People and birds

Graceful aerial dances! Gulls at the landfill station of Oradea.

Despite the background this kind of beautiful performance would impress anyone. These are the gulls from the rubbish dump of Oradea, a place that one could hardly imagine as the scenery of a graceful dance!

It is a place where thousands of birds gather to feed. The answer is simple: the site where you can see the birds gathering is composed by the landfill site and the neighboring quarry lakes resulting from the sand and gravel exploitation activities.

It is always  a continuous flow between the two points. The gulls feeding during the day at the rubbish dump and roosting on the large quarry lakes and wastewater treatment station, respectively on the Crișul Repede river’s reservoirs.   

Did we awaken your curiosity?

The species that we can observe regularly at the Oradea landfill station: Black-headed  Gull (nesting in small number at the quarry lakes), Common Gull (regular winter guest in Romania), Yellow-legged Gull and  Caspian Gull. Sometimes we can observe here scarce and rare species too, such as the Lesser Black-backed Gull (3 observations in the area) and the European Herring Gull (2 observations). Obviously, other species, especially crows are also present on the landfill.

In the last few years, we have identified numerous gulls as well as a few White Storks with color rings  from abroad. The places from where the birds came from have been identified thanks to the colored rings with unique digits for each individual, which can be read with the help of the telescope or binocular.

The map shows the origin of the gulls observed near Oradea and the distance (in km) traveled to the landfill.

Among the birds with colored rings there are gulls that have returned several times to Oradea. A Black-headed Gull ringed in the autumn of 2013 in Ełk, in northeastern Poland was found in Romania on 13th September 2016 and reseeen on 12th January 2018 at the same place. Another bird, ringed in Budapest in 2014, visited the Hódmezővásárhely garbage dump in 2015 and reached Oradea in 2016.

So far, we have identified 20 color-ringed gulls, of which 18 were Black-headed Gulls. 15 of them had been ringed in the same place, on Zagreb’s waste deposit (Croatia). According to the Croatian Bird Migration Atlas information the Black-headed Gulls ringed in their country show a dispersion on NE and SV direction. This fact can give an explanation for the significant number of gulls observed at this site.

Meanwhile we enjoy them!

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