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  23.07.2020, 06:21h

Krka Wild Nature – Birds

The second to last documentary film in the series The Wild World of Krka National Park takes us to the skies under the clouds to meet the birds

Within Krka National Park, there are so many different habitats and microhabitats that 229 bird species can be found here. The abundance of birds in the park area makes it one of the most interesting ornithology sites in Croatia, and an important resting place for flyover rand wintering birds. The reeds, cattails and aquatic vegetation are habitat for the migratory birds, wintering and nesting birds, while the rocks and steep canyon cliffs are important for birds of prey.

Birds have always been a source of food for humans, as well as beloved companion animals, religious symbols and artistic inspiration. This is an important group of animals, and their presence indicates the wealth and preservation of an ecosystem. These masters of the sky and the heights are so attractive due to their flight, an eternal symbol of freedom, and the source of the phrase “free as a bird”. They can fly due to the adaptations in their forearms which have been turned into wings, and the hollow pneumatic bones that reduce body weight. The body of these warm-blooded vertebrates is covered in feathers, which serve to protect and maintain body temperature from 38–42°C in birds. Most birds also take on different colouration of the feathers during the mating period.

Another characteristic of birds is certainly the keratinous, toothless beak adapted for feeding. Birds that feed on seeds have a conical-shaped beak, those feeding on shells have a long and flat beak, while birds of prey have a hooked beak to better tear at their prey.

Perhaps the most well-known trait of the birds is their vocalisation, the song that is specific to each species. The song differs during the mating period, and when marking or defending territory. Most people find birdsong relaxing, associating it with the special feeling one has while spending time outdoors, outside of city life marked by noise, traffic, concrete and pavement.

Today, more than ever, birds are threatened by habitat loss, food, pollution, hunting and poaching, construction of wind power farms and long-distance power lines, and intensive agriculture. At the national level, Krka National Park is an important region for the survival and stability of populations of 15 endangered bird species, including two rare flyover species, golden eagle and Bonelli’s eagle. They do not nest in Krka National Park, but the park is a potential area where young birds could settle, until active pairs are found nearby. The zoning model newly proposed in the Krka National Park Management Plan is important for protecting bird communities and protected birds of prey, by introducing the strictest protection zones, including the canyon sections of the Krka River, particularly the Među Gredama Canyon.

Spread your wings and join them


Photographs: Lucija & Rade Jug