IT MEANS MOTHER NATURE.

AND IT’S TRUE.

Osprey population increases

July for "Latvian State Forests" environment specialist Aigars Kalvans is a month when a lot of time is spent monitoring osprey nests in order to spot changes in the bird population and, if needed, to perform effective species protection measures.

July 9 was a particularly special day. When going on an inspection of ospreys, the expert was accompanied by three inquisitive winners of the Mammadaba Twitter competition. The meeting place was in Kangari Bog, where an osprey couple calls a 3-meter pine tree home.

"We had to walk quite a distance to reach the nest, but the day was sunny, and we ate wild bilberries on the way, while the expert was telling us why it is necessary to girdle these birds," as one of the winners of the competition recalls.

"We performed ringing on ospreys in order to gather information about their behavior and main migration routes. I am doing my best to capture photos of the old birds, as then it is possible to track whether any of the hatchlings, which I have ringed, has returned to form couples here. So far, I have met about twenty individuals," Kalvans points out.

The first feasible data on the species population dates back to the 1980s, when the territory of Latvia had about 100 couples of such birds. At the moment, more than 200 bird couples have built their homes here, thus, the population has increased more than double during these years. It has been observed that the largest fall in population in the entire world dates back to 1960s, when the largest threat to fish eagles once was pesticides, such as DDT, due to the fact that these species consume only fish. As a result, the number of successful nests declined, because the eggshells had become thinner and the birds squashed them. In the Mediterranean, ospreys are being hunted, but in Latvia, they tend to entangle themselves in nets and thus die.

"Why is there such a huge increase in osprey population?" – asks one of the winners of the Twitter competition. Turns out it is also thanks to humans, who ensure protected territories in the nesting vicinity and build platforms on top of pine-trees, which protect the nest in a windy weather. At the moment, half of the osprey population builds their nests on these platforms.

The male is the one who picks a territory for nesting. For the most part, the nest is built on top of a tree, usually on an old tree with a rounded top, hence, pine-tree. It is important for the bird that the chosen tree is the tallest or has no other trees around, which is why the potential home place is often chosen in bogs and clearings. When the osprey family has settled down, the female's task is to protect the nest, while the male is responsible for food. "Their responsibilities are strictly divided," the expert laughs. "The male hunts for fish. He catches all fish, giving preference to those who live closer to the water surface – pike, carp, etc. The male looks for a fish and with a huge plunge dives into the water," the ornithologist describes the bird's hunting strategy. The hatching period for each hatchling differs only in terms of a few days, however, already after a month, it is impossible to tell which one of them is the youngest.

Upon arriving at a bird nest in Kangari Bog, Aigars is wearing a special outfit, climbing the tree. The nest has three hatchlings that need to be girdled. They are ringed with two rings, one of which is made out of metal – indicating a number and the state, while the other one is red. The red color helps acquire information about the bird from distance by taking photographs.

After the birds are ringed, they are carefully weighed, which this time is done by the winners of the Mammadaba Twitter competition. A month-old hatchling weighs from 1.5 to 1.7 kilograms. This is also the right age for determining the gender – females are usually heavier.

All information about the hatchlings is carefully taken down. Winners of the Mammadaba Twitter competition are grateful for their accomplishment – Latvia now has three girdled ospreys more. All of them have been weighed, inspected, and photographed. May the hatchlings grow fast and return here to build their own nests.

 

Skaties galeriju:

Project’s “Garden Pearls” open door days in LVM Kalsnava Arboretum

During the open door days of project “Garden Pearls” taking place in August 2 to 4 use the opportunity to get to know different woody plants, that can be seen in the LVM Kalsnava Arboretum, in a...

Read more...
Baltic scouts and guides meet in huge camp at Ezernieki

  This week, June 7 to 13, the LVM Tourist and Recreation Centre “Ezernieki”, in Lubāna region's Meirāni, will hold a large international camp for scouts and guides of Baltic countries...

Read more...
Starting transformation of inactive area of Jaunmokas Manor’s park

The structure of Jaunmokas Palace's park consists not only of historical buildings and greenery, but also park glades, ponds, roads and paths. Its territory is 9.8 ha large with more than 60 different...

Read more...
Western capercaillie researches in LVM forests continue

  This spring in Northern Latgale region one western capercaillie male was fitted with a transmitter in the framework of a research of the Forest Research Institute "Silava” to find out the...

Read more...
Summer Solstice in Pokaiņi

Between Summer Solstice and Midsummer’s Night, the LVM Pokaiņi Forest invites to be together in the light evening of June 22, surrounded with spruce forest and meditative sounds. Together with the...

Read more...
Ezernieki inspire to nature and bird watching

Arend and Manda are a Dutch couple, whose hobby almost all their life is nature and bird watching, travelling all over Europe. This summer is the fourth time when both nature enthusiasts are staying...

Read more...
Mammadaba journal invites to Kurzeme forests!

Mammadaba summer journal “Kurzemes mežos” (in Kurzeme forests) invites its readers to go on an excursion to North Kurzeme! From Cape Kolka to the colourful Kurzeme Springs travellers are...

Read more...
“Green Classroom” will introduce forestry to children

  Even though summer and summer school break is in full swing, the “Latvijas Finieris” and JSC “Latvijas valsts meži” (LVM) invites children and teachers to plan next school year’s...

Read more...
3rd competition of Angling Championship – there are fish in LVM Gulbju Lake

Photo: The winners of 3rd competition of Mammadaba Angling Championship at LVM Gulbju Lake – (from left) Uldis Veidemanis and Artūrs Veidemanis. Even though the astronomical summer will start only...

Read more...
Four “mothers” above metre – most generous May in “Release the Mother!” history

The spawn of pike, perch and zander this year was 2-3 weeks earlier that usually, almost in all waters since the last year the water lever has stayed low, at the end of May in some places algal...

Read more...
1/2/3/4/5/6/.../37/38/39 pages

atlaid mammu

Putnu rallijs