Cyprus Mail

‘Spring Alive’ campaign focuses on migratory swallows

BirdLife Cyprus on Thursday announced the Spring Alive for 2016, an annual international campaign which encourages children to take action for the conservation of the migratory birds they learn about.

Focusing on swallows, BirdLide said it was a species that anyone, almost anywhere could help with, through the Spring Alive 2016 season theme ‘Swallows of my Neighbourhood’.

Children can monitor their neighbourhoods and note how many swallows and nests they see, adopt a nest without disturbing them, note the key dates of arrival, egg-laying, hatching and fledgings,  stop people from destroying swallow nests, even if their droppings make a mess,  help put up a board to catch the droppings instead, learn the difference between Barn Swallows and House Martins and the best ways to look after each species.

Barn Swallows from Europe spend the winter in Africa south of the Sahara, in Arabia and in the Indian sub-continent.

“Their wide range also makes them great ambassadors that link many countries in their migrations, with initiatives such as Spring Twins which pairs schools in Africa and Eurasia,” said BirdLife.

As well as the Swallow theme this year, every season by posting their first sightings of Barn Swallow, White Stork, Common Cuckoo, Common Swift, and European Bee-eater on the website, children from Europe, Central Asia and Africa create a real-time map of the journeys these birds take every year.

Swallows travel hundreds of kilometres a day at a speed of over 30km/h. They are vulnerable to starvation, exhaustion and storms “so when they arrive in Cyprus they will need all the help they can get to recover,” the organisation said.

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