The Bird Symbol for 2015 is the European Roller
Armenian Society for the Protection of Birds has conducted an open voting program to select the annual “Bird of Year 2015” in Armenia. The aim of the “Bird of the Year” campaign is to select the bird symbolizing the year and attract the attention of all Armenians to the conservation of Armenia’s birds and their habitats. Little owl, Egyptian vulture, common blackbird and American black together with the European Roller swift have been competing for the title of the Bird of the Year. 2123 people from Yerevan and different regions of Armenia took part in the voting.
Respondents were given the opportunity to vote online in the Armenian Society for the Protection of Birds website, due to the lack of internet availability in some regions voting sheets were also made available to the public. As a result, the European Roller (Coraciasgarrulus) gained 1037 votes and was chosen as «the Bird of 2015 Year».
The European roller resembles a crow in size and build, but has stunningly colorful plumage, (blue and green colors are dominant), which allows him to be noticed even form greater distance. The European roller is a pigeon-sized bird. It has powerful beak, strong legs and long wings. Total body length is 30-32 cm, wingspan is 66-73 cm and the total weight is 110-160 g.
The breeding season of this bird species starts in the middle of spring: wedding dances, and during this time to attract female’s attention the male starts to perform complex movements in the air, which in turn is accompanied by the sound modulations. A clutch of one to seven, but most commonly four or five, eggs are laid from May to June. The eggs are incubated, primarily by the female, for 17 to 19 days. The chicks hatch naked and blind, but quickly develop, and fledge after 25 to 30 days. The young continue to be fed by adults for a further three weeks or more. The subspecies is distributed from North Africa and Europe.
This bird species can be met in Armenia in the second half of the month of April. The European Roller does not avoid human presence, but shows a certain caution. This bird species is also notable for its agricultural importance, as it destroys beetles and other insects which are pests of forests and agricultural areas. It’s listed in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as Near Threatened; according to IUCN criteria categorized as Vulnerable.
Armenian Society for the Protection of Birds plans to hold meetings, intra-school competitions with schoolchildren throughout the year, to spread printed materials aiming to make this species more commonly known. The details of both the bird and upcoming events are available at the www.aspbirds.org website.
Armenian Aarhus Centers Press Officer
Translated by Anush Beybutyan