Located along the flight path of migratory birds, Turkey's southeastern province of Diyarbakır once again welcomed hundreds of hawks. The Anatolian lands provide plenty of shelter and feeding options to migratory birds that fly across Africa, Europe and Asia over Turkey. Diyarbakır is one of their common stops, especially for birds of prey.
Recep Karakaş, a professor of zoology in Diyarbakır's Dicle University, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that Turkey was a popular route for migratory birds. "While migrating, alternative routes emerge. And these routes include Turkey, as a variety of migratory birds use our region. We think that birds use the Tigris-Euphrates River systems for navigation," he said. "Hawks, a predatory species [or raptor], are one of the birds using the [Turkish] route. Hawks usually migrate in flocks; they use our region to migrate to northern latitudes," he added.
He pointed out that the birds of prey would prey on little mammals, lizards, reptiles, insects and thus indirectly help farmers.
However, there are stand-alone instances when these visiting birds are attacked. Mesut Tomar, a veterinarian, said he treated a hawk wounded by gunfire from hunters in the Ergani district of Diyarbakır. "Poaching or hunting damages nature," he said. "Our region is a migration route and resting area for birds. We should do our best to ensure their healthy migration," he added.
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