After successful Bird Days in Riga Zoo last weekend, the Woodpecker Workshop will travel to the Zoo's Affiliate Cīruļi for the third year already, as wild tit and starling populations need a solution to their lodging problem in Western Latvia, too.
This weekend, on 8–9 April from 12.00 to 15.00, the Woodpecker Workshop will take place near the Cīruļi bear exhibit. Everyone will have the opportunity to learn how to construct safe nest boxes for small cavity-nesting birds like tits, flycatchers and starlings. Zoo staff will be providing assistance and advice. During Bird Days in Cīruļi, it is planned to make 125 nest boxes for tits, flycatchers and sparrows as well as 125 artificial nest sites for starlings. After making a nest box, you can take it with you and install near your home at a site suitable for wild birds.
We will construct artificial nest sites for the smallest owl species of Latvia, the Eurasian Pygmy Owl, too. To support the Pygmy Owl research and conservation project, it is planned to construct 100 nest boxes for this species during this year’s Bird Days. The task is already partially completed as 80 nest boxes were constructed in Riga Zoo during Bird Days the previous weekend. Now Cīruļi visitors will have the opportunity to contribute to research and conservation of this owl species, constructing 20 artificial nest sites for Pygmy Owls.
To learn more about artificial nest sites, see also the exhibit of various nest boxes including those for Hoopoes, Rollers, Tawny Owls and Ural Owls, Redstarts and Cuckoos, as well as White Wagtails, dormice and bats. You'll also find information on how these nest boxes have to be installed (the right altitude, positioning, space between the boxes, etc.)
Each year Bird Days at the Zoo highlight one of Latvian bird or mammal species, informing the public on how to support its conservation. In 2015 and 2016, 200 nest boxes for Forest Dormice were constructed and installed in Daugavpils and Talsi areas. In 2014, 30 nest boxes for Hoopoes were set up in Ādaži military training area. In 2013, 30 nest boxes for European Rollers were installed in Garkalne area. For many years, nest boxes for Tawny Owls and Ural Owls have been constructed and put up in protected nature areas in collaboration with the Nature Conservation Agency.
This year Bird Days at the Zoo are supported by SIA PATA KOKMATERIĀLI, the Latvian Ornithological Society, the Latvian Owl Research Society and Pūcīte, a journal of crossword puzzles for children.
Other news in Cīruļi
Wild skylarks have been singing over Cīruļi fields and meadows for several weeks already. Migrating flocks of Whooper Swans often stop over to rest in the large Kiang paddock.
Kiangs are grooming their coats, removing their old winter fur which is in high demand among various wild birds as a nest material.
In the raptor breeding complex, Cinereous Vultures and Griffon Vultures are already sitting on their nests. If you'll be silent you won't disturb them and, if lucky, see some events of their family life.
On 1 April, Affiliate Cīruļi switches to summer opening hours. The ticket office is now open from 10.00 to 18.00.
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