The intimate life of birds
The intimate life of birds – a fragment of an interview with ornithologist Marek Elas
What makes bird-watching so fascinating?
The best thing is that you can do it anywhere and any time – in every season of the year, and at every hour of day and night. Birds have conquered almost all natural habitats in the world, except deserts and extremely cold regions. In our climate zone, they can be found everywhere – in forests, fields and water. This makes bird-watching a passion for which only sky is the limit.
The truth is that the more we observe birds and the more time we devote to them, the better observers we become. Actually, there is no limit beyond which there will be nothing else to see.
What are the most interesting observations you have made?
These are the moments of entering the most intimate aspects of birds' life, i.e. the nesting period, during which we conduct studies, search for bird nests and have a chance to take a closer look at nests, eggs and even nestlings. This is the hidden part of birds' life which requires considerable effort to be explored. This includes both the time spent on bird-watching and previous experience.
Is the Wilanów park a good place to watch birds?
The Wilanów park is an interesting area that features extensive water bodies and many old trees, which birds always find attractive. Old trees ensure access to many natural hollows although the large number of artificial nesting boxes is also worth noting. Generally speaking, city parks are characterised by a higher density of nesting birds as compared to forests, while the number of nesting species that can be found there is lower.
Marek Elas – an ornithologist by trade and passion, a graduate from the Faculty of Forestry at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences, and a bird-ringing specialist. He is conducting studies on the Wilanów birds as part of the project entitled "Social education in the urbanisation and ecological conflict within the area of the Palace Museum at Wilanów".
The support received from the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism 2009-2014 allowed us to develop the project “Social education in the conflict between urbanisation and ecology at the Wilanów Palace Museum”.
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