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Intensive work for bird ringers


At this time of the year, the migrating birds directed towards southwest can be seen everywhere, but most of them are concentrated at reservoirs and at the seaside where flocks of birds reaching Lithuania from the north and east gather.

Bird migration paces and trends are best demonstrated by the ringing results of the ornithological stations in Ventės Ragas and next to Juodkrantė in the Curonian Spit. The workers of the ornithological station of Ventės Ragas ringed nearly 70,000 birds since the start of this year. In the summer, most of the ringed birds accounted for common starlings and songbirds, whereas now blue and great tits and common chaffinches are dominating. This year’s one-day ringing record in Ventės Ragas was recorded on September 19, when 3,093 birds were ringed. The number of birds ringed here from 1 to 9 October is 7,569.

The figures in the Curonian Spit are not that high. The workers of Juodkrantė environmental studies laboratory ring less common birds such as long-eared and short-eared owls.

As the temperature goes down, the species of migrating birds somewhat change: there are increasing numbers of Eurasian jays, wood pigeons and geese. Autumn changes are also evident among passerines: bramblings started to arrive from the north.

Although we are close to mid-autumn, the real summer types of birds – aquatic warblers, reed warblers, typical warblers and common chiffchaffs – can still be found in the nets. Two barn swallows were ringed in Ventės Ragas on 7 October. Some birds can be found in the nets very rarely; this year, common firecrests, Eurasian rock pipits and yellow-browed warblers have been caught and ringed already.

Volunteers help the workers of the ornithological stations to ring birds. The number of volunteers grows every year. An increasing number of Lithuanians dedicate their free time to birdwatching.

Bird migration in Lithuania starts early. In mid-August, the so called summer species fly away, and white storks fly away by the end of August. Most species that do not spend the winter in our country start migrating in mid-September. Nearly 300 bird species of the 386 species found in Lithuania migrate, and only the places where they spend the winter and their road to these places differ.

Public Relations Department
10 October 2017

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas