Black Grouse, an Estonian aboriginal bird
Ene Viht’s feature story about the Black Grouse – the Bird of the Year, its life and habits and future in Estonia. The author introduces some of the closer relatives of the Black Grouse and gives an overview of the biology, reproduction behaviour and distribution of the species. More attention is paid to the special behaviour – the lek – a group display typical of all gamebirds. Different stages of the lek are described, as well as the annual and daily patterns of the lek. The lek behaviour is also well described by the numerous colorful photographs that complement the story.
Estonian Nature enquires
Rein Einasto explains the reasons behind the falling of the Pakri Cliff.
Tiina Urm writes about the campaign to clean whole Estonia within one day (May 3rd).
A mysterious construction in Lake Valgjärv of Koorküla
Arvi Liiva introduces a lovely lake in the Valga County. The lake bottom hides the remnants of a secured settlement dating from a long period that started even before current era. Lake Valgjärv of Koorküla is one of Estonia’s deepest lakes and has a very varied bottom relief. There are many folk stories that tell about a mysterious construction in the bottom of the lake. During the second half of the last century many studies were made to determine the age of the construction. In addition to the radiocarbon methods used for timber, some remains of clay pottery were found and used for dating the construction. Both methods assured that the construction dated back to the second half of the 3rd millenia B.C. and was used for a long time, up until the second half of the 1st millennia.
Mists in Estonia
Ele Pedassaar writes about adjective-radiational and other fun mist phenomena of Estonia, that are, apart from the many scientific terms, enjoyable sights. What is a mist? – Basically, it is a cloud touching the ground. There are many factors and climate conditions that affect the formation and type of mist. Since Estonia is a seaside country, the sea also influences the development of mists. Also, the seasonal pattern of mists is very different inland and by the sea. All these factors, patterns and types are thoroughly described in the article.
Practical tips: Our mushrooms: Boletes IV
Vello Liiv’s fourth picture series focuses on next five species, which all are very much alike and excellent edible mushrooms.
Estonian rarities: Northern Hawk's-beard
Toomas Kukk describes the species belonging to the first protection category. The species is difficult to determine, since it is quite similar to numerous other species of the same genus or even of other genuses. The species is common in Mid-Europe, but reaches its distribution border in about Latvia. In Estonia, the Northern Hawk's-beard has only one area of distribution: the surroundings of Tartu. Currently, there are only about 200 specimens of the species. The habitats are threatened by real estate development.
Interview: Intensive agriculture needs pollinators, but destroys them at the same time
Tomas Kukk has interviewed Marika Mänd, Reet Karise and Ants-Johannes Martin, winners of the scientific award of the year in agricultural sciences.
Estonian manors: Õisu manor and park
Heldur Sander and Tiiu Helimets hope that the future holds better times for the park with a famous past and diverse dendroflora, thanks to the new owner. The Õisu Park is one of the most grandiose manors of the Viljandi County. The article presents the history of the manor: since the middle of the 16th century up until today. There are 32 buildings in the manor complex. The park was initiated in 1770ies and it was one of the first landscape parks in Estonia. There are also smaller gardens, a forest park and a family cemetery within the borders of the manor.
Birds and climate
Jaanus Elts supposes that our grandchildren will more likely hear the Western Nighingale than the Eastern Nightingale which is common in Estonia now. He draws his claims on the recently published Climatic Atlas of the European Breeding Birds that tries to foresee the changes in birds’ distribution areas within the next century. Based on the studies presented in the atlas, the author explains how different factors influence the distribution of breeding birds. Luckily for us, Estonia is located in a region were climate changes will probably be temperate and changes in our bird fauna will be quite small.
Trees can be researched in forests as well as in labs
Priit Kupper introduces the modern work techniques of forest ecologists in the forests of Järvselja. Since spring 2006, the scientists of the Tartu University have been creating an open-air lab in Järvselja. The author explains the essence and aims of such labs and describes the experiments done in the labs. Most experiments involve free air carbondioxide enrichment. In Järvselja the studies will focus mostly on free air humidity manipulation and since the infrastructure of the lab is finished, the experiments will start this summer.
How does a tick get to our yard?
Asta Vilbaste, a specialist of ticks and spiders, wishes that ticks and humans would encounter each other less. Ticks prefer mixed forests with spruce or fresh boreo-nemoral forests. Ticks are brought to yards by small rodents and other small mammals, as well as by birds. The warm winters have lately increased the numbers of ticks.