IT MEANS MOTHER NATURE.

AND IT’S TRUE.

Cleaning day for birdhouses in LVM Nature Park in Tērvete

Traditionally in March children are going to the LVM Nature Park in Tērvete to have a spring cleaning for the houses of first messengers of spring – birds. This year, the Anna Brigadere Elementary school's 6th and 8th grade students became the bird friends and went to clean the birdhouses in the historic parts of the park – Iršu Garden, Annele’s Father’s Hill and in the surroundings of Staburags – and also in the relatively new thematic parts – Dwarfs’ Forest, Sprīdītis trail and in a small territory of marsh.

Schoolchildren not only cleaned almost hundred birdhouses, emptying them from moss, pine bark flakes, grubs and other last year's belongings, but those birdhouses that had served their time were replaced by 14 new ones. Children were also able to use modern technologies – to determine the direction with the help of smart phone, so that the entrance of the new birdhouse would face the East. The knowing environmental education specialists of the park helped children to not only understand how to set up a birdhouse correctly, but also determine which bird species had lived in the previously set up birdhouses. It turns out the main characteristic to identify the bird species – eggs that had been laid by little singers.

After surveying birdhouses, children put all their observations on the work sheets. Together they learnt that flycatchers, tits and nuthatches have been the most active tenants of the birdhouses. There was also one especially interesting finding – in one birdhouse children found a frog. How did it get there? Children had several versions, but in the end it stayed as an unsolved mystery.

To sum up the early spring day in forest, Daniela from the 8th grade concluded: “I liked the work in park. It was very interesting because we were able to look into birdhouses, to see what's in them.” However, Kristaps says: “I clean birdhouses every year. I was happy to help the little feathered friends of the park”.

This very beneficial work extends the utilisation time of birdhouses, because little birds – tits, European pied flycatcher – don’t clean their houses, but build their nests on top of the old one. Thus, after few years the birdhouse is full with nesting materials. A nest, which in forest is build on top of one or several older nests is an easier reach for nest demolishers – martens. Birds will return their favour to people, who help to get suitable nesting places – they catch a lot of tree insects to feed their young.

Ornithologists have concluded that the LVM Nature Park in Tērvete is housing one third of Latvian wild bird species. It can be concluded that one of the most beautiful nature parks in Latvia is filled with songs from around 120 different birds.

The LVM Nature Park in Tērvete wishes you a sonorous spring!

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