272 391
pictures
2 490
blog posts
504 photographed species of 527 (95%)
found 28 new species for Kazakhstan

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About the Site

About Birdwatching
About the Site
Participation in the Project
Goals
Project Team
Rules
Common Questions
Instructions
Tips
Other Project Sites

About Birdwatching

Birdwatching is a popular outdoor recreational activity in America and Western Europe. It involves the observation of birds, often aided by binoculars or a spotting scope, as well as bird photography and sound recording. A substantial amount of the world's ornithological data is contributed by birdwatching enthusiasts. In regions where birdwatching has gained popularity in the last 25 years, such as Asia and the post-Soviet space, bird photography is more prevalent. This is primarily attributed to the widespread availability of digital cameras equipped with telephoto lenses and superzoom capabilities. Owners of such cameras invariably find themselves drawn to capturing images of birds. Several factors contribute to this inclination. Firstly, birds are captivating and remarkable, yet people often only truly appreciate them when armed with binoculars or a camera. Secondly, birds exhibit remarkable diversity, inspiring photographers to seek out and capture images of various species. Thirdly, the process of bird photography is accompanied by a sense of excitement and passion, providing an avenue to channel ancient instincts without resorting to violence. Lastly, the outcome of bird photography is a collection of stunning and visually appealing photographs.

About the Site

This site has been established as part of a collaborative initiative among birdwatchers in the post-Soviet space. Long-standing examples of similar local projects include websites like "Birds of Kazakhstan" or "Birds of Ukraine". The primary audience for this site comprises local birdwatchers. Should any local birdwatcher aspire not only to participate but also to take an active role in managing the site and influencing its policies, we invite you to reach out to us at info@birds.watch.

Participation in the Project

Every birdwatcher has the opportunity to register and contribute their content to the site—be it photos, videos, diaries, or bird-related observations. There are no constraints, whether professional, age-related, or concerning material quality, as birds.watch transcends being merely a photo site; the material's quality is a subjective choice. Scientifically intriguing content is often not flawless.

Additionally, beyond regular participation in the site's activities, you have the option to become a project member, signifying a more profound engagement with the project's work, accompanied by specific benefits. If you aspire to deepen your involvement in birdwatching, please contact us at info@birds.watch.

Goals

The main goal of the site can be formulated as follows: creating a birdwatching culture in the post-Soviet space. Millions of people around the world are involved in birdwatching, and it is not only observers and photographers; there are tour organizers, guides, sellers of feeders, perches, binoculars, and other optics, and there are special points for birdwatching. Unfortunately, we don't have this yet.

The medium-term goal of the site is to promote birdwatching in the regions.

Project Team

Isabekov Askar Yasko Anna

Rules

  • It is not recommended to use invented nicknames, aliases, etc. Usually, all project participants use their real names.
  • Pressure of authority is not welcomed, as well as emotional pressure.
  • Any opinion should be substantiated.
  • Bans, as a punitive measure, are absent.
  • Hierarchy exists. The decision of the moderator/administrator is considered final.
  • Since part of the uploaded materials includes scientific interest, only the site moderator, in agreement with the material's author, can delete them.
  • General Questions

  • Why upload series of photographs to the site?
    Different angles in a series of photos allow for a more accurate identification of the bird. Also, a series of photos can help other system users identify the birds they have photographed.
  • If this is a photo site, why are there many low-quality photos on it?
    No, this is not a photo site, although you mostly see photos on the site. In fact, by posting photos (as well as videos and diary entries) on the site, its participants solve three tasks: firstly, they can use the help of other project participants in the most accurate identification of the bird in the photo; secondly, photo collections are created where birds are captured at different times of the year, different sexes and ages, from different angles, which helps make more accurate identifications of birds in the field or from photos; thirdly, photos help collect new data on the phenology and distribution of birds in Kazakhstan. Undoubtedly, high-quality photos are welcome, but often the value of a photo is not in its quality but in the observation made, for which it is enough to be able to reliably identify the bird.
  • What photos should not be uploaded?
    Photos of birds raised in captivity or those that have entered the region unnaturally (for example, if you know that the bird was brought by poachers or bird catchers). Also, do not post photos of dead birds. If the found remains are valuable, it is better to publish the find in the Diary.
  • Is it permitted to upload photos of birds on nests?
    Undoubtedly, the question of photographing birds on nests, as well as nests themselves and fledglings, is a very controversial issue. We adhere to the view that such shooting can only be done to record the fact of nesting of a species or some features of its biology. In any case, the photographer should understand all the responsibility for the possible harm that he can cause by helping predators discover the nest or fledglings with his actions. Be extremely careful and do not expose birds to stress and danger.
  • How are the rights of authors of materials implemented?
    All information posted on the site belongs to the authors; its use is limited by copyright. In order to avoid conflicts in the field of copyright, users can upload to the site only their (author's) photos and videos, materials of other authors can be uploaded only in the Diary. As a rule, in the case of non-commercial use, it is sufficient to provide a link to the birds.watch site or other resources of the author, if any. Commercial use of copyright materials is agreed directly with the authors.
  • How can you help the project?
    Upload your materials, participate in its daily life. Tell your friends and acquaintances about the project, share information on social networks. If you feel that you can prepare or edit information on the site, that's great, we need such help. We will also need assistants to prepare distribution maps of species and translate information on species into English. If you can easily identify bird species and want to be more involved in the life of the site, you can try yourself in the role of a site moderator. You can also help financially.
  • Tips

  • Recommendations for preparing photos for upload

    Before uploading photos to the site, it is recommended to process them in a photo editor. Photos with high resolution will take a long time to load, so we advise you to scale the published photos to a size of 800 to 1200 pixels horizontally.

