Spring is officially in the air, and the season’s first returning white storks have already been spotted in some Czech villages, after having wintered in North Africa. In Slavic folk tradition, returning storks are not just a harbinger of spring but a good omen. And having a stork’s nest on your home or farm is thought to bring good luck. But a father-and-son team of Czech ornithologists say many myths about the birds are exactly that.
Four people from Opava contracted brucellosis, a disease that was
eradicated from Czech territory six decades ago, the head of the infections
department at a hospital in the city told reporters on Tuesday. The four
caught the highly contagious illness last summer after consuming
unpasteurised milk while on holiday in Armenia.
Working with veterinarians, doctors in Opava identified the rarely seen disease after two of the victims sought treatment toward the end of last year.
The Czech Republic is now officially regarded as having eradicated African
swine fever, transmitted by wild boars, the European Commission said on
State Veterinary Administration spokesman Petr Vorlíček said this makes the Czech Republic the first country in the world so far to have eradicated the disease on its territory.
However, the disease continues to spread in Europe, including in neighbouring Poland, so the risk of in being reintroduced is high.
The European turtle dove has been named Bird of the Year by the Czech
The choice was aimed at reminding the public that population numbers of the once widespread migratory species have dropped dramatically over the past decades as a result of intensive farming, habitat loss and hunting.
Ornithologist estimate there are currently between 40 to 80 thousand couples of the European turtle dove living in the Czech Republic.
Over 10,000 people took part in the first ever bird census in the Czech
Republic at the weekend. The participants sent information about the birds
they had observed in their gardens and elsewhere to the website of the
Czech Ornithological Society. Volunteers registered almost a quarter of a
million birds of dozens of species.
According to preliminary results, the most reported bird was the great tit, which finished far ahead of the tree sparrow and house sparrow.
The first ever public bird census got underway in the Czech Republic on Friday. Over the course of the next three days, people can observe bird flocking on the feeders in their gardens or parks, identify the species and send the findings to the Czech Ornithological Society’s website. The purpose of the event is to discover more about the development of the country’s common birds.
The common blackbird has disappeared from about 50 percent of Czech
gardens, following the outbreak of a dangerous mosquito-carried African
bird disease in the summer of last year, the Czech Union for Nature
Conservation said on Thursday.
The blackbird, which used to be the country’s most common garden species, has become nearly extinct in Prague and Central Bohemia after being hit by the Usutu virus. The disease, which can also be transmitted to other bird species, was first detected in the country in 2011.
Shorebirds are birds commonly found along sandy or rocky shorelines, mudflats, and shallow waters all around the globe. But a study co-authored by Czech scientist Vojtěch Kubelka shows that these birds are increasingly threatened with extinction. The research, recently published in the prestigious US magazine Science, reveals a link between nest predation and climate change on a global scale, but especially in the Arctic.