Nevertheless, fewer birds of prey were counted during the three-day XVIII. During National Sasszinkron, the size of the surveyed areas exceeded all previous levels.
However, the lag compared to the figures a year earlier does not necessarily mean a decrease in the size of the wintering populations in Hungary, as the effectiveness of the bird-watching campaign is influenced by several factors. András Lelkes, a National Park of Lake Balaton A nature conservation guard from the board spoke about this, who himself took part in the action.
What is eagle sync?
– The eagle sync was initiated by the Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Association in order to have relatively accurate numbers of birds of prey wintering in Hungary, to monitor the changes in their population, and to be able to deduce the possible causes, – explained András Lelkes. – The eagle synchronization always takes place at the same time, at the end of the second week of January, when the wintering stock can be assessed relatively well. This year was the eighteenth action, and for the fourth time it covered areas beyond the border, the so-called Pannonian region.
This year was not very lucky, due to the mild winter, the birds were now less concentrated in the area of wetlands, which provide them with safe food during harder frosts, and which we can easily see, and the snowfall made it difficult to observe. Visibility decreases, in rainy weather the birds hide, move less, are harder to spot.
These disadvantages were somewhat offset by the fact that we managed to review an area larger than ever before, covering 24 percent of the total area of the country. In terms of eagles ’habitat, this ratio is actually higher, as residential areas in large cities can be safely omitted.
This coverage means that observers, members of the organizing association, NGO activists, conservationists, and other volunteers have now reached places that have never been covered by eagle sync before.
They also saw meadow, imperial, cliff and black eagles
Four species of eagles were observed in the territory of the country, the largest number of eagles, as expected, is wintering in Hungary. According to national statistics, a minimum of 1,026 and a maximum of 1,076 heronies were detected by volunteers. András Lelkes immediately explains the difference: it may have been observed by several observers in parallel, for example because they saw the bird at the edge of the area they mapped.
A minimum of 550 and a maximum of 578 specimens were seen from imperial eagles, five from bald eagles and four from black eagles.
“The imperial eagle in Zala is not typical at all, we haven’t seen it here yet,” the conservationist continued.
– The Great Plain, including Hortobágy, as well as Hajdú-Bihar, Csongrád and Békés counties, as well as the Heves-Borsodi plain and the Kisalföld are their habitats. Rétisas, on the other hand, can occur practically anywhere, there were also 48 specimens in Zala, two of which I noticed myself. The most common location in Zala is Kis-Balaton and the area around the Miklósfai Lakes, more than fifty percent of them are still recorded in these places by colleagues.
Of the four black eagles observed in Hungary, two also farmed at Kis-Balaton.
Buzzard and red ore
The largest number of birds of prey in Hungary is the mouse buzzard, of which 11,317 specimens were observed in the country, and 302 in Zala. The second most characteristic is the red tern, its population in Hungary is 2933 specimens, but the occurrence in Zala was only 31 individuals.
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Source: Magyar Nemzet by magyarnemzet.hu.
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