Tuesday, 17 January 2023

Rare Endangered Bald Ibis Female Spotted in Neretva Valley in Croatia

January 17, 2023 - The bald ibis became extinct in Europe and Croatia in the 18th century. In Croatia, the last individuals nested in Istria. The bird is a migrant that lives in semi-desert or rocky areas, often near watercourses.

After flying from Brač and staying briefly on Hvar, the female bald ibis (Gerinticus eremita) named Gipsy continued her journey, stopped in Slano, and then arrived in the Neretva valley, the Dubrovnik-Neretva County reported on Monday, writes 24Sata. The County Public Institution for the Management of Protected Areas of Nature received notification of this from the Biom association.

"The reappearance of the bald ibis in Croatia is possible thanks to the LIFE Northern Bald Ibis project, which is dedicated to reintroducing individuals from captivity in Germany and Austria. A feeding ground has been arranged for these birds in northern Italy, but before going there, they often decide to fly through Croatia as well," the County said.

They state that all individuals are equipped with GPS devices that track their flight, and this rare bird can be tracked through the Animal Tracker application, where photos and information about their sightings can be entered.

The bald ibis became extinct in Europe and Croatia in the 18th century. In Croatia, the last individuals nested in Istria. The bird is a migrant that lives in semi-desert or rocky areas, often near watercourses. The ancient Egyptians worshiped it, and today there are only about 200 individuals living in North Africa and the Middle East, the press release points out.

When hatched, the bald ibis have feathers on its head. But as they grow, their feathers fall off, and their heads remain bare, hence their name. The rest of their body is covered with black feathers with a copper-green and purple glow in the sun.

The bald ibis have red beaks and red skin all over their body, except for the top of their head. They have long feathers on the back of their necks. Under normal circumstances, they live between 25 and 30 years. They feed on insects, lizards, and even small mammals.

Since Gipsy is not shy and can be approached, the County asks the citizens not to disturb her if they spot her.

"If she decides to spend the night at your house or somewhere nearby, observe her from a distance and let her decide for herself when she will go on her way," the press release emphasizes.

"If you spot her or by any chance take a photo, please send the information to the contact of the Public Institution This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., so that we can all contribute to the preservation and return of this extinct species to Europe," the County said.

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Thursday, 1 December 2022

Be Careful if You Like Feeding Birds, in Pula You Could get Fined

December 1, 2022 - Though they can be cheerful and cute, birds can create a mess in public areas. In Pula, they remind of measures to keep things under control - the prohibition on feeding birds.

As Poslovni / Glas Istre write, despite the engagement of falconers, the installation of loudspeakers with sounds of bird predators, and even colourful balloons - starlings and other birds still cannot be driven away from their favorite habitats in the city center.

One of those is the Giardini, or rather the crowns of centuries-old trees, from which flocks of birds decorate the heads of passers-by and numerous tourists and restaurant terraces in summer. And it is not that individuals do not contribute to birds moving in, as they like to feed pigeons and other bird species in this particular location. Many, however, do not know that this is prohibited by the city's Decision on communal order.

The Communal Palace specifies that according to the said decision, it is not allowed to leave any waste or "contaminate in any other way surfaces where it is forbidden to feed birds, dogs, cats, and other animals."
Violation of this provision is punishable for legal entities under Article 177 and for natural persons under Article 180 of the decision above. The prescribed amount of the fine is from HRK 5 to HRK 10,000 for legal entities, while for natural persons, the fine is HRK 300 to HRK 1,000," the Communal Palace states.

They add that the city police do not keep special records for acts that violate the ban on feeding birds.

The City specifies that it is forbidden to feed birds, dogs, cats,and other animals in public areas, because this pollutes public spaces and birds then gather at the feeding grounds.

"Given the aggressiveness of certain bird species, this is used to protect people from the danger of excessive growth of a certain bird population, but also the need to keep animals under the control and supervision of experts. In addition, such actions also affect citizens' quality of life in terms of day and night rest, hygiene, pollution of facades, as well as other consequences that arise from it", the City states.

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Monday, 4 April 2022

"Biblical" Bird Invasion Devastates Slavonian Fields, Farmers Desperate

April the 4th, 2022 - There is a plague of birds that is biblical in a way taking place over the rich Slavonian fields, with farmers and others in the agriculture sector scratching their heads as to what to do. All common means of deterring the birds are failing, and some are ready to start killing them.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Slavonian farmer Darko Grivicic painfully stated that he feels as if he's walking around in a desert, and not in the usually rich and fertile Slavonian fields.

He sowed an ecological feast last autumn, and now his fields look like the Sahara, reports HRT. All of what he planted has been destroyed and eaten by wild geese and cranes, and there is devastation on all sides. The problem this year, according to Darko, is even bigger because of climate change. Darko's field isn't the only one that was ravaged by wild geese. Berislav Stefancic from Radovanje has had around 50 hectares of young crops consumed by birds.

The birds are omnivorous

“These are mostly omnivorous birds, except for the grey wild goose, which is a herbivore. At the pond, they have a good feeding ground as far as fish, snakes and frogs are concerned, and here is their salad in our fields. They eat mainly winter crops - wheat rapeseed oil and the like. We haven't sown those in this area for the last two years because the damage they cause is terrible,'' said Berislav.

Wild geese come because there are huge fishponds in nearby Oriovac, and an ornithological reserve for spoonbills has been declared there. From year to year, said Iva Ivezic from nearby Radovanje, more and more of these birds come, meaning that the damage to these crops is increasing.

"Every year the problem is getting worse and every time I come to the same question - These birds are protected, but who is working to protect us? This year, an extremely large number of birds have appeared that we can't seem to deter or stop. We can't see how we can solve this problem,'' emphasised Iva.

Farmers on duty, firecrackers, drones - nothing helps

Local farmers have tried everything they can imagine, testifies Josip Culetic from Slavonski Kobas, who has had about 70 percent of his crops eaten by birds. Scarecrows, farmers on duty, he's tried everything. He says that one can be on duty out in the Slavonian fields for 23 hours per day, and when you go home for lunch, the birds arrive and do their damage in the span of just five minutes.

"We've chased them away with drones, but the birds only moved within a kilometre or two. It's a viscious circle, they don’t give up at all. At one point, they gathered and headed for the drone, trying to attack it. They aren't stupid,'' added Berislav Stefancic.

Darko Grivicic added that they threw around a million firecrackers and rockets trying to drive away the birds, but they failed even with that harsher measure. Darko went a step further. For about 20 thousand kuna, he bought and deployed 11 gas cannons, but it didn't help much. He believes that these tenacious birds would get used to even 30,000 cannons.

“When we sow grain, they immediately land and take out the seeds. We put out the scarecrow, we come and stand around, and they're brazenly standing on the scarecrows. They have become immune to all our measures,'' added Iva Ivezic.

Local hunting associations are also powerless because hunting protected birds is prohibited, with the penalties for doing so being absolutely astronomical. Whoever kills such a bird pays a fine of up to 30 thousand kunas Darko Grivicic said that the situation is unsustainable, and so far, the birds have eaten 3 million kuna out of his pocket.

Some are already sick of the damage and are ready to poison the birds

Some local farmers are losing patience. Darko Grivicic testified that people are increasingly threatening to bring poison in from Bosnia, mix it with cereal and corn and scatter it across Slavonian fields.

"Facirol is an agent that can be mixed well into corn or grain and then scattered on the roads. I believe all the geese and cranes would die if they consumed it. The only question is where they die. If they die in the ponds, they'll probably poison the resident fish as well. If someone catches that fish and takes it home there is a possibility that we end up accidentally poisoning people.  But it has to be said that this is an option that some people are ready for, if nothing is done,'' claims Darko.

Slavonian farmers are now busy working on and announcing millions of lawsuits against the state that they claim is doing absolutely nothing to protect its own food producers.

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Sunday, 6 June 2021

Zagreb Crows Attack and Injure Number of People - Warning Issued

June the 6th, 2021 - Zagreb crows usually keep themselves to themselves, rummaging around looking for food or getting into sometimes comical altercations with local pigeons. These highly intelligent birds tend to avoid people, but when they're nesting, they're known for their potential for aggression. An official warning has been issued from the City of Zagreb following numerous crow attacks on humans.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, The City of Zagreb has issued a statement about crow attacks on humans, stating that they have been seen an increasing number of reports about it.

Due to the increased number of reports from people about "attacks" from Zagreb crows on humans, the City Office of Agriculture and Forestry notes that these birds only become aggressive towards people and other animals in exceptional situations such as when their young in the nest are endangered or when they have accidentally dropped out of their nests. The birds then become aggressive so as to try to protect their offspring, they write.

“This is the natural behaviour of animals, so we advise people to avoid the location of the nests for a day or two until the birds fly out of the nest. In a situation when a fallen bird is found, you shouldn't approach the location, but it should be reported to the Dumovec Animal Shelter by calling: 01 / 2008-354 or by e-mailing: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ", They announced.

"The reason for the settlement and nesting of crows in cities is a safe and constant source of food, so we'd like to appeal at every opportunity to people and tenants in locations where Zagreb crows are active, that the environment around their houses is kept clean and that they don't throw food waste on the floor, and that kitchen waste is disposed of in designated areas. Zagreb crows are treated according to the Game Protection Programme, and in accordance with Article 9 of the Hunting Act (Official Gazette 99/18, 32/19 and 32/20),'' reads the part of the announcement on the website of the City of Zagreb.

One woman even broke her leg when trying to find off an attack by an agitated crow.

Several crow attacks have been reported over recent days, and some of these attacks have resulted in serious injuries. Mirna Grcevic broke her leg as a result of being attacked by the birds.

"It kept pecking me on the head while I was on foot and didn't give up. I was just riding my bike, and I fell onto my knees and broke my leg,'' she described for Dnevnik Nova TV.

In the last week there have been four reports of traumas after crow attacks.

"All four people are female, younger people, one minor, a knee fracture, a spinal cord injury, a wrist injury, an ankle sprain," said Stipe Corluka, a specialist in orthopedics and traumatology.

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