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Experts stoke bird-watching fever

Switzerland's bird protection organisation is targeting children aged eight to 12 for its annual spring bird watching drive.

BirdLife Switzerland said on Monday that it would try to entice youngsters to develop an interest in creatures like the smoke swallow, which will fly up to 10,000 kilometres as part of its spring migration back to Switzerland.

The swallow is expected to arrive in mid-April while swifts and cuckoos should fly in around May. Four storks have already been spotted.

Some 30,000 people from over 30 European countries have already taken part in the Spring Alive programme, organisers said. There have been 2,700 events.

So far, the most frequently observed species in Europe were the starling, coot and chaffinch.

Ornithologists say the information will help them learn more about migration patterns in Europe.

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