Page 14 - Issue 69 Online
P. 14



     Schooling                                                      Common Swift

          ummer for many people means spending   Before school summer holidays are over, some
          time with their children during the school   of  our breeding  birds -  such  as Swifts  -  will
     Sholidays. But for many of Manea’s wild   already have set off on their return migrations
      creatures, it is a time when offspring leave their   southwards, after having gorged on insects to
      parents for good, with young birds fledging and   fuel them for their long journeys.
      fending  for  themselves.  Blackbirds  may  raise
      two  to  three  broods  of  youngsters  in  a  single

      A key factor for bird success is food availability.
      Some of our birds, like the Grey Heron, feed
      on fish and amphibians. But the majority of
      Manea’s birds are insect-eaters. Summer is the
      prime time of year for insects because many
      require warmer temperatures. For example, a    Pigeon Squabs (A Tegala)
      full-size dragonfly needs to reach 27°C before
      it can fly; it increase its temperature by whirring   Young pigeons are known as
      its wings.                                squabs. Their parents feed
                                             them on a fat-rich milk, which is
                                              something very few birds do.

                                            Adult Cuckoos leave the UK as early as June.
                                            This is because they don’t actually raise their
                                            own young. Cuckoos lay their eggs in the nests
                                            of other songbirds, primarily Reed Warblers;
           Emperor Dragonfly (F Pestana)    another African species. Reed Warblers nest

      Wood Pigeons have a very long breeding season.   in some of Manea’s reedy areas and are more
      Their main nesting period runs from April until   often heard than seen. Providing the Cuckoo
      October but they have been recorded breeding   egg resembles their own in size and appearance,
      in every single month of the year. Young pigeons   Reed Warblers will raise Cuckoo chicks as their
      are known as squabs. Their parents feed them   own.
      on a fat-rich milk, which is something very few                   Ajay Tegala
      birds do.

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