By Nikolin Svetlana
For the reasons known only to them the town of Kikinda in the Province of Voivodina in north Serbia (southeast Europe) becomes a regular winter settlement of hundreds of owls.
It is the biggest urban winter quarters of long-eared Owls (Asio otus) in the world so far.
The whole area is agricultural and may be it was one of the facts why owls have chosen to stay here during cold season. The word about these unusual guests has spread fast around the world and started to attract many ornithologists and visitors to this town.
The owls have decided to stay in the middle of the town center in the tall trees canopies.
The number of owls vary from 250 – the number for this year up to 750 recorded previously.
The town government recognised the importance of this unusual settlement and gave full protection to the whole owl occupied area.
Along with town council many environmental NGOs and volunteers have started to help owls making them new nests, banning loud music from restaurants and coffee shops around the square, regulate lightening of shop’s advertisements which may disturb owls wishing to make their stay as comfortable as possible.
The town council has imposed huge fees up to 2000 Euros for any disturbance to owls and especially of cutting the branches of the trees where they stay.
Long eared owls are now the well recognised brand mark of the town of Kikinda with even Owl festival which lasts whole of November every year with many events all dedicated and connected to this lovely birds.
journalist/ editor in chief monthly news paper ‘Trgoprodukt’ (1982-1990)
freelance journalist from1990
editor in chief – non profit
intercultural magazin “XXI Century” (2006-2016)
independent researcher on intercultural dialogue, minorities and small ethnic communities of the Balkans (Banat Bulgarians, Aromanians)
specialised ”XXI Century” magazine editions:
”Palchens in Banat”
”Aromanians of Pancevo city”
Aegeo (Egej) travel book
‘Small anthology of Aromanian poetry’
‘ Aromanian old songs’
‘Aromanians in south Banat’/project book)
‘The nomads of the Balkans’ -(translation project book)
coordinator in NGO”In Medias Res” department for small ethnic communities and intercultural dialogue ( from 2006 to 2016)