Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

The importance of birds commemorated beginning of April

First April is not just Fools’ Day but is also associated with International Bird Day, and connected with one of the pioneers of environmental protection in Slovakia, Oto Herman.

Long-eared owl, Myšiarka ušatá in Slovak (Asio otus)(Source: Sme)

It has been celebrated since 1900 and the date was chosen deliberately to fall in the period when most migratory birds arrive to Slovakia.

Ever more people are becoming aware of the huge importance of birds, including users of land plots, hunters and self-governing administrations. “We are very happy that ever more plots are now used in a way that is closer to nature and that awareness concerning the importance of birds keeps growing,” Lucia Deutschová of Raptor Protection of Slovakia (RPS) informed. “Instead of chemicals harmful to people, animals and plants, environmentally-friendly processes are preferred, thanks to which the overall variety of species in the country is growing.”

Deutschová also explained that some of the farmers, land owners and users even decided to use raptors for biological protection of fields. “We help them place birdhouses and special “crutches”, put high in the landscape, on which raptors can rest, as well as be on the lookout for prey,” she described, adding that RPS has “befriended” cooperatives where raptors and owls can nest directly in their buildings.

Raptors reduce the negative impact of small rodents, especially voles who are considered a pest in connection with farming. Some raptors or owls bear their “mouse-hunting” function already in their Slovak names: myšiak, myšiar, myšiarka – myš means mouse. One predatory bird can save up to 1.5 tonnes of grain a year, as they eat as many mice as would consume this amount of harvest.

“Today, ever more people are aware of the fact that the presence of birds in the country is an indicator of a healthier environment,” she added. “We are glad that many hunters already see this connection, as well as the fact that many raptors do have an important sanitatary function in nature, preferring to eat dead animals, or weak and sick ones.”

In five areas, an agreement was concluded with hunters on not hunting for crows, magpies and ravens, Michal Noga of RPS said, adding that this is a crucial breakthrough, as these species are irreplaceable as builders of nests for some endangered raptors, like the red-footed falcon (Falco vespertinus). None of the raptors, not even owls, make their own nests. They depend on nests of other birds, or on nest-houses and pads that protectionists place for them in the country. The importance of the nests can be seen from the fact that most are occupied soon after they are finished, Noga summed up.         

 

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

Spectacular Slovakia #3: Unexpected hiking (Enjoy Bratislava's greenery) Audio

In Slovakia, you can hike in the capital city. Listen to the latest episode of our travel podcast to find out more.

The Financial Administration’s head resigns from post

František Imrecze says his decision was spontaneous.

František Imrecze

People will gather to support imprisoned Ukrainian filmmaker

The open letter in support of Sentsov has been signed by more than 2,800 people.

People hold posters to support Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who is currently on hunger strike in a Russian jail to demand the release of the other Ukrainian hostages taken by the Kremlin, in front of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Kiev on August 21, 2018.

Institutions can be quickly destroyed, but they are hard to build

Head of the To Dá Rozum intiative, Renáta Hall, talks about the impacts of a dispute between the academy of sciences and the Education Ministry.

Renáta Hall