Protecting young, endangered Montagu harriers

Ornithologists are searching for the nests of Montagu harriers, a rare bird of prey living in Slovakia’s lowlands, to try to protect them from famers’ harvesting activities. The birds build their nests directly on the soil within fields of crops. “Each year, a fight for time begins as the harrier offspring start flying about the same time as the beginning of the harvest” said Michal Noga of the BirdLife Slovakia NGO to the TASR newswire. He explained that it is not always easy to find a harrier’s nest as they are usually hidden in high crops over acres of land, adding that the really hard work begins only after the nest has been found.

Ornithologists help to save and preserve nestsOrnithologists help to save and preserve nests (Source: TASR)

Ornithologists are searching for the nests of Montagu harriers, a rare bird of prey living in Slovakia’s lowlands, to try to protect them from famers’ harvesting activities. The birds build their nests directly on the soil within fields of crops. “Each year, a fight for time begins as the harrier offspring start flying about the same time as the beginning of the harvest” said Michal Noga of the BirdLife Slovakia NGO to the TASR newswire. He explained that it is not always easy to find a harrier’s nest as they are usually hidden in high crops over acres of land, adding that the really hard work begins only after the nest has been found.

“We contact the owner of the land and try to figure out a solution acceptable for all. Sometimes, the young birds need just a few more days to learn to fly and leave the nest. In other cases, we ask the owner to leave a patch of uncut crop fenced off by us in order to protect the birds from foxes and boars,” Noga explained.

Montagu harriers belong among the most protected animal species in Slovakia since each year just 5 to 15 couples lay eggs. Protection of these harriers depends on cooperation between the protectionists and owners of farm land, the SITA newswire wrote. The project is supported by the Ekopolis Foundation using funds from the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Community, the Norwegian Financial Mechanism and the public budget.

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Top stories

Railway station in Košice

Who’s the foreigner in this country now?

The virus has highlighted some differences between migrants and locals, but erased others.

23. jan
Košice

News digest: Slovakia has passed the peak of the second wave, health minister says

Polish doctors will help take swabs in Slovakia this weekend. People who have had COVID can just show their positive test result.

22. jan
Rapid testing in Košice

Nationwide COVID-19 testing – and criticism – starts again

Longer ‘screening’ different to October operation.

22. jan
Ján Sýkora is an easy-going ice-hockey player who has got a great sense of humour.

Fashion brands mean nothing to me. Professional hockey player about his life in central Slovakia

In an entertaining interview, the down-to-earth ice hockey player, Ján Sýkora, talks about being a busy bee with a poor memory.

21. jan