Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Birds confused by warm weather

THE UNSEASONABLY warm weather that lasted until late January left some birds in state of confusion. Owls, for example, were already seen raising their young in December, even though they normally wait until March or April.

Birds in winter(Source: TASR)

THE UNSEASONABLY warm weather that lasted until late January left some birds in state of confusion. Owls, for example, were already seen raising their young in December, even though they normally wait until March or April.

The protectionists from the Raptor Protection of Slovakia (RPS) organisation told the SITA newswire that they were called on January 9 by someone who found two young long-eared owls (Asio otus) who fell from their nest. “This would not be anything unusual – were it not the beginning of January,” Lucia Deutschová of RPS said, adding that the young owls were brought to a rehabilitation centre where they are being cared for. That they were about two weeks old indicates that owls were starting to nest in December, which is unusually early.

The young owls were found in the complex of the Jaslovské Bohunice nuclear power plant by an employee, after having fallen from a magpie nest in a pine tree. “The long-eared owls do not construct their own nests,” Deutshcová explained, “but use the nests of other birds instead.”

She blamed the atypically warm weather for such an early nesting, with an important factor being the accessibility of food – mostly mice – due to the lack of snow.

When monitoring the winter bird population, the organisation’s members noted that some couples were already in their nesting sites, such as white-tailed eagles, for example, which were already preparing their nests, while so-called “wedding flights” were taking place, too.

“It seems that spring came during the time originally meant to be winter,” Deutschová concluded. She added, however, that later the birds could be caught by surprise when severe winter conditions eventually come in March or April, which could result in a low success rate for nesting in Slovakia. This was the case last year. “We hope this will not be repeated,” she said.

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Top stories

Vallo: I will face up to the people no matter what

The new Bratislava mayor has four broad priorities to accomplish.

Matúš Vallo discusses the municipal elections at the SME daily.

Slovakia has many skilful people. Students should meet them

The new project by the Pontis Foundation tries to motivate young people through stories of successful business people.

The presentation of This is 21 project

Fico sticks with his old-style politics

Only the former PM knows whether the inspiration for his latest stunt was the success of the For A Decent Slovakia-supported candidates in the municipal elections.

Denník N: Danko is a plagiarist

The daily analysed the thesis identical to that of Parliament's Speaker Andrej Danko to find it was copied from textbooks.

Speaker of Parliament Andrej Danko