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Record numbers for EuroBirdwatch 2005

Almost 40,000 people took part in BirdLife International’s EuroBirdwatch 2005, which took place last weekend (1-2 October). During the pan-European event, around three million birds were observed. Based on initial reports, the event looks set to have exceeded all previous records in terms of the numbers of participants involved and birds seen.

EuroBirdwatch is BirdLife International’s annual festival of events which invites members of the public from all over Europe, to get out, observe, explore and enjoy birds. This year’s event carried a special theme – Take a closer look at the countryside.

BirdLife Partners in 35 European countries held a total of 1,427 national events. The wide variety of activities across the continent included bird watching excursions, special bird watching events on organic farms, contests for children on identifying birds by their song, bird fairs and excursions to watch birds in national parks.Eray Caglayan from Doga Dernegi (BirdLife in Turkey), which coordinated this year’s event, is delighted with the results. "EuroBirdwatch 2005 has been a resounding success and demonstrates people’s growing fascination and interest in birds. Organisations in countries such as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Serbia and Montenegro, Estonia and Lithuania have joined the EuroBirdwatch this year. Bird watching activities took place over a huge area across Europe. This is such a great network that millions of people from all over Europe are becoming one body for birds," he commented.

Highlights in terms of species include observations of the globally threatened Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni in Armenia, just a few days before the birds leave for their southern African wintering grounds. Already on their way to warmer lands, Barn Swallows Hirundo rustica and House Martins Delichon urbica were observed migrating through several countries. Observers in Andorra watched a Buzzard Buteo buteo eating a snake. In Slovakia, an Osprey Pandion haliaetus was the highlight for bird watchers. In Russia, one of the most numerous species observed was Common Gull Larus canus, while Red-fronted Serin Serinus pusillus were observed in Armenia. Participants enjoyed the raptor migration in Andorra, and Black-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles orientalis and See-see Partridge Ammoperdix griseogularis were seen in Turkey’s steppes.Although the results are still coming in, adding further to the totals, the initial EuroBirdwatch 2005 statistics show that:

* The country with largest number of events was Germany where 391 events were organized
* The country with most participants was Spain where 22,500 participants were involved.
* The country with the largest number of birds seen was Sweden where 788,620 birds were observed
* The country with the most diverse bird list was Sweden where 259 species were observed. The most frequently observed species were:

1 Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris
2 Common Coot Fulica atra
3 Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs

A special website at http://eurobirdwatch.birdlife.org has been set up with more information on the event, links to national organisations and their events, and useful information on getting started with bird watching.

4th July 2014