Awaiting the rollers


The Bükk Local group of BirdLife Hungary are preparing for the return of rollers...

Last year’s offspring (Photo: Gabriella Leskó).

BirdLife Hungary, together with the Bükk National Park Directorate, installed 90 roller nestboxes within the Mátra and the Borsodi Mezőség regions between last autumn and this spring. The nestboxes were fixed onto trees, wooden post, sweep well posts and electric pylons. Nestboxes on pylons were the quickest to be occupied, possibly because of their higher visibility. All in all, this means that over 300 nest boxes will have to be checked this season.

This box can be easily checked by standing on the car (Photo: Flóra Hák). 

Apart from creating new nest sites in potential habitats, some of the dilapitated and broken boxes, that could have been dangerous to the birds were also replaced.

Autumn sight (Photo: Flóra Hák).

Neighbouring falcons (Photo: Flóra Hák). 

Many of the nest boxes that were installed last year are already occupied by starlings, and tree sparrows. With the second wave of migration, however, more rollers arrived and started to establish territories, so more of them were seen around the nestboxes. 

Starling chicks in a roller nestbox in the second week of May (Photo: Ádám Tóth).

Curious onlookers (Photo: Flóra Hák).

The first rollers (possibly still on migration) were seen near Ócsa, while surveying Montagu’s harriers at the end of April. Later on, at the beginning of May, some rollers were observed in the vicinity of Csincse and Gelej.

Rollers start breeding from the end of May – an adult individual from Apaj (Photo: Flóra Hák).

While installing nest boxes, we also collected useful and interesting zoological data. We have also installed nestboxes for other protected species, such as little owls, Scops’ owls, hopooes and kestrels.

Flóra Hák 

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