Avid birdwatcher identified 120 bird species in decade
A publishing house owner living in the northwestern province of Kocaeli’s Gebze district who has been indulging in birdwatching activities for a decade at the Ballıkayalar Nature Park has revealed the joy of birdwatching while stressing the need to conserve wildlife.
“Every year, I indulge in birdwatching activities mostly in the months of March, April and May,” 47-year-old Ümit Malkoçoğlu told Anadolu Agency on April 11.
Stating that he loves to live in nature with his wife and 21-year-old son, Malkoçoğlu said that birdwatching was something that calms the human soul.
“Every living creature has its part to play in nature, and to keep a balance, we need to protect these creatures,” he said.
The Ballıkayalar Nature Park, one of Turkey’s biggest nature parks, was declared a “natural protected area” by the Environment and Urbanization Ministry in March.
When asked what time of the day is best for bird watching, Malkoçoğlu said that the early morning hours were ideal for birdwatching.
“Especially, in summers, I wake up at five in the morning and watch birds for two to three hours. Bird species act freely at that time of the day as there are no human beings around,” he said.
Describing the mornings as “golden hours for birdwatchers,” Malkoçoğlu listed his findings in the last decade, saying, “I have identified around 120 bird species. There are also around 100 kinds of butterflies.”
Pointing out that although binoculars and a book on birdwatching are essential materials for bird watchers, Malkoçoğlu stressed that the “naked eye is an option too.”
Stating that one who has an interest in birdwatching does not necessarily have to go out in nature at first, he said, “They can watch the birds in city life, too.”
“One can watch birds from their balcony in this pandemic period,” he added.
Apart from watching birds and taking their pictures, Malkoçoğlu has also identified some plant species in the area.
“I have photographed 20 different orchids,” he said.
According to academic studies, there are nearly 500 kinds of plants in Ballıkayalar Nature Park.