Hvar's birds declining?

Published in Forum items

Are Hvar's bird numbers dwindling?

When we first moved to our house in Šiberija in 2004, we were delighted to discover a family of little owls nesting in the garden,and every evening at dusk we were treated to the antics of the young ones learning to fly.  They were as curious about us as we were about them and they would sit on low branches watching us in between their circuits of the garden.  Sadly they never returned to nest here and it is several years now since we have even heard one.  We do of course hear the Scops owls and the occasional tawny owl but not as often or as close by as we used to.

Other not infrequent visitors were hoopoes, golden orioles, blackcaps, shrikes, turtle-doves and nightingales (which several years running used to take up residence in a bush near our house and sing almost non-stop for 48 hours - I went off nightingales a bit at that point!).  We also used to hear cuckoos and nightjars in the fields beyond the old Hvar Road but it is several years now since we have heard either so close by.  We have also missed the regular calling of hoopoes and golden orioles in the distance.  There seems to have been a marked decline in the flocks of bee-eaters which used to burble about above us so much, but we were really pleased to see and hear about half-a-dozen near Mlin above the harbour yesterday.  Still nothing like the large numbers we were used to though.

We do have a blackbird nesting somewhere nearby and he sings regularly from our garden but it is sad that there don't seem to be many competitors nearby - we used to enjoy the singing duels in the evenings.  Sparrows too are fewer in number and therefore less noisy than they used to be in the tree outside our bedroom window, which at 5.00am is no bad thing to us although it is all part of a worrying trend.

We had assumed that all the recent building activity in and around Stari Grad was probably responsible for disturbing habitats and wildlife in general.  However, more worrying is the probability that the use of glyphosate-based herbicides has played a large role in their destruction.

Alison Bujić, Stari Grad, 22nd April 2016 by e-mail

You are here: Home forum items Hvar's birds declining?

Eco Environment News feeds

  • Labour and Greens say government has failed to tackle air pollution crisis and is cajoling judges to let them miss deadline to comply with election purdah rules

    Continue reading...

  • Conservationists call on Japan to abide by fishing agreements after reports annual quota will be exceeded two months early

    Conservation groups have called on Japan to abide by international agreements to curb catches of Pacific bluefin tuna after reports said the country was poised to exceed an annual quota two months early – adding to pressure on stocks that have already reached dangerously low levels.

    Japan, by far the world’s biggest consumer of Pacific bluefin, has caused “great frustration” with its failure to abide by catch quotas intended to save the species from commercial extinction, said Amanda Nickson, the director of global tuna conservation at Pew Charitable Trusts.

    Continue reading...

  • We asked readers to tell us what action they are taking against air pollution. Here’s what some of them said

    About 40 million people in the UK are living with illegal air pollution levels, according to analysis commissioned by the Labour party.

    Earlier this month the Guardian reported thousands of children across England and Wales are exposed to illegal levels of air pollution from diesel traffic, putting the health of young children at risk in the long term.

    Continue reading...

  • Norman Baker ditched the ‘constant battle’ of working with Theresa May to run the Big Lemon – the Brighton eco-firm launching a green bus route

    Vince Cable and Ed Davey, the former business and energy secretaries respectively, are among the Liberal Democratsthat lost their seats in 2015 who are plotting their way back to parliament in this general election.

    But an erstwhile colleague has rejected the opportunity to regain his seat in Lewes in East Sussex. Norman Baker, the former transport minister who later quit the Home Office in 2014 after finding working with Theresa May a “constant battle”, sighs: “I don’t need to do the same thing over and over again, that’s the definition of madness.

    Continue reading...

  • Many brands use the word organic on labels when their products are not certified as such, warns Soil Association

    The makers of many “organic” beauty products have been accused of confusing and meaningless labelling, according to a new survey in which 76% of consumers admitted they felt misled.

    According to the Soil Association’s recent market report, sales of organic health and beauty products swelled by more than 20% in 2016, with the market now worth about £61.2m in the UK.

    Continue reading...

  • For 30 years anti-pollution campaigner Wendy Bowman has stood firm against mining giants, supporting other landowners under pressure to sell

    Each morning just after dawn, if you stop at the top of the hill that separates the town of Singleton from the tiny village of Camberwell in New South Wales, says Wendy Bowman, “you’ll see this brown scud across the sky”.

    “It doesn’t go over the ridges; it stays in the valley, going up and down all the time.” She mimes a slow sieving motion: up, down.

    Continue reading...

  • Campaign group Plantlife unveils list of top 10 endangered species and calls for better management of road verges that have become habitats of Britain’s flora

    Some of the UK’s rarest plants are at risk of extinction unless action is taken to look after the road verges that have become their final refuge, a charity has warned.

    Species such as fen ragwort and wood calamint are now only found on road verges, with fen ragwort hanging on in just one native spot near a burger van on the A142 in Cambridgeshire, conservation charity Plantlife said.

    Continue reading...

  • Exclusive: analysis commissioned by Labour reveals 59% of Britons live in areas where diesel pollution threatens health

    Nearly 40 million people in the UK are living in areas where illegal levels of air pollution from diesel vehicles risk damaging their health, according to analysis commissioned by the Labour party.

    The extent of the air pollution crisis nationally is exposed in the data which shows 59% of the population are living in towns and cities where nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution breaches the lawful level of 40 microgrammes per cubic metre of air.

    Continue reading...

  • National Grid hails milestone as other sources like gas, nuclear, wind and solar allow UK to keep lights on with all coal-fired powerplants offline

    Friday was Britain’s first ever working day without coal power since the Industrial Revolution, according to the National Grid.

    The control room tweeted the milestone on Friday. It is the first continuous 24-hour coal-free period for Britain since use of the fossil fuel began. West Burton 1 power station, the only coal-fired plant that had been up and running, went offline on Thursday.

    Continue reading...

  • Conservationist denounced Sukau project as a threat to pygmy elephants and orangutans

    Officials in Borneo have cancelled plans to build a bridge across the Kinabatangan river, after warnings from Sir David Attenborough and other conservationists that it would gravely endanger pygmy elephants, orangutans and many other jungle species. The news comes just weeks after the Guardian revealed Attenborough’s opposition to the project.

    Attenborough originally sent a private letter to the chief minister of the state of Sabah, Musa Aman, in September 2016. Last month, with signs pointing to the bridge still going ahead, the Guardian published excerpts from the letter. The authorities in Borneo have described Attenborough’s now-public opposition as the final blow to the project.

    Continue reading...

Eco Health News feeds

Eco Nature News feeds