The Birds – The living natural treasure of Transylvanian Highlands
From April, when the first storks arrive, until October, when the last travelers leave for the warmer lands, you will be surrounded by trills, smooth or more rapid flights of the winged creatures that populate the Transylvanian Highlands, especially for their nesting period.
The winter is also full of action as there is no shortage of interesting meetings: hundreds of very attentive hawks, always paying attention to the next prey on the ground, or swans floating on the water or with a lazy wood owl, who rests during the day, to be in good shape from moon rise until dawn.
If you want to discover more details about the birds in the area, click here
Birds we are proud of that you can discover alone or with a specialised guide in the birdwatching tours.
The middle spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius)
A solitary forest species, it prefers old trees like the beech, birch, maple, ash, elm or poplar. It nests or looks for its food in meadows with trees and meadows along the streams dominated by soft trees. It feeds mainly on insects – larvae from the tree trunk. They are primarily looking for food in dead wood, so it is a species with a high dependence on the existence in large quantities of dead wood in forests. The size of its territory varies between 3 – 25 ha. One funny characteristic: its spiral climbing on the tree trunk.
Lesser spotted eagle (Aquila pomarina)
A bird of prey by day who prefers deciduous and old resinous forests in hill areas and low mountains, usually nesting near the edge of the forest or near a meadow. It feeds on mice, squirrels, amphibians, birds (chicks, sparrows, quails), reptiles and locusts in meadows, pastures, arable land and other open areas, but avoids high crops (corn, sunflower, rapeseed). In September it leaves for southern and central Africa and returns to our country, usually in the same nest, in March-April.
Other prey birds in the area: the short-toed snake eagle (Circaetus gallicus) and the European honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus)
The Corn Crake (Crex crex)
A migratory species that spends the winter in Africa and returns to the country in April. It prefers low areas with dense grass vegetation. It nests in hollows in the soil, mainly in meadows, but also in pastures or on agricultural lands, in cereal or lucerne chains. It is omnivorous – it eats small invertebrates, insects, spiders, brambles, but also frogs, plant leaves, buds or seeds.
The red-footed falcon (Falco vespertinus)
It can be spotted especially in areas with open ground, with tree clusters, in steppes, meadows and pastures with trees. It avoids closed forests and the mountain area. It eats predominately insects, but also amphibians, reptiles, small mammals and, more rarely, small birds. It is the only bird of prey from our area that breeds in colonies and it most often uses nests from other birds like the magpie and the rook; sometimes it occupies large tree hollows. Its departure for Africa begins in mid-August and ends in mid-October, and returns is at the end of April-early May. It is also referred to as the evening little hawk.
The birds described above are just some of the reasons why the Natura 2000 community interest protected area, SPA Podișul Hârtibaciului, has been designated for in 2007. Transylvanian Highlands host the most significant population of nesting lesse spotted eagle and European honey buzzard in Romania.
The populations of Ural owl, the European nightjar, middle spotted woodpecker, the woodlark and the red-backed shrike are large compared to other sites in the country, whereas the corn crake population is significant globally. It is also among the top ten sites in the country for the grey-headed woodpecker.
More details on the protected are at SPA Podisul Hartibaciului.
Credit foto: Cătălin Fuciu