UNUSUALLY warm temperatures were recorded across the country during the last days of February. The mercury rose to 19 degrees in Bratislava on February 25, which beat the record set on the same day in 1989 by 2.1 degrees, the ČTK newswire wrote.
As a result, birds have been singing as though it's spring, Marek Brinzík, spokesperson of the Slovak Ornithological Society SOS/ Birdlife Slovensko, told the SITA newswire. The warm weather has also made bats' circulation start flowing, he said.
"Birds are very sensitive to weather," Brinzík said. He listed tits, thrushes and nightingales among the species that can now be heard.
Bats have also awoken from hibernation early. Though they are nocturnal animals, some species have been taking advantage of the hot daylight hours to feed on insects.
"Nature lovers have an extraordinary opportunity to watch these mysterious animals using all their acrobatic abilities to catch prey," ornithologist Ján Gúgh told SITA.
Ornithologists warn that even though the warm weather is pleasant for people, it is not beneficial for nature, which should rest in the winter. The warm winter has also confused marmots and bears in Slovakia's mountains. On February 12, a worker in the Tatra National Park saw a marmot running in one of the High Tatras' southern valleys, SITA wrote.
Zoologist Barbara Chovancová said she can't recall in her 30 years of experience a time when marmots came out of hibernation so early.
Tatra marmots usually emerge from their burrows at the end of April or beginning of May.
3. Mar 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by Jana Liptáková from press reports