Kostoľany Educational Trail

Forest Birds

More than 100 nesting bird species have been discovered during an intense ornithological survey in the Tribeč Mountains. Not all of them belong among typical forest species; some are synanthropes (from the neighbourhood of human settlements), some are nesting at the water reservoirs, in the quarries, on rocks in the open landscape. Most of the nesters, however, belong to the forest environment. Most numerous are the perching birds (Passeriformes), but as well the woodpeckers and their relatives (Piciformes), birds of prey (Falconiformes), and the owls (Strigiformes).

The station is situated on the yellow marking (8135), which leads from Velčíce through Kostoľany pod Tribečom to the recreation centre Remitáž. The nearest station is station No. 10, well accessible on the yellow marking from Sedla pod Gýmešom (station No. 9). We descend from the tourist sign post Pod Studeným hradom (Below Studený hrad; station No. 10) on a forest road and follow the yellow marking (8135) for about 500 m to a crossing of forest roads near Balážova studna (Baláž’s Spring; 150 m to the northeast). Near the road is to be found a rock block, from which an unmarked trail leads to the climbing rocks of Studený hrad (250 m to the southeast). Time: 10 min., in the opposite direction 15 min., length: 0.5 km, easy, in the opposite direction medium challenging.

Since 1 February 2008 the central part of the Tribeč Mountains from the southern promontory of the forest to the Nitra River in the Northwest has been a protected bird preserve of 23,802.8 ha. The main protected species is the eastern imperial eagle (Aquila heliaca), which can be seen circling in the sky by the attentive visitor. Other protected forest species are the middle spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius), which occurs frequently mainly in the oak forests, the collared flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis), the spotted flycatcher (Muscicapa striata), the Eurasian wryneck (Jynx torquilla), the European turtle dove (Streptopelia turtur), the European honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus), the European nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus), common redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus), and in the shrubs on the forest borders the barred warbler (Sylvia nisoria).

Middle spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius)
Middle spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius) /(S. Harvančík)
Collared flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis)
Collared flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis) /(S. Harvančík)
European honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus)
European honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus) /(S. Harvančík)

Among other interesting species in the forests of the Tribeč, we can observe for example the black stork (Ciconia nigra), among the birds of prey the common buzzard (Buteo buteo) seems to be the most frequent one, but also the northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), the Eurasian sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) and sometimes as well the lesser spotted eagle (Aquila pomarina) are nesting there. The most frequent owl is the tawny owl (Strix aluco), among the woodpeckers apart from those already mentioned, the great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major), the lesser spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos minor), the white-backed woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos), on the forest borders also the Syrian woodpecker (Dendrocopos syriacus), the European green woodpecker (Picus viridis), the grey-headed woodpecker (Picus canus) and our largest woodpecker, the black woodpecker (Dryocopus martius). Even the three-toed woodpecker may occasionally appear (Picoides tridactylus), he is typical for the coniferous mountain forests. Among the pigeons and doves (Columbiformes) occurs the stock dove (Columba oenas), nesting in tree hollows and the more frequent common wood pigeon (Columba palumbus).

Eurasian sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)
Eurasian sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) /(R. Siklienka)
Tawny owl (Strix aluco)
Tawny owl (Strix aluco) /(S. Harvančík)
Stock dove (Columba oenas)
Stock dove (Columba oenas) /(S. Harvančík)
Common buzzard (Buteo buteo)
Common buzzard (Buteo buteo) /(R. Siklienka)

Among the singing birds, apart from those already mentioned, we can meet almost all species of tits, chicadees and titmice (paridae): long-tailed tit (Aegithalos caudatus), Eurasian nuthatch (Sitta europaea), Eurasian treecreeper (Certhia familiaris), short-toed treecreeper (Certhia brachydactyla), red-breasted flycatcher (Ficedula parva), mistle thrush (Turdus viscivorus), common blackbird (Turdus merula) and song thrush (Turdus philomelos), European robin (Erithacus rubecula), true warblers (Sylviidae), leaf wrablers (Phylloscopidae), Eurasian wrens (Troglodytes troglodytes), and our smallest birds: goldcrest (Regulus regulus) and common firecrest (Regulus ignicapillus). Among the finches we will find here the hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes), the common chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) and in higher altitudes sometimes even the Eurasian bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula). Not even the largest representatives of the singing birds are absent: common raven (Corvus corax), the colourful Eurasian jay (Garrulus glandarius) and the Eurasian golden oriole (Oriolus oriolus).

Marsh tit (Parus palustris)
Marsh tit (Parus palustris) /(R. Siklienka)
Eurasian jay (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian jay (Garrulus glandarius) /(S. Harvančík)
Eurasian wryneck (Jynx torquilla)
Eurasian wryneck (Jynx torquilla) /(S. Harvančík)
Eurasian wren (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Eurasian wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) /(S. Harvančík)
Lesser spotted eagle (Aquila pomarina)
Lesser spotted eagle (Aquila pomarina) /(R. Siklienka)
Black stork (Ciconia nigra)
Black stork (Ciconia nigra) /(R. Siklienka)
Eurasian golden oriole (Oriolus oriolus)
Eurasian golden oriole (Oriolus oriolus) /(S. Harvančík)
continue to:Flora and fauna of water reservoirs
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