Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Save the little owl

People can influence species of animals by how they spend their money.

(Source: www.dravce.sk)

There is probably no owl surrounded with as many legends as the little owl in Slovakia. Our grandparents considered it to be a bearer of bad news; they believed that its voice was a herald of death.

“When a dying person was in a house, relatives used to put a candle in the window. In the night they would hear the teary sound of the little owl and the myth was alive,” explains Tomáš Veselovský from Raptor Protection Slovakia.

The little owl, however, was completely innocent. It uses sight when hunting, so the light of a candle helps it find insects.

“It usually eats beetles and grasshoppers but also mice or smaller bird species,” continued Veselovský. Their natural environment is lowland with grassy areas and pasture lands. They usually nest in various niches of farming buildings. The majority live in “permanent relationships” and do not change nests.

In Slovakia are about 550 nesting pairs. The results of recent research showed that the population of little owls has decreased. While scientists in Slovakia noted a decrease of the species by 31-45 percent, in Czech Republic it was 87-94 percent. The main reason for lowering populations is loss of hunting grounds.

“Farmer cooperatives have gone through changes; compounds are becoming desolate and weeds are growing. The little owls finds hard to hunt for food there,” stated Veselovský. When modernising building, attics are closed making it impossible for little owls to nest there. If we add strong winter and intense traffic, the little owls have almost no chance to survive, he added.

Raptor Protection is trying to save the little owls by creating new and safe nests. The entrance of nesting boxes are equipped with metal to protect new-born owls from other raptors. At the same time, they are removing dangerous features where little owls could get stuck or sink.

But everyone can help, according to Veselovský. By choosing local food and bio products we support the thoughtful use of soil where little owls could find enough insect and mice.

“So don’t forget that by buying certain food, we influence the variety of species in our country,” summed up Veselovský.

Read also: Read also:Baby falcons return home

Top stories

How did Communism happen in Czechoslovakia?

For the 40 years, Czechs and Slovaks would celebrate February 25 as Victorious February, even though the enthusiasm of most of those who supported Communists in 1948 would very quickly evaporate.

Prime Minister Klement Gottwald (right) swears an oath into the hands of President Edvard Benes on February 27, 1948 at the Prague Castle.

Cemetery with a remarkable creative concept Photo

The shapes of tombstones were prescribed until 1997

Vrakuňa Cemetery in Bratislava

Being young is harder than it used to be

The failure of older generations to sympathise with youth means politics are primarily a contest of who can hand out more gifts to old people.

Young Slovaks have problems finding proper jobs.

Historian: After 1948, Czechoslovakia was paralysed with fear

On February 25, Czechs and Slovaks mark 70 years since the rise of Communism in their common state. Historian Jan Pešek talks about the coup and its aftermath.

Demonstration in Prague, Wenceslas' Square, on February 28, 1948.