Birds of Danube Delta

Here is a collection of informations, video and links related to birds and birdwatching in Danube Delta


  1. Common Pelicans (Pelecanus Onocrotalus) fishing and info (in Romanian)
  2. All birds: Pelicans, Terns and Swans
  3. In a a general presentation, a part about the birds, with emphasis on the pelicans, considered symbols of the Danube Delta
  4. Borderline Waters

Photo of Birds from Danube Delta

  1. My pictures of birds, on Flickr
  2. Pelicans of the Danube Delta - a slide show made up of nice images
  3. Slideshow of images, Egrets, White Tailed Eagle, Grey heron, etc.

Problems and Conservation of Birds

  1. Illegal hunting of Pelicans and Cormorants
  2. Reed Burning can affect birds' migration

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Last days for the wild horses in Letea forest

I'm speechless. Two years ago I wrote about the wild horses in Letea forest, as a response to a great video I found on youtube. The authors, Lucian Reniţă and Irina Stelea, were explaining that they eat trees crust and this might cause death of some trees. However, the horses, allegedly released sometimes in the '80s, adapted to the very tough conditions in Danube Delta's winters and evolved into a real genetic patrimony of Romania.
I was telling my colleagues from allover Europe about them and about the unique place that Danube Delta is.

However, few days ago, some smart ass (Romanian authorities, but I couldn't tell exactly who and why, I'm trying to find out) decided the horses should be killed. Yes, killed. The official reason is that some of them suffer from horses' anemia; however, without waiting for analyses from the laboratory they are paying villagers up to 100 lei (25 EUR !) per horse, so the very poor people inhabiting the area capture the horses, claim themselves as owners of the animals and put them together waiting to be killed with really inhuman crudity. 

This pictures might help having an idea about the way Romanian people in that area treat animals. No animal deserves this treatment, less the poor horses.
By the time I'm writing this 50 of the 71 horses captured so far are in a truck heading probably for a slaughterhouse somewhere in the west Romania. I repeat, this happens even though the lab analyses arrived and indicated they have no horses anemia. 21 remained there and are waiting to be killed during the coming days.
Here is another video shot with this beautiful animals.

Here is a new Facebook community aiming to do something about this and here is a petition for saving the horses in the Danube Delta. Here is a reportage made by a one of the biggest Romanian TV channels.

Update: After reading some more I understand the problem is the big number of horses (latest numbers indicate about 4000) and the damage they do over the species of plants. Apparently, due to the fear of infectious anemia they cannot be moved to other areas or used by the people. This I can understand and I can also understand the need of a balance in this very sensitive eco-system. However, I cannot understand the way they are killed, without waiting for lab results and without looking for a better solution.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

New Nature Reserves in Danube Delta

"Prundu cu păsări" and "Ceaplace" islands, in Danube Delta will be declared nature reserved and will be closed for public access.

Scientific reserve Ceaplace Island will have a total area, including the water area, of 117 hectares and the size of the island is 0.6 ha. Laying in the north part of Sinoie Lake, the island is one of the three areas in Romania sheltering colonies of Curly Pelicans (Pelecanus Crispus).

Pelecanus Crispus

The scientific reserve "Prundu cu păsări" islands has a total area of 187 hectares and the approximate size of the islands is 1,4 hectares. Approximate not because no-one was was able to measure it exactly, but because it varies continuously, together with the configuration of the entire Danube Delta.
the islands from Prundu cu păsări shelter a mix colony of birds, out of which the most important are the Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia), the Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus Crispus), who tries to build the nests here. But they also offer shelter and a place to rest to the common white pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus) and other protected birds. 

The administration of the two areas is insured by ARBDD (Romanian Administration of Danube Delta's Biosphere Reserve) and access of tourists, as well as any economic activity is forbidden. 

We salute the initiative and the conservation status granted to the two areas and we really hope more areas in Romania will be included in the nature reserve list. But we also hope the status of the nature reserve is really protected and no economic activities will take place there, unlike now, when some well-connected people are allowed to build them own houses in the middle of nature reserves.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Camping in Danube Delta

During the first half of August, 2010, the "Environment Protection Guard" applied fines of 162.650 Lei (about 40.000 EUR) for illegal camping. Some of the areas where people can camp without worries are Delfinul camping, in Sfantu Gheorghe, Campoeuroclub Partizani, Sulina youth camp (though the youth camp in Sulina, doesn't have too many facilities, IMO).

I totally agree that camping should be allowed only in some areas, but there is a smell of "let's help the guest-houses and hotels" here. If people respect the nature and leave no trace behind, if they don't disturb the animals and birds, I see nothing wrong with camping in the areas that are not strictly restricted.

No Toxic Residues in Danube Delta

Romania's senate voted today two laws that forbids storage of the toxic residues in Danube Delta. Basically there is forbidden any deposit of toxic or radioactive residue at a distance smaller than 20 km from the Black Sea coastline or in the "Natura 2000" protected areas.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Landscapes of Danube Delta

Here is another slideshow with pictures by Leonard Butusina. I don't know Leonard yet, but I'd like to meet him and have a chat.

Just watch the pictures and you'll understand why we love Danube Delta, why we consider it as one of the most beautiful places in Europe and why when someone asks me what to see in Romania I always recommend Danube Delta as a must-see.

Birds of Danube Delta

The birds and the main treasure of Danube Delta. 325 species of birds shelter and nest here, out of which some are very rare. Like the Curly Pelican (Pelecanus Dalmatus) or the pigmy cormorant. Lucian Butusina has a very nice slideshow surprising the pelicans (Pelecanus Onocrotalus), the take-off of the swans (Cygnus Olor), the Black-winged Stilt, (Himantopus himantopus), the Pochard (Aythya Ferina), a tern (Sterna Hirundo), the Squacco heron , a falcon (which I would idetntify as Falco Subbuteo), an Ibis (Glossy Ibis), the Spoonbill (Platalea Leucordia), the Little Egret (Egretta Garzetta), the Black Headed Gull