    But before changing the size of the photo, you need to perform image correction operations, which will be discussed below.

    Firstly, if in the original photo the bird takes up a very small part of the frame, it is worth cropping it so that the bird is not lost when the photo size is reduced. Also, do not crop too close to the bird. This significantly impairs the perception of the object in the photo.

    Secondly, try to crop all photos to a 3:2 aspect ratio, that is, if you prepare a frame at 1,200 pixels horizontally, make it 800 pixels vertically—such frames are correctly displayed when viewed. Some authors make frames stretched vertically; in this case, they often do not fit on the screen.

    Thirdly, adjust the bright and dark areas in the photo; this significantly improves the quality of the photo: many details become visible that were previously indistinguishable dark spots.

    Fourthly, be moderate in processing the photo, adjusting contrast, saturation, and other parameters. Remember: the photo should be natural in color reproduction.

    Upload the best frame first—it will represent the entire series later.

  • A few tips on shooting

    Shoot birds in series, from different angles: this helps in their identification. Most cameras allow you to record video along with photos, so if you have the opportunity, record a video clip along with the photo, where the bird makes a sound — in many cases (and for singing males almost always), this helps identify the species. This is especially important for secretive species that are difficult to photograph, but recording their voice is quite real.

  • Other Sites of the project

    Birds of Kazakhstan - kz.birds.watch
    Birds of Siberia - sibirds.ru
    Birds of Siberia - siberian.birds.watch
    Birds of Xinjiang - xinjiang.birds.watch
    Birds of Kyrgyzstan - kyrgyz.birds.watch
    Birds of Ukraine - uabirds.org
    Birds of Ukraine - ua.birds.watch
    Birds of the European part of Russia - erbirds.ru
    Birds of the Russian Far East - fareastru.birds.watch
    Birds of India - indian.birds.watch
    Birds of Kerala - kerala.birds.watch



    rare birds records


    Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos chrysaetos)

    © Aldiyar Saparbayev
    2024-01-26
    Outskirts of Uralsk

    The first photographic record of a rare species for the region. In the past, it nested in places around Ilek and the Urals, and by the 60s of the 20th century only vagrants were encountered in the summer (Korelov, 1962). There is information about record of two single birds on September 18 and September 19, 2007 in the area of the Karachaganak gas condensate field (V.A. Kovshar, 2008).


    Pin-Tailed Sandgrouse (Pterocles alchata)

    © Kudaibergen Amirekul
    2024-01-14
    Koksaray

    The first documented case of wintering Pin-Tailed Sandgrouse.


    Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax)

    © Kudaibergen Amirekul
    2024-01-14
    Koksaray

    The first case of mass wintering of Little Bustard in the south of Kazakhstan (flocks with a total number of 141 birds). Prior to this, single individuals were recorded on the Mangystau Peninsula in December 2010 and 2014. (Kovshar, Karpov 2019).


    Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia)

    © Ruslan Urazaliyev
    2024-01-08
    Karakol', Aqtau

    The first photographic record of a rare wintering species in winter. The bird was observed by Ruslan Urazaliev and Zhaskairat Nurmukhambetov.


    Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus)

    © Qanatbek Kenzhegulov
    2024-01-11

    First confirmed winter record.

    more rarities...

    recent video

    2024-02-18
    Great Spotted Woodpecker
    (Gulsana Battakova)

    2024-02-06
    Brambling
    (Kiril Ivanov)

    2024-02-03
    Great Spotted Woodpecker
    (Irina Kuryanova)

    2023-12-28
    Hume's Warbler
    (Gulsana Battakova)

    2023-11-30
    Himalayan Vulture
    (Andrey Kovalenko)

    2023-08-01
    Ruddy Turnstone
    (Anna Yasko)

    2023-07-03
    Paddyfield Warbler
    (Anna Yasko)

    2023-06-30
    Little Bittern
    (Viktoriya Zvyaginceva)
    Long-eared Owl
    (Viktoriya Zvyaginceva)

    2023-06-19
    Grey-Headed Woodpecker
    (sergey izoya)

    2023-06-12
    European Greenfinch
    (Raouf Bairashev)

    2023-06-03
    Himalayan Accentor
    (Viktoriya Zvyaginceva)

    2023-05-02
    Common Moorhen
    (Raouf Bairashev)
    Common Moorhen
    (Raouf Bairashev)

    2023-04-26
    Demoiselle Crane
    (Viktoriya Zvyaginceva)

    more video...

    unidentified birds


    2024-02-27

    Анна Ясько: Окрасом и длиной хвоста похож на серого сорокопута.

    2024-02-20

    Анна Ясько: У нас есть несколько авторитетных мнений по этой чайке, но, увы, они не единодушны: argentatus, argentatus х cachinnans, taimyrensis. Оставить в неопределенных - [....]

    2024-02-19

    Леонид Ишков: Сверху к сожалению нет, тогда может быть удалить?

    more unidentified birds...