That took a tern: Latvia announces bird of the year

It is the time of the year. The time you (or, at least, we) have been waiting for since last year. It is the time to announce the annual winners of the most prestigious titles in Latvia.

We are, of course, talking about the annual winners of different types of natural phenomena. Last year, the winners were announced in the categories of plant of the year, bird, moss, habitat, archaeology monument, animal, invertebrate, mushroom, slime mold, shrub, and tree.

The first announcement of 2024 comes from the Latvian Ornithological Society, and is none other than the bird of the year – the little tern (Sternula albifrons)!

The ornithologists' society wishes to draw special attention to this tiny bird as it is found relatively rarely in Latvia, not only due to its size (a grown bird reaches only 21 to 25 centimeters in length and 45 grams in weight) but also due to natural and man-made predators.

Very few eggs hatch each year, says the society, as the nests are endangered by wildlife and especially by humans and dogs going on beach walks. Ornithologists and the Nature Conservation Agency are actively trying to save and replenish the population of the little tern.

The little tern voice recordings made in Latvia are available here. If one manages to observe the little tern in nature, everyone is invited to register their observation on the portal or mobile app, as this will be useful data for the future atlas of nesting birds of Latvia. Those looking to get involved in the records of birds nesting on the coast in 2024 have been urged to contact the Nature Conservation Agency by emailing [email protected].


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