Four little kestrels from Gdansk Koga flew into the world

The kestrels on the roof of Koga have ideal living conditions, but the statistics for juveniles of this species are cruel – only half of them survive the first year of life

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Contrary to appearances, the presence of kestrels on the roof Koga Office Centerlocated in Stogi at ul. Witold Andruszkiewicz next Sucharski trailsis not coincidental. It is a work of a person, specifically of a municipal company Gdansk . Development Agency economic (InvestGDA) who manages the building.

What conditions must a kestrel cabin meet?

Nest box for kestrels, in collaboration with Falco Gedanense Associationwas placed on the roof of the office building on early March 2021. A properly sized box with gravel inside is attached to a special rack so as not to damage the facade of the building. The important rule was also adhered to that the stand had to be hung on the cool side of the world, i.e. from the north or east.

– We noticed that the kestrel appeared in the booth after a year, in April of this year. First, the male chooses a nest site and lures the female to it. After that, the couple worked on family expansion. And the little ones hatched from the eggs laid in early June – she said Anna Łuszczak from the Gdańsk Economic Development Agency, which emphasized that GARG is happy to support all eco-initiatives.

Kestrel – meet the bird of prey from Gdańsk and its extraordinary guard

A few days ago, thanks to the help of specialists from the Falco Gedanense Association, four small kestrels were weighed and ringed. Each bird weighs approx. 230-240 grams.

– They were already bereft of down and ready to take to the skies for the first time in the coming days and get something to eat on this occasion. For little kestrels, the first self-hunted meal is usually the cockchafer – she explained Justyna Manuszewska of the Falco Gedanense Association.

The kestrels on Koga have an idyllic existence

She emphasized that the kestrels on the roof of Kogi have wonderful living conditions.

– The nearby environment has not yet been significantly altered by human hands. There is sand in the nearby piles ruderal vegetation (inhabiting human-modified substrates – ed.), in which many rodents live, the favorite and most important data of kestrels. And it’s not a field mouse at all, but vole – added Justyna Manuszewska.

Koga kestrels are already in the register of ornithologists

Koga kestrels are already in the register of ornithologists

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She explained that bird ringing is the basic science for ornithologists.

Thanks to this “bird passport” we know where they fly and how long they live. For example, a kestrel with the code O7K, which in 2019 in Piecki-Migów on ul. Nałkowska 6was read in February 2020 at Sicily. FROM Italian she was able to return to her hometown, 6 Nałkowska Street, and start her own family the following year in an apartment building in ul. Szara 5 in Siedlce – said Justyna Manuszewska.

Why do only a few kestrels fly where it is warmer?

The Kestrel is a partially migratory bird and, as a rule, young individuals decide to travel long distances.

– They have such an internal instinct, the call of nature, to “get on any train” and fly somewhere. It’s such an atavistic instinct to keep flying forward. Older, experienced kestrels, when they see a series of mild winters, realize they can do without the migration which is always a great effort for a bird. And during the winter season, when there are no Arctic temperatures, they switch the traditional diet from rodents and lizards to small birds. Such a strategy can also fail, because if extremely frosty days come, the kestrel will not survive. But those are the hard laws of nature – Justyna Manuszewska noted.

Kestrels, a protected bird species, fly out in the winter season towards Southwest Europe. For example, they are seen in Germany and Hungary.

There is a pigeon that is not afraid of the kestrel and wants to live near it

Kestrels are useful because they scare off pigeons with their hawk silhouette and piercing squeaks, which often make life difficult for the city’s residents.

Interestingly, however, there is a type of pigeon that even tries to be as close as possible to the places where the kestrels live. It is about wood pigeonwhich arrives in the spring from Spain in Poland. In Gdansk many wood pigeons nest on e.g Łostowicki cemetery.

In addition to ringing, young birds must also be weighed

In addition to ringing, young birds must also be weighed

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– For a wood pigeon, being near a kestrel is a survival strategy. He is looking for such a “protective umbrella” kestrels for protection against ravens: gray crow, magpie and jackdaw. The birds mentioned can ruthlessly intervene in the brood of the wood pigeon and extract their eggs from it, explains Justyna Manuszewska.

What is the number of kestrels in Gdansk?

He is currently in Gdansk 38 nest boxes for kestrels for which the Falco Gedanense Association is responsible. In addition, there are several wild nests, for example in churches in the area of ​​ródmieście, where these birds can be found.

– In Gdansk, approx. 100 kestrel – judges Justyna Manuszewska.

It is estimated that the first 12 months can survive approximately. 40-50 percent young. This statistic means that of the four small kestrels that have found safe haven on Kogi’s roof, only two may be left by the summer of next year.

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