My small contribution to Yellowhammer population preservation



For my first publication, after reading the post about the Yellowhammer some days before, I want to explain you my work for the conservation and reconstruction of a Emberiza citrinella – Yellowhammer’s new population in my country.

This male bird population disappeared in winter near totally the 30 past years due to the cut of all grass on the sides of road, its due to the sometimes disastrous Swiss habitude of cleaning everything, people prefer to make that mechanically and let unfortunately a lot of plastic and others rubbish, they have to make that with hands, tooooo much work…But it’s another story.

Luckily, in a protected area where I’m free in my work for seeding in winter, they were 2-3 yellowhammers standing bravely, making miles to find cereals through the winter.

In a summer, I’ve observed that they can take some wheat spikes, cut them and take it on the ground to eat them.

Then, using biologically cultivated wheat for human, too small for the normal use, in the mill about 500 meters from my home, they sold it in 25 kg bags for about 50 cents the kilogram, I decide after discussing with the biologist the use of a certain % in my winter seeding mix.

And it was a tootle success, now, after 5 years, it’s a population of about 30 adult males, some young males from the precedent year and 2-3 females, which can stay in the protected area through winter, this year with 15 days -10°C temperature, they have no problems, snow is no more a negative thing, those males can have the first females coming from south, they make their nest in about 5-6 kilometers from the winter location, now they are singing since three weeks, a lot of couples searching the best place for wedding.

I’m aware it’s a serious responsibility, making that with the approbation of the biologist, an everyday work, as it’s officially made, the security of someone can replace me if I have a problem was a end point of this program, but for me, going there and seeing them coming after some minutes for eating is a pleasure people can’t imagine if they don’t “work” in a similar job.

As they are living more than 10 years, some come very familiar with me, it’s interesting to know that if I take another person with me, they have a totally different comportment and don’t come so close as normal, they can detect someone in the car every time and take a 10-15 meters security distance in place of the habitual 3-4 meters.

To protect them from other humans, I never stay visible as a  biped when observing and photography them, always using my car and/or a piece of military camo pierced material.

You can found other pictures and the song of the male on my website in “Nos amis” part, at the end of the page look in “Dans le jaune”.

ps. as english is not really my mother tongue, excuse the errors please 😉

 

@ leewaysf

Here is an example of what federal specialist can make with a lot of genius and money against beaver damages…

Pierre Gagnaux

Pierre Gagnaux

I'm an active worker for wildlife conservation in my country, specially endangered birds species, and if you have some need of my pictures, I can offer you the free use, you can see them on my website, www.gagnaux.com A great success for your action, and best wishes for the future. Pierre Gagnaux

Pierre Gagnaux

Pierre Gagnaux

I'm an active worker for wildlife conservation in my country, specially endangered birds species, and if you have some need of my pictures, I can offer you the free use, you can see them on my website, www.gagnaux.com A great success for your action, and best wishes for the future. Pierre Gagnaux

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leewaysf
leewaysf

Kudos! We can all do litttle things in our own neighborhoods. We have the opposite problem, our roadsides are full of cigaret butts, fast food containers, and plastic bags. Every walk we try to pick up the smallest of litter, especially rubber bands as we read robins mistake them for worms.

Glenn Bartley

Pierre, interesting your comments about the Swiss practice of clearing roadside verges, which is essentially destroying an important wildlife habitat. I also live in the eastern part of Switzerland and what you say is absolutely correct. During the summer I often spend time in the Republic of Ireland. There the hedgerows are left wild and the variety of wildflowers and grasses in the hedgerows provides an important habitat for butterflies, birds and other wildlife. By the way your english is excellent. Thanks for sharing this interesting article.