ISSN 1067-4136, Russian Journal of Ecology, 2008, Vol. 39, No. 1, pp. 56–62. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2008.
Original Russian Text © L.V. Sokolov, N.S. Gordienko, 2008, published in Ekologiya, 2008, No. 1, pp. 58–64.
In the past two decades, compared to the 1970s, con-
siderably earlier arrivals of many bird species that win-
ter not only in Europe but also migrate to Africa have
been recorded in different European countries and
northwestern Russia (Moritz, 1993; Mason, 1995;
Ahas, 1999; Sokolov et al., 1999a; Sparks, 1999; Bar-
rett, 2002; Askeyev et al., 2002; Tryjanowski et al.,
2002; Hüppop and Hüppop, 2003, 2005; Sokolov,
2006). Specialists usually explain the shift of spring
migration to earlier dates by the current global climate
warming (Sokolov et al., 1999b; Ahas et al., 2000; Bair-
lein and Winkel, 2001; Forchhammer et al., 2002;
Sparks et al., 2003; Hüppop and Hüppop, 2003, 2005;
Long-term tendencies of changes in the dates of bird
arrival to the central and eastern parts of Russia have
been studied less. According to some authors (Ananin,
2002; Paskhalny, 2002; Golovatin and Paskhalny,
2003), these changes in different species are more dif-
ferentiated than in Europe. For instance, in the Bar-
guzin Reserve (the northeastern Baikal region), some
bird species, mainly passerines, began to arrive consid-
erably earlier; conversely, waterbirds and birds of prey
began to arrive later; in many species, the dates of
arrival remained unchanged. Ananin (2002) explains it
by the fact that the response of different bird species to
climatic changes may differ considerably. In addition,
the trends of air temperatures at the beginning and end
of spring may considerably differ in different regions of
In this context, it is interesting to ﬁnd out how the
dates of bird arrival have changed in different regions of
Russia over a long period of time and what factors
account for the ambiguous pattern of these changes.
The main purpose of this study was to reveal long-
term tendencies of changes in the dates of bird arrival
to the Il’men Reserve, the Southern Urals, and to esti-
mate the effect of spring air temperatures on the dates
of arrival of early and late-migrating species.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Regular phenological observations on the dates of
spring arrival of birds to the Il’men Reserve and its
environs have been performed since 1971. The Il’men
Reserve is located in the subzone of southern taiga
pine–birch forests in the eastern foothills of the South-
ern Urals (54
19' N, 60
20' E). The area of
the reserve is about 30000 ha.
Has Recent Climate Warming Affected the Dates of Bird Arrival
to the Il’men Reserve in the Southern Urals?
L. V. Sokolov
and N. S. Gordienko
Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg
Universitetskaya nab. 1, St. Petersburg, 199034 Russia
Il’men State Nature Reserve, Miass, Chelyabinsk oblast, 456317 Russia
Received November 14, 2006
—The results of regression and correlation analyses of long-term data (1971–2005) on the dates of
arrival of 16 bird species to the Il’men State Nature Reserve (the Southern Urals) show that they have not
changed in most of these birds, unlike in many countries of Europe and North America. This is explained pri-
marily by the absence of any signiﬁcant trends in the dynamics of spring air temperatures in the study region.
Only the herring gull
and the lapwing
have shown a signiﬁcant tendency to
arrive earlier, while the garganey
has shown a tendency to arrive on later dates in the past
two decades. Nevertheless, interannual ﬂuctuations in the dates of arrival are well manifested in both early
arriving species wintering in Europe and late-arriving species wintering in Africa. These ﬂuctuations largely
depend on temperature conditions in spring. As a rule, almost all species studied—from waterbirds to passe-
rines—appear in the Il’men Reserve earlier in years with early and warm springs than in cold years. Hence,
spring weather is the key factor determining the dates of arrival of migratory birds to the study region.
: monitoring, arrival of birds, air temperature, climate, Il’men Reserve.