Lake Van basin welcomes wild swans of north

Housing hundreds of different bird species throughout the year, the Lake Van basin now welcomes whooper swans. Known for their large bodies, elegant necks and white feathers they come to the area during winter only.

Whooper swans are one of the most important members of wild birds that live in the northern parts of the world and lay eggs around Siberia. When winter hits the northern hemisphere during January and February, these birds have a hard time finding food to sustain them. While a part of the whooper swan population heads to the Lake Van basin, another part flies away to Japan's Hokkaido Island. Whooper swans are known for staying around Lake Van and Lake Erdek until April and then return to their breeding area.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, associate professor Özdemir Adızel who is a biologist at Yüzüncü Yıl University in Van said currently the basin, including Lake Van and Lake Erdek, hosts around 500 whooper swans.

Emreh Çelik, another academician at the university said they have initiated a program to protect these wild animals and prevent any disturbance.

Stating that these birds safely stay among the reeds in the basin, Çelik said, "This area is open for nature watchers. They are welcome to come here and study these wild birds. However, total silence is required to be able to watch these birds as they can be intimidated easily."

Çelik also said they are observing birds coming to the basin all the time and the number of migratory birds spending winter and summer in the Lake Van basin area changes every year.

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