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    Thermal retrofit work can harm bird habitat

    Winged tenants live in most buildings. Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK), which grants bonuses from the Thermo-modernization and Renovation Fund (FTiR), encourages investors to cooperate with ornithologists and install nesting boxes to compensate for birds’ nests lost due to investment works. “Birds are our allies and when renovating buildings, it is important to protect their habitat,” says Przemysław Osuch of BGK.

    The buildings are home to, among others, swifts, sparrows, Eurasian tree sparrows, jackdaws, black redstarts and titmice. Some species originally nested on rocks and some urban structures seems to be similar to them.

     

    “Birds are a very important part of how the urban ecosystem works. Many species nest in residential structures. We are committed to ensuring that projects financed with FTiR funds are implemented with respect for the environment,” stresses Przemysław Osuch, Director of the Housing Funds Department at BGK. 

     

    Birds that nest in buildings are protected by law. It is forbidden not only to kill them but also to destroy their nests. According to Marta Świtała, an ornithologist, it is a good practice that before commencing thermo-modernization works, the investor commissions an expert opinion from an ornithologist or chiropterologist when there are bats in the building.

     

    “A species of particular concern is swifts. These are amazing birds, which gain their food only in flight. Their food consists mainly of mosquitoes, flies – insects that can make our lives miserable,” Marta Świtała points out.

     

    Swifts are in Poland from April to August. During this time, one individual catches several thousand insects per day.

     

    “If you multiply that by the number of birds on one estate, where a dozen pairs of swifts can live in, it makes a pretty nice number of, say, mosquitoes, of which there are slightly fewer. But that’s not the only reason to protect swifts. All birds should be protected simply because they exist,” adds Marta Świtała.

     

    Marta Świtała also provided expertise for the building of a housing community in Sosnowiec at Jagiełły 6 Street and supervised the thermal modernization process, which was completed only in October – due to the breeding season of swifts, which usually fly to warm countries between 1st and 10th August.

     

     

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