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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Warsaw. Need for volunteers for mergansers. How to apply?

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Officials from the Greenery Management are looking for volunteers to secure the annual routes of mergansers.

Warsaw’s merganser’s favorite breeding grounds are the vicinity of Łazienki Królewskie, Agrykola and the Piaseczyński Canal. Every year in April and May, the Greenery Management monitors these areas in order to secure the passage route of merganser families to the Vistula.

City gardeners turned to Varsovians for support. “We need a group of volunteers who will be able to support us in this activity. Monitoring is carried out twice a day – in the morning and in the afternoon. We hope that one volunteer will be able to participate in at least five such walks” – wrote the Zieleni Board in social media.

>>> They used to die under the wheels, today they have an official guardian and a traffic police escort.

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What will the volunteer do? How to apply?

In terms of volunteering, it is necessary to conduct short interviews with residents, walk the designated route and follow the recommendations in case of observing marching birds. The walks will last until mid-May. The volunteer must be an adult and minors may participate in volunteering under the supervision of adults with whom an agreement will be signed.

You can apply to the following e-mail address: wolontariat@zzw.waw.pl.

In the spring in the Agrykola Park, you can observe unique ducks with characteristic ruffled brown feathers on their heads. These are females of the few mergansers nesting in Poland. In the spring, after leaving the nest, the mothers and the flightless cubs travel the dangerous route from the Łazienki Królewskie Park to the Czerniakowski Port. They move along the Piaseczyński Canal, then they have to cross two busy streets separating the Myśliwiecka canal and the six-lane Czerniakowska street.

For several years, the employees of the Green Management Board, together with the services and Varsovians, have been involved in helping the birds during these migrations, because earlier it happened that they were run over.

They’re lowering the water level, the police are directing traffic

City gardeners take care of the mergansers and their young. In the spring, they do not clean the Piaseczyński Canal, when the birds nest in the park and migrate to the Vistula. Small rafts are placed on the water where they can stop.

“During the merganser migration season, we observe the Agrykola Park, checking whether the birds are getting ready to migrate. We specially lower the water level in the Piaseczyński Canal so that the mergansers can swim through the culvert from the western to the eastern part of the canal. road signs that warn that mergansers may move along this route.

The police ensure the safety of migrating birds on the road lanes by stopping cars so that mother ducks with their chicks can safely cross the road.

Scared away by drivers, passers-by or dogs

Mergansers are very determined to make their way to the river and often manage to overcome all barriers. However, it happens that they are frightened by drivers, cyclists, passers-by, dogs or cats. The Zieleni Board appeals to drivers to drive more slowly and to be careful, dog owners to keep their pets on a leash, and all residents to keep their distance from timid birds. “Duck families crossing the city look very picturesque, but for their safety, let’s give up getting close to take pictures” – he added.

Mergansers are protected within the Natura 2000 area of ​​the Central Vistula Valley. In Warsaw, they nest almost exclusively in the Łazienki Królewskie park and its vicinity, even though the merganser is not a park species and the park is located quite far from the Vistula River.

Before the birds move to the riverbed, they inhabit tree hollows. They feed mainly on fish, which they lack in park reservoirs and canals. Therefore, immediately after hatching the chicks, mothers lead them to the Vistula River. In the water, mothers transport their young on their backs. In this way, they protect them from dangers, but also lubricate them with their secretion from the cock gland, protecting the chicks’ feathers from getting wet.

Main photo source: Artur Węgrzynowicz, tvnwarszawa.pl



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