan, AysuTırnova, Gizem, Alper Kaya, Hüseyin Karakaya, Bayram Karakaya and Can Bilgin for their kind support.

Kuzey & a robin
Good birding...

Today’s species:

1. Blackbird (Turdus merula)

2.Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos)

3.Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla)

4.Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

5. Jay (Garrulus glandarius)

April 13 / Short toed treecreeper !

A short toed treecreeper

We opened the day with a scops owl and a long eared owl in the nets. Great tits which are plenty in the area were caught today for the first time. Also, the first blackcaps of the season were seen in tha area. Today’s surprise was a short toed treecreeper. The pregnant individual was the certain proof for their breeding in Eymir Lake. We closed the day with 7 species out of 12 birds.

Many thanks to Başak Şentürk, Can Bilgin, İsmail Şenel ve Soner Bekir for their kind supports.

Başak & Great tit

Scops owl & Soner
Good birding...

Today's species:

1. Scops owl (Otus scops)

2. Long eared owl (Asio otus)

3. Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos)

4. Great tit (Parus major)

5. Chiffcaff (Phyloscopus collybita)

6. Blackbird (Turdus merula)

7. Short toed treecreeper (Certhia brachydactyla)

April 12 / Four New Species!

Scops owl (Otus scops)

Nature of Eymir Lake seemed to be sligtly blossomed this week. Some of the sprouts had been burst and greens had appeared. We set up the nets again with my advisor Can Bilgin. We made a few changes in nets’ positions. We changed the place of first net and add two more nets to the area. This change took its effect quickly that we cought the half of the birds of two days in the first net. Today’s first bird was a Syrian woodpecker. Although we couldn’t catch many birds during day, we had 4 new species for the station: nightingale, cetti's warbler, penduline tit & scops owl. The long tailed tit we had caught last week was retraped with her pair in this time. She was in the club at his time. :) Their fidelity to each other was amazing!

Toyga, Melike & long tailed tits

nightingale & penduline tit

We closed the day with 7 species out of 8 birds.

Many thanks to Can Bilgin, Melike Eren, Toyga Özver, Soner Bekir, Emre Öztürk, Özgür Çavuş, Gazi abi, Jennifer Kalvenas, Hüseyin Karakaya and Elçin Ekşi for their kind supports.

Good birding...

Today’s species:

1. Syrian woodpecker (Dendrocopos syriacus)

2. Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos)

3. Long tailed tit (Aegithalos caudatus)

4. Cetti's warbler (Cettia cetti)

5. Penduline tit (Remiz pendulinus)

6. Blackbird (Turdus merula)

7. Scops owl (Otus scops)

9 Nisan 2012 Pazartesi

April 5 / Syrian woodpeckers!

Migration started to show itself gradually. There was a remarkable increase in the number of chiffcaffs and robins in the area. 10 birds out of 5 species were caught until noon. Today’s top birds were the a male and a female Syrian woodpeckers caught in the same net in a few hours intervals.

Syrian woodpeckers (male & female)

Good birding...

Today’s species:

1. Blackbird (Turdus merula)

2. Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

3. Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)

4. Syrian woodpecker (Dendrocopos syriacus)

5. Chiffcaff (Phyloscopus collybita)

Blackbird & chiffcaff

April 4 / Long eared owl!

Long eared owl (Asio otus)

A more active day than previous day. With Mr. İsmail Şenel, we went to net controls with the hope of a different exciting species and we mostly turned back with ‘’firsts’’. The redwing being the first caught in ringing studies in METU, was also important showing the sign of prolonged winter in Ankara. We closed the day with few birds but a high diversity (12 birds of 8 different species). The last net round was again gave a surprise and one of the long eared owls that we saw during day was caught!

Many thanks to İsmail Şenel for his kind supports and also for his gracious ways.

Good birding...

Today’s species:

1. Blackbird (Turdus merula)

2. Redwing (Turdus iliacus)

3. Chiffcaff (Phyloscopus collybita)

4. Long tailed tit (Aegithalos caudatus)

5. Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)

6. Blue tit (Parus caeruleus)

7. Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

8. Long eared owl (Asio otus)

Redwing, Robin, Blue tit & Long tailed tit

April 3 / First Day!

After finished all necessary preperations, we took the road to the METU Plantation along the Lake Eymir early in the morning. My advisor Can Bilgin and my friends Başak Şentürk, Emel Kunduz ve Emre Öztürk came along with me. We were full of first day’s excitement and were curious about the species waiting for us. I was also wondering whether the blackcaps (my study bird) had arrived or not?

