Ventes Ragas (Lithuania)

Ventes Ragas peninsula is located on the eastern coast of the Curonian Lagoon. The first castle and church were build on the southernmost spot of the peninsula in 1360. The wooden lighthouse was constructed in a place of the former castle in 1837, while the lighthouse build of stone in the middle of 19th century is operating up to now.

Ventes Ragas peninsula is located on the main flyway of migratory birds, with up to 300 000 birds daily passing over this site during the autumn migration. The Bird Ringing station was established in Ventes Ragas in 1929. The Ornithological Station “Ventes Ragas” is one of the oldest in Europe. It has the largest in the world bird traps (with metal poles, width – 60 m, height – 25 m), operating during the last 30 years. A unique system of so – called “zig – zag” bird traps, installed since the 1980, can be used to catch birds flying in different directions throughout the year. About 2 million birds of 226 species were ringed in the Station since 1929. 300 – 400 reports about birds ringed in the Station in recent years were annually received from many countries of Europe, Africa and Asia. Not only birds, but also bats are trapped and ringed in the Station. Up to several hundreds bats were annually ringed in Ventes Ragas in recent years.

The Ornithological Station “Ventes Ragas” is an important center of ecological education. More that 30000 tourists are annually visiting Ventes Ragas and small museum of the Station (Ticket price – 3 EUR)

A remarkable view of the Curonian Spit with mowing sandy dunes located near Nida town 13 km southwest, small Preila town located 8 km westwards and long chain of dunes located at Pervalka town 11 km northwest is visible from this observation point.

This teritory is part of the Nemunas River Delta Regional Park. It is included into the list of internationally important wetlands under Convention on Wetlands. The Nemunas River Delta, located east of Ventes Ragas, is one of the key sites for nesting rare bird species (including the globally threatened species) in Europe. The delta with surrounding floodplains and brackish waters of the Curonian Lagoon is the most important site migratory waterbirds in the South East Baltic region. Large flocks of migratory waterbirds can be observed in bays of the Curonian Lagoon from this observation point.

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