Birds on Electrogrid

Flocks of wintering waterfowl are already observed in Kaunas

Flocks of wintering waterfowl are already observed in Kaunas

After the first frost millions of birds moved South. A large part of them have passed through Lithuania, another part is still on the move. These days the biggest flocks of passerines have left our country, however, waterfowl are on migration making longer stops in our water bodies. One of such places serving not only as temporary stop, but also as a wintering place, is Kaunas. Kaunas Hydroelectric Power Plant built after damming the River Nemunas in the last century, even during the coldest winters prevents the river waters a few kilometres down the Plant from freezing. Since then, Kaunas has become the main wintering place for waterfowl in the continental part of Lithuania. It can attract up to 10.000 birds during the coldest winters. The territory is not less important for migratory birds. At present, in the Nemunas section between the Power Plant and confluence with the River Neris you can find large flocks of water birds. The largest flocks are found in the territory of ornithological reserve. The first counts show around 4000 birds, the most abundant are Mallards and Great Cormorants. You can also find first flocks of Mute Swans, Coots and Goldeyes. Less abundant  are Tufted Ducks, Shovelers, Pintails, Pochards, Teals, Wigeons and Common Mergansers. 4 Bewick’s Swans, 2 Moorhens and 1 Little Grebe were observed this autumn as well.

However, as each year, wintering birds in Kaunas are facing some threats. One of the longest known is bird striking into overhead high voltage electricity cables. It is the reason of the deaths of tens of birds each year in Kaunas. High voltage lines cross the Nemunas in three places in the city, so the birds flying along the river often strike the cables. To prevent bird mortality in summer 2014 in Žemieji Šančiai, one of the hottest spots, with highest bird mortality rates, special visualization measures – markers - were implemented. Currently, the data is collected about the impact of these measures in this segment of the river. We also hope to find the best protection measures in the other places dangerous for birds with our project partners. That is why we ask everyone who knows the places with high rate of bird mortality under overhead electric lines (not only over the rivers) share this information with Lithuanian Ornithological society: Tel./ fax.:  (5) 2130498  mail.:


Projektą „Paukščių apsaugos priemonių įdiegimas Lietuvos aukštos įtampos elektros energijos perdavimo tinkluose“ (LIFE13 BIO/LT/001303) finansuoja Europos Sąjungos aplinkos finansinis mechanizmas „LIFE+“, LR Aplinkos ministerija ir projekto partneriai. Projekto pradžia – 2014 m. birželis, planuojama pabaiga – 2018 m. liepa.