Almost twelve thousand owls wintered in Hungary


The Hungarian Ornithological and Conservation Association (MME) prepared a national survey of the flocks of barn owls wintering in Hungary this year as well. According to the received data, approximately 12 thousand long-eared owls wintered in Hungary at the end of January.

In the announcement, it was recalled that this year the public and the media were also asked for help in the assessment of barn owls wintering in Hungary, in which the Birds of Prey Protection Department of the MME, its local groups, colleagues and volunteers, the nature conservation service of the national park directorates, other civil organizations, kindergartens and schools, a total of at least 431 surveyors participated. Thanks to this, observation data came from all the counties of Hungary and the capital, they emphasized.

According to the results, at the time of the count, 11,629 long-eared owls wintered in at least 638 settlements and 1,035 locations in Hungary.

As they wrote, thanks to the repeated calculations, many conclusions can be drawn from the data sets that expand every year: one of the most telling in this year’s case may be the outstanding number of small rodents killed by owls. Taking into account that each forest short-eared owl needs at least two and a half mice or voles-sized prey animals per day, calculating with the hundred-day hibernation period of a little more than three winter months, the owls will destroy 2,907,250 rodents during the winter of 2023/2024 period.

The total weight of these vole-sized prey animals (calculated with an average body weight of 25 grams per individual) is about 73 tons. Farmers do not have to protect themselves against so many mice and voles, which also cause agricultural damage, with expensive and environmentally dangerous exterminators, because the owls remove them from the fields for free, biologically, without any additional environmental impact, emphasized the MME’s announcement on Monday.

More information on the subject can be found on the website


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *