Birds flying over the Algarve now have a new safe spot where they can rest and send out their mating calls.
The first of 2,000 bird boxes which are due to be set up across the Algarve was put up at Quinta de Marim in Olhão on Thursday, November 26 in a ceremony attended by the regional director of the institution of nature and forest conservation (ICNF), Castelão Rodrigues.
The bird box was placed at the top of a pine tree near the ICNF headquarters at Quinta de Marim and aims to attract hoopoes and spotless starlings by next spring.
The ‘Alojamento Local para Aves’ (Local Lodging for Birds) project is being developed by environmental association Vita Nativa and the regional board of Portuguese Institute of Nature and Forest Conservation (ICNF).
Throughout the coming months, the remaining 199 boxes will be set up at several gardens and public parks across the Algarve.
There will be six different types of boxes, each with specific characteristics to attract different species – from smaller birds like great tits, hoopoes and starlings to owls and kestrels.
The project aims to not only provide a safe spot for these birds to reproduce but also use them as natural pest control.
“We know it is impossible to eradicate pesticides, but we are certain that we can reduce the amount that is used and thus make ecosystems healthier and more sustainable,” said the association.
Hopes are that the project will also raise awareness and spark the interest of citizens who live in urban areas.
“We will try to get citizens and entities interested in monitoring the bird boxes,” it added.
By MICHAEL BRUXO