After Rollers leave their breeding areas, the monitoring of artificial nestboxes takes place again. First, the nestboxes that require refurbishment or replacement are checked and the staff members replace or repair them if necessary.
Unfortunately the condition of the nestboxes can decline significantly even in one breeding season, therefore the annual monitoring is necessary to grant secure breeding platforms for the occupying birds next year.
This year Eleven started his fourth journey towards Africa. The fact itself would not set a record of course since thousands of Rollers fly this long distance year by year, he is the only individual however to be tracked for such a long time. Eleven has been equipped with a small satellite tag that regularly sends location points since June, 2016.
2019 has been full of hard work in order to ensure suitable nesting sites for the returning Rollers in early spring. The work started at the very beginning of the year with the clean-up and repair of nestboxes that has been damaged in the winter. Rollers do not build their own nest but occupy cavities made by different Woodpecker species therefore we base our species conservation work on the installation of artificial nestboxes and the maintenance of the existing ones.
This years’ field season has been full of hard work and closed with nice results again. We have monitored the condition of all nestboxes since autumn, cleaned, repaired or replaced them when it was necessary. Repaired nestboxes have been placed out again in early spring, and we also installed 30 new nestboxes where the breeding of Rollers is expected.
Rollers are secondary cavity nesters, which means, that they don't build their own nest, but using the cavities created by larger woodpecker species. As there are less and less old trees, not many natural cavities left, so the the most important conservation activity is to install artificial nest boxes.
Taking advantage of the mild and sunny weather at the beginning of February, we began to replace the timber roller nestboxes mounted on high voltage poles in Chișineu-Criș area (Arad County). These artificial nests were placed in the first year of the project and have annually a very good occupancy rate. Due to the record number of occupied nests from the last year we decided to place a larger number of wood-concrete nestboxes in this area.