The Regional Nature Reserve of the Moraine Complex of Castellaro Lagusello, located only a few chilometres from Lake Garda, is a spectacle for all nature lovers.
The area extends over a surface of 271 hectares in the municipalities of Monzambano and Cavriana and has been included in the list of Sites of Community Importance (SCI) due to its environmental and ecological importance.
The nature reserve is characterized by a great biodiversity thanks to the presence of wetlands and lakes such as the heart-shaped Lake of Castellaro. Around the small lake there is wetland, whichs extends to the adjoining hill area of Monte Tondo and its fascinating forests full of downy oaks and turkey oaks. The reserve belongs to the Mincio Park, recognized as a Tourist Destination of Excellence in 2011 by the European Union, being the largest wetland area in Europe with an extension of 15 km.
In a branched labyrinth of canals and streams full of marhes, more than 99 species of birds find shelter and food, including sedentary, migratory and wintering birds, 12 of which are of Community Interest.
One of the most fascinating birds of the Regional Natural Reserve in the moraines of Castellaro Lagusello is the magnificent bee-eater (Merops apiaster). Characterized by a multi-coloured plumage and a long beak, it builds its nests in a wall overlooking the eastern side of the bog.
When the cold winter months are over, the European bee-eater returns from sub-Saharan Africa and comes to this natural reserve which has been its home since the mid-90s; one of the few regions in Italy where it even reproduces. It stays here from April/May until the end of August. It places its eggs in a 3.5 metre deep tunnel and eats large insects being particularly fond of bees.
In order o kill them, the bird uses its beak as a weapon by repeatedly hitting the insects on a hard surface. The exceptional presence of this bird is due to the fact that the species only breeds once a year and if a couple finds a place suitable for nesting, it starts to form a colony. This unique spectacle can be admired in the Nature Reserve of the Moraine Complex of Castellaro Lagusello.