This May, anyone happening to be around the BirdLife Cyprus office in Strakka after dark has been treated to the unusual and weird calls and shrieks of the resident family of Long-eared owls (Asio otus). Regular breeders in the groves around the office, a pair of our rarest and arguably most impressive species of breeding owl has raised at least three young this year. Having left the nest, the owlets have been anything but quiet in their ceaseless begging for food from their perches in the pines and cypresses outside the office.
Among the calls we receive for injured birds found by citizens (although BirdLife Cyprus does not operate a bird hospital) last month we received a different call from a lady who lives in Nicosia informing us that a pair of Kestrels had decided to build a nest on a ledge outside her attic window and she was asking for advice on how to keep the nest safe. Luckily the ledge around the house was a perfectly safe location for the five Kestrel chicks. BirdLife Cyprus’ staff members, after getting Mrs. Kaitie’ s permission to visit her house, checked on the chicks and proceeded in ringing them.
The authorities of the British Bases (SBA) in Cyprus were the “target” for a combined BirdLife Cyprus and RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) lobbying effort in late April. The main focus of the lobbying effort was the growing trapping problem, but also proper protective management for the Akrotiri area and its birds. An RSPB delegation headed by Tim Stowe, Director of International Operations at the RSPB, lent its weight to our ongoing efforts in both these areas during a series of meetings with top SBA officials. The three-day RSPB visit also involved inspecting the notorious trapping problem area of Cape Pyla, within the Dhekelia SBA.
BirdLife Cyprus regrets to announce the death of George Hadjikostas, an Honourary Chairman of the Society, on April 10th, 2011. George Hadjikostas was Minister of Communications and Works from 1980-82. His involvement with birds started through his wife Cleo, who is a birdwatcher, and in 1998 he was offered the post of President of Cyprus Ornithological Society 1957.
Members and friends of BirdLife Cyprus will be sorry to hear that Panos Stavrou passed away on 15th May 2011. Panos was a regular at BirdLife Cyprus field meetings and social events accompanying his wife Patricia, Social Secretary of BirdLife Cyprus and member of the Council.