Despite it is known for centuries that a huge number of migrating birds pass along the Caspian coast and through Azerbaijan, the area around Mount Besh Barmag (Beşbarmaq) was just recently identified as a globally important bird migration bottleneck. Here, at the easternmost foothills of the Greater Caucasus, migrating birds that avoid crossing the high mountain range and also the nearby Caspian Sea are funnelled through a narrow coastal plain. 2-3 million birds pass the counting station in autumn. On good days more than 100.000 individuals can be counted. In total, more than 315 bird species have been recorded.
Our aim is to establish the annual count of migrating birds at Besh Barmag as an efficient tool for bird conservation in a little-studied region. Furthermore, we are eager to use this count to promote environmental education and eco-tourism in Azerbaijan. The final goal of our activities will be a bird observatory, where bird lovers, nature enthusiasts and scientists get together to enjoy the miracle of bird migration.
Latest news of the Besh Barmag Bird Migration Count:
Text & Photos © Pia Fetting The first records of Little Bunting for Azerbaijan were recently published in the Sandgrouse magazine of the Ornithological Society of the Middle East: Fetting P & Buddemeier J (2021) First records of Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla for Azerbaijan. Sandgrouse 43(1): 146-150. https://osme.org/sandgrouse/ Summary: During a comprehensive survey of migratory birds at… Continue reading First records of Little Bunting published in Sandgrouse
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic we sadly have to announce the cancellation of the bird migration count at Besh Barmag in autumn 2020. Even if all shutdowns and travel restrictions will be rescinded and the infection risk lowered by the purposed start of the count in August, there are many other impacts which make… Continue reading Besh Barmag Bird Migration Count 2020 cancelled!
The Ornithological Society of the Middle East (OSME) just published the latest issue of Sandgrouse. This issue is online free available as PDF file owed to the extraordinary pandemic situation. Great idea! In this issue you will find the article ‘The development of the Besh Barmag Bird Migration Count in Azerbaijan and its importance for… Continue reading New paper about the Besh Barmag Bird Migration Count published in Sandgrouse
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