EuroBirdwatch – Fascination by Migration!
By Caroline Jacobsson, Mon, 08/10/2012 - 10:14
During the past weekend more than 64,000 people observed bird migration in 33 European and Central Asian countries through participation in EuroBirdwatch12, BirdLife Europe's annual bird watching initiative to observe and learn about bird migration, as birds fly to their wintering places in the southern hemisphere. EuroBirdwatch provides a great opportunity to raise awareness on bird migration and promotes needed actions to save threatened bird species and their habitats. BirdLife Partners across Europe and Central Asia participated organizing more than 2,500 events and visitors observed almost six millions birds passing over head. “Last but not least, EuroBirdwatch means a perfect chance for all bird lovers to meet and share experiences and enjoy together the miracle of bird migration,” says Zdeněk Vermouzek, director of Czech Society for Ornithology (CSO), the EuroBirdwatch12 coordinator. As every year, BirdLife Partners across the Europe and Central Asia prepared various events to attract people of all ages to enjoy birds and discover interesting new facts about bird migration. Organisers hoped to excite participants´ interest for birds and their protection and make a difference and bring hope for threatened birds. Bird observations were collected in each country and referred to the European Centre, coordinated by CSO/BirdLife Czechia. Ornithological highlights:
- The three most numerous bird species observed during the European Birdwatch 2012 were: Wood Pigeon, Starling and Chaffinch. All of them belong to typical migrating bird species.
- In southern Europe, Flamingos were among the most admired birds, whereas in northern countries real rarities like Long-billed Dowitcher, Red-flanked Bluetail or Pectoral Sandpiper were recorded. Eastern countries offered even such rare species like Imperial and Steppe Eagle, Black-winged Pranticole or Great and Little Bustard.
- Among places for observation of marine birds, Gibraltar was the most attractive providing a chance to observe numerous Cory's and Balearic Shearwaters as well as Gannets fishing amidst Dolphins.
- Finnish observers documented about 400,000 Barnacle Geese whereas their Swedish colleagues reported 275,000 Barnacle Geese and almost 370,000 Wood Pigeons.
- Amazing observation of two hunting Steppe Eagles was reported from Ukraine.
- Observation of incredible 1,350 worldwide Critically Endangered Sociable Lapwings was reported from Turkey.