Eedi Lelov gives a fascinating overview of the Bird of the Year – the Tawny Owl. He also describes the other 11 owl species that have been identified in Estonia. Although the numerousness of tawny owl has been stable during the past century, it still needs attention and protection, as quite many age-old nests have remained empty during the past years. The tawny owl lives in cultural landscapes – in parks, in cemeteries, in groves between fields and near farmsteads. They remain very faithful to their nests. The tawny owls spend winters in Estonia, even though the conditions are very difficult for them. They prefer large trees with big cavities, but have also been found nesting in stone wall cracks and in attics. There are about 100–2000 pairs of tawny owls in Estonia. One can check out the family life of tawny owls via the web camera on http://www.eoy.ee/kodukakk/
Estonian Nature enquires
Erkki Truve writes about news in the science of plant viruses.
Meelis Pärtel explains how macro-ecological processes affect the biodiversity.
The dieback of the Common Ash in Estonia and elsewhere in Europe.
Rein Drenkhan and Märt Hanso have tracked down the main reasons behind the illnesses and deaths of Estonian ash trees. The main culprit is a fungus – Chalara fraxinea that causes contagious death of ash trees. Not much is known about this fungus; it is known, however, that it is spread only by insects. The article particularly describes the current knowledge of the fungus and its impact on ash trees.
On Estonian eastern coast
Tapio Vares takes the reader to the surroundings of the Kallaste town, where the waves of Lake Peipsi wash the Devonian sandstone bank.
100 years of aerial photography
Heiki Potter recalls how the former hazy black-and-white aerial photographs are a history and we now deal with high-resolution digital photographs. The history of aerial photography is about 100 years old along with the history of photography in general. In Estonia, the first attempts in the field of aerial photography were made in 1930ies by the Estonian Defence Forces. In Soviet times there were different aerial surveys conducted concerning Estonian territory, but all the composed maps were classified or to be used by specific authorities. After regaining independency in 1991, there was a need for new aerial surveys. These were done with the help of Sweden. Nowadays one can choose between several different thematic layers based on ortophoto images on the web site of the Estonian Land Board.
In Peter’s school in Narva children are taught to have a sustainable view of nature
Aleksandr Openko introduces teaching environmental sustainability based on experiences from the Peter’s school in Narva. The school is engaged in many projects in order to enhance the environmental awareness of the pupils. The school has opened its „Tropic House” – small botanical garden and last year an outside addition– the school’s alpine garden – was established.
Interview: People learn the most about nature in early age
Toomas Kukk has interviewed Tiina Elvisto, a plant ecologist and a teacher.
Estonian manors: Esna manor and park
Heldur Sander describes the past of the Esna manor, situated in the Järva County. The manor originates from the 17th century. The area around the manor was designed as an English-style landscape park in the second half of the 18th century. The park area encompasses 17.7 ha. About 10 years ago the park was redesigned by its owner Aldo Tamm. In 2003 there were 55 species of trees and shrubs, 32 of these being of foreign origin. The article also characterizes the manor cemetery located about 1 km from the manor house. There are 17 tree and shrub species growing on the cemetery.
Offshore windfarms and their possible impact of fish fauna
Mehis Rohtla considers the strengths and dangers of offshore windfarms: their environmental impact can not be evaluated thoroughly before they are completed. The world’s first offshore windfarm was established in Denmark in 1991. According to the EU plans 1/5 of the electric energy has to become from renewable resources by 2010. Estonia’s biggest potential is wind power. The research conducted in Europe has revealed that windfarms have the most negative impact on seabirds, especially divers. The biggest effect on fish fauna is the noise, but also electromagnetic fields. The article elaborates on both of these aspects.
„ESTONIA MATSALU” caught in the whirl of reforms
Jaanus Aua takes a look at the history and future of ringing birds in Estonia. The article also gives advice about how to become a ringer and what to do when you find a bird ring. The rings named „ESTONIA MATSALU” were taken into use in 1970 and by now almost 3 billion birds have been ringed, wearing that label. Along with the new nature protection legislation there will be a higher standard set for ringing as well. There are now about 100 ringers in Estonia, but there are almost no newcomers. The ringers consider it very important to keep the criteria reasonable enough to attract young people to become engaged in this very important hobby.
An uninvited visitor in the bedroom
Remo Savisaar encountered a conflict between a squirrel and an owl and caught this fight on photographs.