Saturday, April 4, 2009

Week of March 28 - April 3, 2009

This week has been one of the most exciting weeks at the park!!! The tight grip of winter has loosened and the temperature has sleadily rose above freezing! With the warm weather, birds have begun to arrive at the park... Among the first spring migrants to show their face was a pair of Red-crowned cranes and a pair fo White-naped cranes!!! These majestic birds were heard bugling off in the distant wetlands and to the surprise of Muraviovka Staff landed nearly on our doorstep!!! Later in the week, we began to see groups of passerines migrating through including the Rustic bunting:

The park celebrated the coming of spring and the arrival of these migrants with our annual Bird Day festival. This festival serves to educate and inspire the local students of the wonders found in the bird world as well as the rest of nature. This year a group of nearly 50 University students from the neighboring city of Blagoveschensk participated in Bird Day. Bird day began with the reading of a welcome letter to the participants from the Beijing Brooks Education Center in China(BBEC). BBEC has a rich history and connection with Muraviovka Park and cooperated extensively with the park throughout the years to organize international camps. Afterwards we presented the students with an entertaining lecture highlighting some of the facinating aspects of bird biology and behavior, which was followed up by the ceremonial hanging of a nestbox:

Afterwards the students split into groups to go and view some of the birds in their natural habitats. Despite the lingering snow still present on the trail , everyone had a great time walking through the woods and scanning the wetlands for some of Muraviovka's special inhabitants:

As the week progressed, nearly all of the snow has melted within the park. This has exposed long buried food sources and has allowed for travel in the wetland to be much easier. This has given rise to an explosion of animals that haved moved out of the cover of the forest to frolic and feed in the wetlands. Groups of pheasants, foxes, and roe deer can now be seen foraging in the valley below!!

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