Birds in wintertime

While migratory birds are already in the south, resident birds in “Adazi” survive the winter. By flocking together birds in “Adazi” improves the chances of locating food and huddling together during the critical long night-time period helps conserve the body heat. Short daylight  the birds use for feeding. During the rest of the time they are hiding in vegetation. When snow covers the ground, Capercaillie and Black Grouse can shelter from the wind and cold in the holes in snow.

There are several rare and protected bird species wintering in the protected landscape area “Adazi”. For example, symbol of the old pine forest – the Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus). During the winter Capercaillie must save the energy by becoming sedentary - it make moves only to get food.  Pine needles are their primary food source. Capercaillie is a large, heavy bird that resembles the Black Grouse (Lyrurus tetrix), but it is larger and with rounded tail. Winter menu of the Black Grouse is wider.  During winter Black Grouse eats plants, buds, leaves, seeds and berries. In the early winter morning’s flocks of Black Grouse in “Adazi” are well visible. You have to pay attention to the trees at the edges of the bog. Birds are sitting on the upper branches of the trees, eating buds. Even on the very tiny branches - that looks unusually for this hen size bird.

In Europe as well as in Latvia, the Black Grouse is in serious decline. There are several reasons for this. One of them is predators. During the winter a fox may hunt birds in sleep, a marten catches chicks and young birds in the summer. However, the greatest danger comes from people, by causing the disturbance during Black Grouse lekking and chick-rearing time. Black Grouse also get poisons from pesticides, granulated fertilizers and other chemicals used in agriculture.

To explore more:  Nature sounds from the protected landscape area "Adazi", http://putniadazos.lv/en/audio