About the ornithologist – Oleksandr Grabary

People have always been drawn to birds. Some people enjoy the birds’ external beauty and song, while others help and study them. One of those who studied our region’s avifauna in the past was an Uzhgorod native, a gymnasium teacher, and the first head of the nature department of the People’s Museum of Transcarpathian Ukraine (now the Transcarpathian Museum named after T. Legotsky).

Ruslana Dzhahahman, senior researcher of the history and local history department’s nature branch, gave a lecture on March 14 in honor of Oleksandr Grabary, the department’s first head. Students from the Biological Faculty who attended the event learned fascinating facts about the famous ornithologist’s life and had the opportunity to view the scientist’s original scientific works from the museum’s funds and library. His work “Birds of Podkarpatska Rus,” which appeared in multiple issues of the magazine “Podkarpatska Rus” in 1931, is valuable and still holds up today. For the first time, it includes a list of the 271 species of birds that live in our area, allowing us to determine how the avifauna of Transcarpathia has changed over the past century.

Birds of prey were Oleksandr Grabar’s favorite species. The “Birds of Prey of Subcarpathia” is a different work he wrote specifically for them. In each article, the researcher emphasized the importance of protecting birds, particularly birds of prey, which are considered economic pests. “There is nothing useful nor detrimental in nature,” he once said, is still true today.

Finally, Mykhailo Bilanych, the head of the nature branch and an IERS expert, led a tour of the Uzhgorod Castle Park. Students saw the exhibition dedicated to Istvan Loudon, Oleksandr Grabar’s class teacher, and exhibits made by the museum’s first head of the nature department as part of the “Nature of Transcarpathia” exhibition.

The event was held within the framework of cooperation between between the Institute of Ecological and Religious Studies- IERS (headed by Alexander Bokotey) and the Nature Conservation Union of Germany (NABU BundesverbandNABU International), project coordinators –  Ivan Tymofeiev (NABU),  and financially supported by VGP Foundation.

Informational Service of IERS

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