Birds of the forest

By Dominika Chládeková

Birds
of the forest

Great woodpecker (dendrocopos major)

Our most abundant woodpecker bird, like all woodpeckers, is protected by law. We can find it everywhere from the lowlands to the upper border of the forest. The male’s crown is slightly dark red, the female’s head is only black. It feeds on insects and coniferous tree seeds. Recently, however, he has also moved to places where insulated buildings suit him.

Wingspan up to 39 cm.

You can watch the following video from the monitoring of protected animal species in the territorial scope of the Kysuce Protected Landscape Area Administration, where the Great Woodpecker appeared.

Common chaffinch (fringilla coelebs)

It is perhaps our most abundant little bird, widespread from the lowlands to the upper edge of the forest. Migratory species. However, many individuals, especially older males, stay close to human settlements in Central Europe throughout the winter. The diet is dominated by seeds and fruits, to a lesser extent insects. The diet of this species varies depending on the season. The beginning of the first nesting is at the end of April to May, the second in June. The choice of location for the nest and its construction is the responsibility of the female.

Chaffinch has extremely neat and you can say a well-camouflaged nest. On the inside it is lined with soft plant wool and the fur of forest animals, and on the outside it is masked by bark scales and lichens from the very tree on which the nest is. Chaffinch is also an excellent singer. While the female builds a nest or warms the eggs, the male is singing.

Wingspan up to 28 cm.

Bullfinch (pyrrhula pyrrhula)

We can find this bird throughout Slovakia from 500 m above sea level to the upper forest border. It nests in trees or shrubs twice a year. It feeds on seeds, fruits , juveniles and insects. In the spring, however, it can consume a relatively large number of buds, which can cause damage to orchards. The female lays 4 – 5 eggs, on which she sits for 13 – 14 days. In the off-season, it is a frequent guest in the valleys and lowlands.

Wingspan up to 9 cm.

In the video we can see the female Bullfinch on the right and the male Bullfinch on the left.

Cuckoo (cuculus canorus)

Spring Cuckoo / common cuckoo inhabits woods, edges of deciduous and mixed forests, draws, groves and edges of ponds, pastures with groups of trees and climbs up to a height of 1,500 m. They live throughout Slovakia and are protected for usefulness.

The female lays eggs in the nests of other birds. It is migratory, arriving in the second half of April only in May. It always lays only 1 egg in one nest. They feed on insects, often hairy caterpillars.

Wingspan up to 65 cm.

Buteo buteo

It inhabits a large area covering most of Europe, Asia from the Urals to the Pacific Ocean, including Tibet, the Himalayas and the Korean Peninsula to Japan. It nests in various types of forests, from floodplain to mountain, but also in semi-forests. Due to the relatively weak legs with short claws, the mouse can hunt only small prey. Vole accounts for more than half of a buteo’s diet. Laying of eggs begins at the end of March with the number of eggs 2 to 4.

Wingspan up to 130 cm.

Black thrush (turdus merula)

There are two kinds of black thrush. One lives in the woods, is very shy and the other has adapted to life in cities, where she can overwinter. Mostly females with young offsprings fly to warm countries. It feeds mainly on earthworms, but does not despise insects, worms, seeds and fruits. Young males are brown, do not have an eye ring and have a dark beak. It nests 2 times a year, in cities and 3 times. The nest is built by a female.

Wingspan up to 40 cm.

Screaming jay (garrulus glandarius)

Screaming jay / common jay, is the most colorfully colored raven bird. Its flight looks slow and cumbersome. When interrupted, it screams loudly. Otherwise, they feed mainly on insects, frogs, lizards and mice in spring and summer.

The female lays 4 to 7 eggs and both parents take turns sitting on them. Jays are considered to be the guardians of the forest because their screams alert other animals to danger.

Wingspan up to 58 cm.

White-faced / great tit (parus major)

It is one of the most adaptable and widespread European bird species. It nests in almost all types of forests, gardens, parks and many habitats of agricultural land. Only the female builds the nest and then lays about ten eggs in it. They often nest twice in one season. It usually collects 500 caterpillars a day for his young. The highest age found was about 15 years. The young stay with their parents even during the winter.

Wingspan up to 25 cm.

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