IT MEANS MOTHER NATURE.

AND IT’S TRUE.

Schoolchildren clean birdhouses at Nature Park in Tērvete

 

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It has become a lovely tradition of educational institutions of Tērvete region – birdhouse cleaning in early spring at the LVM Nature Park in Tērvete.

This year in March, the 5th grade students of Augstkalne Secondary School and Anna Brigadere Elementary School, lead by teachers Rudīte Dude and Svetlana Kursina became bird friends. More than 30 children went to clean the homes of first spring messengers both in the most tourist visited places – Dwarfs’ Forest, Annele’s Father’s Hill surroundings and Sprīdītis Trail, and also in rather quiet places – Iršu Garden and Tērvete’s Staburags surroundings.

Children not only inspected and cleaned more than 100 already set up birdhouses, cleaning them from moss, pine bark strips, grubs and other goods of previous years, but the 15 broken ones were replaced with new ones. Together with knowledgeable environmental education specialists children learnt how to put up birdhouse correctly and to identify what species of birds have lived in the already set up birdhouses. It turns out that the main indication for identifying bird species – eggs left by little chirpers.

When inspecting birdhouses, children intently put down their observation in worksheets. Together we concluded that flycatchers, tits and nuthatches have been the most active birdhouse tenants. There were also several interesting finds. One of the surprises – frogs found in birdhouses. How did they get in there? Children had several ideas, but teachers drew their attention to the possibility that this surprise might be prepared by little owls – Eurasian pygmy owl.

At the end of day dedicated to birds, representatives of Augstskalne Secondary School said: “We got to know that a bird makes a new nest every year, all birds don't make similar ones. When woodpecker pecks a larger entrance hole in a small bird birdhouse, then it must be replaced, because the singing creatures don't want to live in a house with doors so wide. We liked that we were able to climb the ladder to reach a birdhouse and when setting up a new birdhouse we were able to think of and to write a name and number on it.”

However, 5th graders of Anna Brigadere Elementary School, after summarising the day in forest in an early spring, concluded: “We loved that we were able to have activities in fresh air, rather than looking in the phone all day long. We liked to clean birdhouses and learn new things about forest. We were surprised that we found a dead mouse in a birdhouse (and we buried it) and even a frog... We enjoyed the atmosphere of forest, and also that we were able to get to know each other better. We thank Nature Park in Tērvete for the lovely activity!”

Cleaning of birdhouses extend their utilisation period, because little singers – tits and flycatchers – don’t clean their houses, but build a new nest on top of the old one. Thus, after few years 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.

 

 

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