GONHS visits Notre Dame First School
In the latest in a series of visits to local schools, GONHS Raptor Unit’s section head, Vincent Robba, visited Notre Dame First School.
The star of the visit was undoubtedly the huge Eagle Owl, which often accompanies Vincent as an ‘avian ambassador’, whilst he explained how these owls hunt and the special aspects of their biology. This owl and other birds of prey are regularly used for educational purposes, to show children what it is that we are protecting.
Vincent’s talk outlined the role that the GONHS Raptor Unit plays in Gibraltar, particularly its dedicated work with the rehabilitation of injured and downed raptors. He also provided information on raptor migration over Gibraltar and across the Strait, providing exciting visuals to illustrate this. Gibraltar has a breeding and wintering population of other birds of prey, such as the Peregrine Falcon, Lesser and Common Kestrels, Tawny and Little Owls. These were also described as part of the talk.
Raptors play a key role in nature but also face threats throughout Europe and further afield, including habitat loss, poisoning and indiscriminate hunting. Local threats include downing and even predation (of Sparrowhawks in particular) by Yellow-legged Gulls, as well as collision with structures such as glass balconies, which most notably affects our Common Kestrels, a quite urban species that often become trapped behind the glass.