Taking pictures with a raven and birdwatching: Moscow to celebrate the International Bird Day

Taking pictures with a raven and birdwatching: Moscow to celebrate the International Bird Day
Children and adults are welcome to visit lectures, workshops, quizzes and quests about birds.  The events will be held 1 to 6 April at 12 venues.

We will be celebrating the International Bird Day 1 to 6 April in the natural areas of Moscow. The Moscow Department for Environmental Management and Protection experts have prepared for visitors of forest parks lectures, workshops, quizzes and quests, dedicated to birds. They will be held at 12 venues. All events are free to enter, but some of them require prior registration.

Informative tour of Biryulevsky Arboretum (Lipetskaya Street, block 5a) will start on 1 April at 03:00 pm. Guests will walk through the natural area accompanied by an ornithologist, watch the birds, listen to their singing, learn about the changes they undergo in the spring. They will hear the stories about park inhabitants such as blackbirds, mountaineers, sparrow hawks and great spotted woodpeckers. Visitors will also learn how birds adjust to living next to people, change their habits. Further, a quiz game will take place in the arboretum's lecture hall. Participants will have to guess the bird by its description and the sounds it makes. To book a tour, please call +7 (495) 326-46-74.

Kuzminki-Lyublino Park (10 Kuzminskaya Street, building 1) invites to attend a lecture on 1 April at 02:00 pm about a common turtle-dove that has been awarded the title Bird of the Year 2019. Bird of the Year has been elected by the Russian Bird Protection Union since 1996. More recently, the turtle-doves were considered common inhabitant of the forest and steppe zones of Europe, but at present, the number of species has been declining, and that fact seriously concerns scientists. Turtle-doves can be found in Moscow parks and natural areas. An exhibition, which will open in the Ecological Centre (located at the same address), will also be dedicated to this bird. In addition, everyone will be able to participate in a birdhouse workshop to learn how to make decoupage birdhouses, to be hung around the park. For registration, please call +7 (495) 377-35-93.

‘Fly Home, Birds!’ quest will be held by the Ostankino Park in the valley of the Yauza River. Children and adults are welcome to come to the rotunda (40 Menzhinsky Street) on 5 April at 03:00 pm. Team game participants will have to read the map, solve puzzles and riddles on environmental topics. At key points, players will be asked questions related to birds of prey, song, waterfowl, migratory and wintering birds. Visitors to the Park are recommended to wear comfortable sports clothes and waterproof shoes. To register for the quest, please call +7 (499) 477-11-97.

In Izmailovo Park (1 Izmailovskaya Paseka Township) the festivities will start on 6 April at 12:00 pm. Several venues will be open in front of the Tsarskaya Paseka Expo Centre. Guests will have an opportunity to make birdhouses for Izmailovo Park, participate in a quiz about birds and read bird-related poems at an open mic. Pernatie+ (Feathered+) orthological hobby group students have prepared a venue exhibiting different types of nests. Visitors to the festival will learn a lot about local birds, such as throstles and chaffinches. Admission is free.

Pokrovskoye-Streshnevo Park (2a 5th Voykovsky Proezd) guests will be offered binoculars. They will need them to participate in the Four Eyes quiz, which will start on 6 April at 12:00 pm (a meeting place is a playground at the Park entrance). Everyone will be able to master birdwatching. This entertainment has become very popular among amateur ornithologists around the world. Festival participants are to look for birds in the Park using their binoculars, and then to determine their names with the use of a special guide. For registration please call: +7 (499) 557-03-48.

On 6 April at 11:00 am, in Bitsevsky Forest (1 Novoyasenevsky Tupik, building 2) a workshop on birdhouse and feeder construction will start. At the completion of the workshop the best work is to be chosen, including those that guests have brought along. A mobile kitchen trailer will treat  visitors to porridge and hot tea. Everyone will be able to take a picture with a raven, a black kite and a peregrine falcon — they will be brought from the Falcon Breeding Centre of the Federal Ecology Research Institute. No registration required.

Events related to the International Bird Day will also be held in the Setun River Valley, Skazka, Terletsky, Bitsevsky Forest eco-centres, Konny Dvor and Vorobyovy Gory parks. You will find a detailed programme on the website of Moscow Department for Environmental Management and Protection.

The Moscow Department for Environmental Management and Protection has also announced a Birdhouse competition. Citizens are proposed to build small houses for migratory birds that return to stay in Moscow. The competition accepts hand-made artificial nesting places for starlings, titmice, owls, swifts, redstarts, pikas and other birds. They are to be brought before 1 April at one of the 17 addresses. Each participant is allowed to bring one birdhouse only.

International Bird Day is an ecology-related holiday, celebrated annually on 1 April. The date was first established in the United States in 1894. In the USSR, the Bird Day had been celebrated since 1926 (with breaks), in Russia it was revived in 1994. Currently, it is held in many countries in the framework of the UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme. The date of 1 April is not occasional. It is the time the birds return from warm countries. People hang new birdhouses, and  build houses for ducks and other water fowl.