THOUSANDS of birds from northern Europe have come to spend the winter in Slovakia, thanks to cold weather during the last weeks. Many places in Slovakia are ideal to watch species that cannot be found here in other seasons, said Jozef Ridzoň of the Slovak Ornithological Society. Bohemian Waxwings are more in evidence this year than in previous winters and can often be spotted in the centres of busy towns and cities. Winter guests also include rare northern waterbirds that have flown in from as far away as the Arctic tundra or Siberia, the Sme daily reported.
In mid-January, Europe’s biggest ornithological event took place both in Slovakia and across the continent: the International Waterbird Census. Thousands of ornithologists and conservationists in Europe, Asia, and northern Africa counted waterbirds at traditional sites. In Slovakia, more than 300 ornithologists and fans took part in the census, Sme wrote.
“Bird monitoring continues to be an important part of ornithology as a science. From the number and species composition of birds during the winter, we will be able to evaluate the impact of climate change and global warming on the wintering and migration of birds,” Ridzoň told Sme.
During the central European winter Nordic species of geese are typical in Slovakia. These include the Greater White-fronted Goose and the Bean Goose, which flock for the night to common, often traditional, overnight sites that can be occupied by thousands, or even tens of thousands of birds. Less numerous, but also interesting, species include the Greater Scaup, Common Scoter, the Velvet Scoter, the Common Eider, and the Long-tailed Duck. All these species nest in northern Europe, or in Eurasia.