The Bird’s Barrel

22 May 2022 | News

The artificial island for birds on the Goczałkowice Reservoir received the official name. In agreement with ornithologists conducting monitoring and ornithological research on the island, we called it the Bird’s Barrel.

The name refers to the shape of the island and its structure, which resemble a huge barrel half submerged in the waters of the Reservoir, called the Silesian Sea.

On May 26, the island was visited by the authorities of the Pszczyna poviat and communes adjacent to the reservoir. These are people who, when deciding on the areas around the reservoir, have a great impact on the protection of its nature. The visit of local government officials was an opportunity to provide information about the functioning of the island and the research conducted on it.

Currently, the second breeding season is taking place on the island. Before the season, in March, the island was cleared of all the elements that were brought there by the birds. The harvested material was divided into natural in terms of nest material and water caltrop seeds, many of which were found in the gravel bed of the island.

The weight of dry material that was used to build more than 200 gull nests is as much as 50 kg of sticks and plant stems. Common terns that nested after gull broods do not produce such material. Their nests are shallow holes in the gravel and it is for them that the island has been prepared in the first place.

Bird’s Barrel is very attractive not only for the common tern and black-headed gull, but also, as it turned out, for the much rarer Mediterranean gull. In 2021, only one pair of gulls nested on the island, but this year there are already about 10 pairs of them. Perhaps the Goczałkowicki Reservoir with this unique island will be a permanent refuge of this species.

Next to the island, information about the ban on entry to the island by persons not related to the LIFE.VISTULA.PL project and the ornithological research conducted here. As a rule, only birds and ornithologists can enter the island, which is more than 3 meters above the surface of the water.

Research on the birds on the island is carried out by ornithologists from the Upper Silesian Ornithological Circle.

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