Scientific Journal of the BirdLife Hungary

A Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület tudományos folyóirata

Ornis Hungarica. vol.21(2). (2013) p.47-51.

A successful habitat reconstruction effort, the short history of the European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster) colony at Albertirsa (Hungary)
Sándor Urbán, Katalin Túri, Zoltán Vas & Tibor István Fuisz

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In the Golyófogó Valley near Albertirsa natural erosion created near vertical walls in
the loess deposited in the last glacial period, offering natural nesting sites for the European Bee-eater. Later the deeply cut coach roads, the pits of loess extraction and the construction works of the motorway nearby created further man-made banks. Hence by the 1970-ies a well-established colony bred here, but by the beginning of the 21 st century, disturbance and the demise of vertical banks led to a serious reduction in the number of breeding pairs. The purchase of 5-hectare loess grassland plot and the adjacent loess bank, and later its reconstruction led to an unprecedented growth in the number of Bee-eaters. From 2010 the number of breeding pairs exceeded 200 every year. Not only the Bee-eater colony, but also the natural vegetation and the botanical values of the area are mana­ ged to maintain the population of rare and protected element of the local flora and fauna.