first great passage of wood pigeons in Lizarrieta

“So far, not much has happened. And there, it does not stop, ”exclaims the restaurateur, between a video of woodpigeon flights for social networks, and the preparation of the lunch service. “Today there are a lot of people. “The Lizarrieta pass attracts wood-pigeon net hunters, and also nature lovers, who come to admire the birds.


The volunteers of the association C PAL are every day between six and eight to observe the passage of wood pigeons.

Archives Vincent Dewitte

Day flight, morning

On Wednesday October 26, at midday, 41,490 wood pigeons, known as “pigeons” were revealed in Lizarrieta, by volunteer observers from the C PAL association for counting, protection and animation in Lizarrieta. “” It’s the first day of great passage. The first flight, the largest, involved 5,000 individuals,” notes Cassandre Blondel, volunteer. “Yesterday, 20,400 wood pigeons were counted, and on Saturday October 15, there was a first notable passage, with 12,000 pigeons allocated. »

Every day, there are between six and eight of C PAL, passionate about ornithology and fauna, stationed at the Saratar pass. The time to know the habits of Columba palumbus. “Wood pigeons come from northern Europe – Scandinavia, Poland, Germany – and go to southern Spain or Portugal, do not fly at night, but prefer the morning. In the afternoon, they tend to stop. Likewise when the weather is not favourable, that is to say rain, fog, and the South wind, which makes their flight more energy-consuming. »

Net hunting

The biggest and most suspicious pigeon on the European continent was eagerly awaited, in Sare, as elsewhere. In Lizarrieta, flocks of wood pigeons are often too high to be within gunshot. Net hunting is therefore preferred. “From the pass, you can see the nets of Sare and Etxalar. At the net, they only hunt pigeons. On all the Pyrenees, there are nine nets. There are passes where the pigeons pass lower, and where they are shot,” observes Cassandre Blondel. natural route, further north.

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