AnadoluJet Magazine

Ankara From The Wings of Birds

Did you know that the capital city of Turkey is an exceptional place for birds? Or that more than half of the nearly 450 bird species in Turkey can be observed in Ankara?

How do you know Ankara? The capital of Turkey, the second largest city of the country with a population of more than 5 million, where the heart of the state beats... What about its wildlife? Though it is not known as much, this city has a different meaning for nature lovers. It houses nature crossings bearing many climate characteristics, with a rapid transition from the surrounding steppes to mountains and forestlands. Especially in spring, this wide geography is an important breeding site for migratory birds who visit our country by crossing thousands of kilometers. More than half of the 450 bird species that can be found in our country can be observed within Ankara’s city borders.

While you can see titmouse, wrens or fieldfare even without leaving the city center, you can also witness the flight of birds of prey from time to time. If you are lucky, you can see a peregrine passing between high buildings, a long-legged buzzard rising to the blue sky with the help of a thermal air mass or you can stumble upon a long-eared owl in your garden. The redbreast, which you can see occasionally even in the urban parks of Ankara, is actually a bird that is observed mainly in Northern Europe.

In order to see different species, such as endangered white-headed duck, you can move away from the center and visit Mogan Lake on the borders of Gölbaşı district, 25 kilometers south of Ankara. Closer to the city center, Eymir Lake is ideal for day trips. One of the most prevalent species at Eymir and Mogan Lakes is the bearded tit. Especially in winter, it settles in the reeds along the lake coast.

Wonderful places for aficionados include in the north, Kızılcahamam forests housing black vultures; in the west, İnözü valley that is home to woodpeckers; Beypazar district with its small vultures; and Nallıhan district which embraces countless bird species. Rest assured that astonishing winged members of nature will accompany you while you visit here.

While reading this article, you may be thinking about how to start birdwatching or photography. It is not hard to get started with these two activities which might well transform into passions. With the increasing number of people taking an interest in them, you can access many informative sources, and birdwatchers’ or photographers’ sites easily via the Internet. It goes without saying that once you start to follow birds, the image of nature in your mind will immediately change and you will see your environment in a new light. Upon seeing the diversity of wildlife, and especially of birds, in our country, you will realize that there are many more species apart from house sparrows and you will be  amazed by the nature that surrounds you.

Writer/Photo: SERKAN MUTAN

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