Today's first bird was a blackbird

The atmosphere was like fall in the plantation. Even the leaves of the bushes and the trees were not out yet. The nature was still in its winter sleep. The first two birds of the day were blackbirds which are resident birds that we encounter frequently in the area. But, the close was a surprise: A nightjar!

A Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus)

8 birds out of 6 species were ringed in this somehow poor day.

Many thanks to today’s team (Başak Şentürk, Can Bilgin, Emel Kunduz, Emre Öztürk) for their kind support.

Emel, Emre & Başak

Good birding...

Today’s species:

1.Blackbird (Turdus merula)

2.Chiffcaff (Phyloscopus collybita)

3.Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

4.Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)

5.Song trush (Turdus philomelos)

6.Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus)

27 Mart 2012 Salı

When starting

Middle East Technical University (METU) with its 45km2 safeguarded land, is one of the most important untouched natural areas of Ankara, capital city of Turkey. This arae includes a wide forest and Anatolian steppe, with some rocky areas and two lakes. It inhabits more than 33million trees, over 500 species of wild flowers, 23 mammal, 9 reptile and 126 butterfly species and 227 recorded bird species so far.

Birds are the most known livings in METU. Thanks to METU Bird Watching Society’s over 20 years observations and bird ringing studies of Özge Keşaplı Can in 2001&2002 that makes Campus bird checklist 227 species which is half of Turkish bird checklist (460) This number shows the importance of METU Campus for birds and makes it Turkey’s top university for birds.

METU Bird Ringing Station

The first scientific researches for birds of METU and their migration strategies date back to spring 2001 when bird ringing expert biologist Özge Keşaplı Can and her advisor Dr. Can Bilgin started bird ringing in different parts of the campus. This study continued systematically in 2001 fall and 2002 spring and fall. These studies are also the first systematic bird ringing studies documenting passerine migration in Turkey. 1832 birds out of 60 species were ringed during these studies.

Thanks to these ringing studies, first scientific data were provided about morphometric, physiological properties of migrant birds and their phenologies and migration strategies. These data and results revealed that small wooded landscapes within less hospitable habitats provide crucial stopover habitat for many migrant passerines.

a Jay

The second bird research in METU campus is conducted by biologist İlker Özbahar between 2003-2005. That study aimed to investigate breeding biology, population size and spatial distribution of nightingales at a small area in Yalıncak within the METU campus

As a result of that study, contrary to previous knowledge, taxonomically the Yalıncak population is found to be belonged to subspecies africana although more westerly subspecies could be recorded during migration. This study also revealed the importance of small but productive biotopes as important breeding habitats for passerines. It also showed that a few highly successful individuals may contribute out of proportion to the next generation.

New Period (2012-2013)

After a period of 10 years, bird ringing and bird migration studies in METU are starting again. We, METU Biodiversity and Conservation Lab. are planning to continue bird ringing during 2012 and 2013 migration period. The aim of this study is to test the results of previous studies and especially to understand the real nature of different migration waves, geographic origin of different populations, their migration strategies and migration dynamics. Moreover, this study will make a major contribution to our knowledge of passerine migration over Turkey and also will be a perfect opportunity for the education of keen candidate bird researchers and bird lovers in every age.

By the help of this blog, we will be pleased to share the latest news in METU Bird Ringing Station in the heat of the moment. We hope you will also enjoy sharing the same exciting moments and the amazing migration journey of our feathered friends.

At last, we emphasize that your support and your comments will be considerably worthful for our motivation and the future of bird researches and conservation of birds in Turkey.

Good birding,

Warm regards,



- Karaçetin, E., H.J. Welch, A. Turak, Ö. Balkız ve G. Welch. 2011. Türkiye’deki Kelebeklerin Koruma Stratejisi. Ankara: Doğa Koruma Merkezi.

- Keşaplı , Ö., 2004, A Study of Passerine Migration at METU (Ankara, Central Turkey), Based on Mis-Netting Method

- ODTÜ'nün Doğası

- Oruç, S., 2009, ODTÜ’nün Kuşları 1995-2008, ODTÜ Kuş Gözlem Topluluğu, Ankara

- Özbahar, İ., 2005, Breeding Biology, Population Size and Spatial Distribution of Common Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos Brehm, 1831) Population at Yalıncak (Ankara)

- Zeydanlı, U., 1995, ODTÜ Doğa Rezervi, ODTÜ Doğa Topluluğu, Ankara