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First swallow arrived early this year

ORNITHOLOGISTS observed the first swallow on Slovak territory this year on March 17 in south-central Slovakia, near the municipality of Holiša. The swallow is one of 30 migratory bird species that return each year from their wintering locations.

ORNITHOLOGISTS observed the first swallow on Slovak territory this year on March 17 in south-central Slovakia, near the municipality of Holiša. The swallow is one of 30 migratory bird species that return each year from their wintering locations.

This means that the spring migration of birds happened earlier this year, according to Juraj Ridzoň from the Slovak Ornithology Association BirdLife Slovensko.

“Compared with last year, this year the first swallow was seen four days earlier,” Ridzoň explained. Swallows tend to migrate to sub-Saharan Africa in winter, often flying more than 10,000 kilometres, the expert told the TASR newswire. He added that swallows are threatened by human activities, like discarding their nests when reconstructing homes, pollution and damage to wetlands where swallows rest and hunt for insects. Ridzoň says changes in livestock breeding have also put swallows at risk.

Ornithologists also observed the arrival of the white stork, and say that cuckoos, house martins and other migratory birds are expected to follow en masse. Bird migrations end in early May, when more than 100 migratory birds will return to Slovakia from Africa and India, according to BirdLife Slovensko.

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