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  • Ποταμογλάρονο / Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) (K. Panagiotidis)

In the Evros Delta, I like to:

The number of Bewick’s Swans in the Evros Delta is increasing

The Bewick's Swan is the smallest of the three European species of swans. It breeds mainly in the arctic tundra which it leaves in autumn to head to its wintering areas. In Greece and the Evros Delta, it is a winter visitor and usually forms mixed flocks with the other two species of swans (Mute Swan and Whooper Swan) that also winter in Greece.

The first arrivals in our area take place in October, the peak is observed in January and February, while by mid-March the birds leave the Evros Delta for their return to the breeding areas.
Both for Greece and for the wider region, the Delta is the most important wintering place for the Bewick's Swans. The species shows a particularly large increase in its population over the last fifteen years in the Evros Delta. Since 2005 when 30 individuals were observed, 2,200 individuals in 2010 and 8,400 in 2016, the species shows a geometric increase year after year. Last winter there was another significant increase as around 11,000 birds were counted in the area!

However, despite the surprising increase observed in our region, the European wintering population (excluding Greece) shows a particularly large decrease in the last twenty-five years. It is estimated that the total number of Bewick's Swans wintering in Europe has fallen below 15,000 individuals (now classified as Vulnerable) from 29,000 birds in 1995.

So, this information is very interesting and it proves that the Delta is a focal point for aquatic species, including the Bewick's Swans, several populations of which depend on it for their survival. It is also very interesting that the Bewick's Swans use both the Greek and the Turkish side of the Delta during their winter presence, as the first is a safe shelter, mainly for roosting, while the second is an area rich in food, due to the large areas with rice crops.

In the recent records of the staff of the Management Unit of Evros Delta and Dadia National Parks, as part of its counts, the population of Bewick's Swans in the area reached 6,000 birds in mid-December, while in mid-January it was around 7,500 birds.

It is also interesting that the percentage of young birds recorded in December was about 9%, while it increased significantly in the January count and reached 15%. This variation is explained by the fact that families with young birds travel more slowly during their migration so they arrive at the wintering grounds later.

It is therefore confirmed by all the above once again, that the wider area of the Evros Delta offers an ideal combination of abundant food, safe shelter and weather conditions for the wintering of the Bewick's Swans, attracting more and more birds.

Περισσότερα σε αυτή την κατηγορία: « Bewick Swans in the Evros Delta The 2023 Mid-Winter Counts in Evros Delta »

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