IN EARLY July a falcon caught in an antenna on an apartment building in Devínska Nová Ves was freed when local resident Elena Bakaová spotted the common kestrel and alerted Jozef Chavko of Raptor Protection of Slovakia (RPS), which helped free the bird and secure veterinary treatment.
“We had been watching the kestrel for a longer [period of] time and we knew it had a nest somewhere close. When I saw what happened, I intervened immediately,” Bakaová told the TASR newswire. “In the heat, the bird might have quickly become exhausted and died. We also contacted the janitor of the building to gain access to the roof. Thanks to a swift operation, the kestrel was saved,” she said.
Lucia Deutschová of RPS told TASR that the common kestrel often nests close to human dwellings, sometimes nesting in flower pots or airshafts. “In the nesting period, people often contact us for help. After a kestrel has nested, it is best to leave it alone and let the young birds mature and leave the nest. If the nesting is threatened by reconstruction work, for example, it is necessary to inform the relevant environmental authority or us,” she concluded.
She further advised that if one finds a young, uninjured kestrel, to place it as close to the nest as possible, on an elevated place out of reach of dogs, cats and children, so that its parents can continue to care for it. A healthy young kestrel should not be taken home, and even an injured one is best helped by contacting the authorities or the nearest animal rescue facility.
The Bratislava Zoo operates a rehab centre for injured birds.
The long-eared owl (Asio otus) is also known to nest close to people’s homes. Young owls of this species often emit long whistles, which many people find annoying, Deutschová explained. Both the common kestrel and the long-eared owl are protected species and, thus, people who intentionally harm them can be fined up to several thousand euros.
22. Jul 2013 at 0:00 | Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská