July birding in Northern Germany

10,000 Birds

About two times per year, I spend a few weeks in Northern Germany – Visselhövede, to be exact. Some of the latter have actually stopped migrating and live in Northern Germany all year round. The post July birding in Northern Germany appeared first on 10,000 Birds. Birding Birds Germany summerThis is not generally a very joyful occasion – daily visits to my mother, whose dementia is progressing, tend to be fairly depressing.

Greater Rheas: Germany’s new Big Bird

10,000 Birds

Germany is underrated as a birding destination. Greater Rheas, a species the Germans call Nandu, are very popular in Germany and frequently kept in zoos as well as private enclosures. The following map (taken from the highly esteemed site ornitho.de ) shows all observations of Greater Rheas throughout Germany since 1999. Observations of Greater Rheas in Germany since 1999 – map generated with the fabulous online data base ornitho.de.

Red-necked Grebes in Germany

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Europe has five regular grebe species, and all of them can be found as breeding birds in Germany. The rarest of the trio, Slavonian or Horned Grebe , only has a very small breeding population with a handful of pairs in Germany’s far North. Black-necked Grebes , on the other hand, are rather widespread throughout Germany much like Great Crested and Little Grebes. Additionally, they mostly leave Germany during our winter.

Northern Hawk Owl in Germany

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First, most of Europe’s owl species are breeding in Germany anyway and are better found at other times of the year. I am not aware of a single twitchable Snowy Owl in Germany in the 21st century, and Great Grey Owl isn’t even on the German list. The first bird in Germany during my lifetime – that I know of – was in 2006, a long-staying and well-twitched bird in Brandenburg.

How to see a Black Woodpecker in Germany

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Black Woodpeckers are usually easy to find in Germany. At least one birder will now likely grab his war hammer and check flight availabilities from New York to Frankfurt as well as average prison sentences in Germany for first degree murder. However, even in the age of alternative facts, there is no denying it: Here in Germany, Black Woodpeckers are no big deal. Here in Germany, we have them. Birds Black Woodpecker Europe Germany nemesis bird woodpeckers

Germany’s Great Bustards and how to see them

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I am not entirely sure whether most birders outside Germany know or realize that Germany still has a decent population of one of Europe’s most attractive and desired bird species: the Great Bustard Otis tarda. While Great Bustards vanished from their western German haunts during the 19th century, a sizeable population of around 4,000 birds was still to be found in eastern Germany in the 1940s. Birds bustard Germany Great Bustards

Know Your Audience: A Ring-necked Duck in Germany

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Yes, the Tufted Duck is the ideal suject for this blog: it is reasonably common here in Germany and not hard to photograph, yet to you it is probably the subject of countless day dreams scanning through endless flocks of Lesser Scaup. Birds Germany Ring-necked Duck Tufted Duck waterfowl

First Outbreak of Usutu Virus in Germany

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That is very cold for the south of Germany. This thrush is extremely common in urban and suburban Germany and one of the most conspicuous bird species here, comparable to the American Robin in North America. Birders in other regions of Germany – when asked – confirmed however that they were seeing their usual large numbers of Blackbirds, suggesting the “situation” around Heidelberg was real. Okay, I meant to write an entertaining post. I honestly did.

Biting the bullet or jumping the shark? A potential Baikal Wagtail in Germany

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I recently saw and photographed what appears to be a Baikal Wagtail ( Motacilla alba-or-not baicalensis ) in Germany. Comparing it to “my” bird, I can’t help but feel I’ll have to jump the shark … Birds Europe Germany vagrant vagrants wagtailsIf I am correct, this would apparently constitute a first record for the Western Palearctic. So it may turn out to be a bit of a big deal. Or a bit of a PR disaster for my birding skillz if I am not correct.

2016 40

Another post about owls

10,000 Birds

For those still reading on after this introduction, this is about Barn Owls I have seen in Germany in summer 2018 and winter 2019 – rural Northern Germany, to be more specific. In December 2019, I found a roosting barn owl on my last day in Germany.

Owls 61

German Artist Wants to Kill Puppies to Protest Dog Killings

Critter News

Stupid entertainment Germany dogsI had to read this twice before it sunk in. I wonder if he was just threatening to do this for the publicity. Bizarre. An unidentified German actor has been stopped by Berlin’s administrative court, following his announcement that he planned to strangle two puppies with cable wires on stage to protest against the slaughter of sled dogs in Alaska and hunting dogs in Spain, with their death being accompanied by a funeral march music and loud gong.

PETA Wants Knut Castrated!

Critter News

PETA Germany's position is that he should be castrated so he doesn't mate with his cousin Giovanna. Tags: zoos knut Germany polar bear PETA We're talking about Knut the polar bear. He was the cute little polar bear whose birth at the Berlin Zoo was so controversial because his mother rejected him. He was raised by a trainer. She's here temporarily for companionship, but the group is concerned. Check out a couple of the pictures in this story. How suggestive!

PETA 100

Are Black Woodpeckers just a Hoax?

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Birds Black Woodpecker Germany woodpeckersNo, they are not. Get over it, Corey. Pictures taken near Heidelberg in July 2012.

German Canines to Help Catch Smugglers

Critter News

Amy, a German shepherd, and Uno, a Labrador retriever, have joined the team at {Frankfurt,} one of Europe's busiest airports — the first two dogs in Germany trained to sniff out live animals, plants or derivatives or remains of them. Tags: wildlife trafficking smuggling Germany Interesting.

2008 100

Leaping Foxes

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Germany is currently experiencing something for which the English have no nice expression. The specificities of languages … Anyway, so Germany this year is essentially filled with mice, like the one shown here, which – so far as I know – is a vole where you come from. In Germany, our most common large mammalian predator is the Red Fox Vulpes vulpes. Foxes are very common in Germany and occur even within cities.

Fox 57

Displaying Great Bustard

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In fact – and I am not making this up – I was very upset on my first visit to the Great Bustards in Germany when glancing with naked eyes over the meadows, I noticed a few large white pieces of plastic garbage that the wind had apparently blown into the nature reserve and I angrily thought that someone really should go remove them. I’m glad Germany managed to hold on to some of her large white chunks of plastic garbage. Birds bustard Europe Germany Great Bustards

2016 54

The German Eagles

10,000 Birds

Whether the inspiration to this post came from Germany winning the U19 European football championship yesterday right on the heels of our (adult) team winning the world cup (Yes! And since I consider Germany to be totally underrated as a birding destination, showing off some of our cooler birds is always in order – no matter how our national teams perform in any sport. Ospreys have shown a remarkable recovery in Germany. Birds eagles Germany national bird raptors

Finding Dippers in Berlin

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In Germany for example, they are breeding in practically every hilly or mountainous region south of the North German Plain and are not really rare if they occur in a certain region. However, dippers here in Germany aren’t too fussy about their habitats and will readily utilize human-made secondary rapids and rocks. Of course dippers are not that common and thus harder to find in Germany than those aforementioned species.

2017 40

The Gawky Guillemot

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However, one of the little sweet candies Germany still enjoys today from its own disastrous colonial past is the Common Guillemot, or Common Murre. Germany has only one high seas island it calls its own, the mighty (from a birding perspective) island of Heligoland. km²) in the German Bight, approximately 70 km off the coast of Germany. But beware, you’ll likely go under like a guillemot: Birds alcids Germany guillemots

2017 40

Study Claims Islamic Slaughtering More Humane

Critter News

It therefore may come as a surprise to those who have made such acclamations to learn of the results of a study carried out by Professor Wilhelm Schulze and his colleague Dr. Hazim at the School of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover University in Germany. Tags: islam Slaughterhouse Germany cows I came across this strange article about German research on which slaughter method creates more pain for the animal: the Western method of stunning or the Islamic method of a cut to the neck.

2008 100

The Charge of the Egyptian Goose

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When I started birding in earnest during the 1980s in south-west Germany, no one talked about Egyptian Geese. During the early 1990s, rumours surrounding the occurrence of a few Egyptian Geese in far north-western Germany emerged, the result of an increasing and spreading Dutch feral population. Funny Dutch… Then came my move to the far north-east of Germany in 1996. This was to be my first and only encounter of an Egyptian Goose on Germany soil for the next decade.

2014 53

“How about Pineapple Gose-beak?” – Uinta Brewing Company: Flamingose

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Gose, a pale, sour wheat beer from eastern Germany, top-fermented and most unusual for being seasoned with salt and coriander, is one such peculiarity. It became extinct on two occasions, immediately after the Second World War, and again in the final days of Communist power in East Germany. Food Reviews Birds and Booze flamingos Germany UtahAfter beginning the month with two sour beer reviews, I’ve decided to keep the streak going to close out August with a third.

2018 40

The Rose-ringed Parakeets of Heidelberg

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Here in Germany, we don’t wish we had. Yes, Germany has parrots, or parakeets to be more precise. Unlike North America, Germany has never had naturally occurring psittacines that went extinct, and the one we have is a true and complete invasive alien introduction. We are therefore talking true evil here when we are talking about Germany’s Rose-ringed Parakeets. Birding Germany parrots rose-ringed parakeetA Birdy New Year!

2012 76

The little-known effect of the Egyptian Goose on the work load of the Florida Records Committee

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Birds Florida geese Germany invasive species waterfowl“ Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof ” Carl Sagan. The ABA checklist committee has recently added the Egyptian Goose to the official ABA checklist, based on an established population in southeastern Florida. The reactions of the birding scene to this addition have been rather varied. Some rejoice at this news since it provides them with an additional tick.

2015 56

Knut's Keeper Dies

Critter News

Tags: knut zoo Germany polar bear

2008 100

Fifty Shapes of Grey

10,000 Birds

And if months of overcast days are what climate change has in store for Germany, I’ll volunteer for the first manned Mars mission that doesn’t include a return ticket. Birds chickadees and tits finches Germany waterfowl weather winter We are bound to suffer. Yes, winter has done it again : here in Heidelberg, we are subjected to the painful games of Mr. Grey, trapped under his cloudy sheets and denied the warmth of the sun or the privilege of seeing colours on birds.

2015 58

Common Moorhens at Hannover Zoo

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The Common Moorhen still is in Germany what its name implies: common. Well, it is rather common and can even be scarce regionally, but overall it is not a difficult bird to find in Germany so long as a cunning birder frequents reedy wetlands. Intriguingly, Common Moorhens are also rather common in Germany’s large ornamental city parks and zoos. Those Marabu Storks sure look hungry… Birds Europe Germany moorhen moorhens

2016 40

Birding the Great German Poo Trail

10,000 Birds

– is “No, they don’t, but…&# So let’s take a closer look at the “butt&# “but&# : This post will take you on the great German Poo Trail, and as everywhere else, the good birding starts here: Okay, someone in Germany accidentally drops a chocolate bar or something comparable into their toilet – kerplunk – and down it goes. I’ve never been to the underground sewage canals and tunnels, and I doubt many birders in Germany have.

2011 56

The squirrel next door

10,000 Birds

Germany, like most of Europe and very much unlike North America, is home to only one species of squirrel. Mammals Germany red squirrels squirrels Stop and stay, don’t move that mouse. I still know my audience - this is primarily a blog read by birders in North America, who see the term “squirrel” as little more than a synonym for house sparrow, starling, pest and cholera.

“Condors over Cologne” – Rogue Ales & Spirits: Condor Kolsch

10,000 Birds

Top-fermented beers were the standard practice in many parts of Germany in the nineteenth century when the first truly pale lager was brewed in 1842 in Pilsen, the Czech city that gave its name to the beer that went on to conquer the world. Conservation Food Reviews Birds and Booze California Condor endangered birds endangered species Endangered Species Act Germany Oregon

2018 40

Green Sympathy

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You may know, or may have known and have forgotten by now, that Germany has had federal elections to the Bundestag this year, on September 22nd. It is actually increasing in numbers, and second only to the Great Spotted Woodpecker regarding its population in Germany. The Green Woodpecker is a true European (including the British Isles, I might add), and within Germany its strongest populations are in the South and West, much like the Greens’ voters.

2013 56

Red Crossbills in the Black Forest

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Germany is blessed with a single species of crossbill, the Red Crossbill Loxia recurvirostra. It is pointless, and thus frustrating as each encounter might mean you’ve just missed out on an opportunity to record an amazing vagrant for Germany. Birds Germany Red Crossbill I completely dislike encountering crossbills. They are terribly frustrating birds. The birds themselves I love dearly, but they are a pain to come across out in the field.

2014 58

Godwits are bad ambassadors of conservation

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In Germany, it is a very polarizing species, as it is very common on the North Sea shore – where it breeds – but a scarce visitor to the rest of the country, making it a bird so fair and foul to a mixed group of birders as you’ll ever see. Birds Germany godwits shorebirds I fully realize that my last post was not a bird post in the strictest sense.

2013 59

Purple Herons at Waghäusel

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Germany is not really within the species’ breeding range, and there is only one area where the herons have bred continuously and successfully since the 1970′s: Waghäusel, an area of former waste water ponds of a – now closed – nearby sugar plant. Birds Germany herons and egrets Waghäusel

2013 54

Into an Uncertain Future

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We, the people of Germany, have had enough of this nonsense. Now, I presume that not all the readers of this blog post will be familiar with the reasons behind the Germans’ leaving Germany for a life in the northern Sahel zone, so I’ll quickly summarize the main events: The winter of 2012/2013 has been the darkest winter ever, since daily sunlight hours were recorded. Birds Germany magpies weather

2013 52

Blue Monday turned Black Monday – a picture story

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Germany currently has a population of around 500 breeding pairs, which is a significant improvement over the 50 pairs left in the early 1970s. However, if you consider that these 500 pairs are spread out unevenly over an area of 360,000 km², and that Black Storks are very difficult to see once they start breeding, it is apparent that a Black Stork is still a very nice bird to see in Germany – anytime, anywhere. Birds germany storks

2011 53

Usutu-Virus: A Grim Reminder

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Citril Finches used to be rather common on the sub-alpine meadows of the Black Forest, but their population is undergoing a serious decline and it is currently feared they will soon be extinct in Germany outside the German Alps. Birds dunnock epidemic Europe Germany

2012 56

How many birds do we see?

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The Wagbachniederung is reknown for its waterfowl, shorebirds, and good breeding populations of several species that are very localized in Germany. Below is a long, long list of the species I encountered (66, which is a very respectable species count for the middle of March in southern Germany) and the totals for each species. Birding Germany surveysI have started a little project a few weeks ago.

2012 59

Birding Templehof

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Hooded Crows Corvus cornix … Trips Berlin Europe Germany TemplehofIn southern Berlin there is a massive old decommissioned airport that has been turned into a park. Templehofer Feld, now generally called Templehof Park or just plain Templehof, has pretty decent habitat for open country birds, considering that it is huge, flat, and gradually returning to nature.

2012 65

Birding in the Dark

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Here in Germany, we are currently experiencing the darkest winter on record, since sunlight hours were first recorded in 1951. Rolling with the punches, I might be able to sell this White-tailed Eagle flying through a thick snowstorm as an extremely rare record of Steller’s Sea Eagle in Germany? Birding dipping Germany weatherBoy, do I have news for you.

2013 52

Common Buzzard Eating Shish Kebob

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… Birds Common Buzzard Germany raptors TempelhofI was stalking a small flock of White Wagtails at Tempelhof , a virtually impossible task when you are in a flat, grassy lawn area. For some reason I paused and looked behind me and was surprised to see a Common Buzzard in the grass a couple dozen meters away from me. Unfortunately, the sun was behind the buzzard and I despaired of getting a decent shot with the bad backlighting.

2012 54

German Birding Blitz

10,000 Birds

Either that or having family friends in Germany. First hand birder knowledge of Germany, and in English! I decided then and there that I needed to bird Germany in a way that would make a birding Kraut cry with jealousy. High on my list to see, Great Crested Grebes ended up being very common in Germany The trip ended all too soon and before we knew it we were back in the USA. Trips features Germany herps

2012 49

Birding the Schlachtensee

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… Trips Berlin Europe Germany SchlachtenseeSlaughter Lake does not sound like it would be a nice place to visit but we three Americans, my small family, were blissfully unaware of what Schlachtensee translates to before our expedition there. We were guided by Mike, my good friend since our days in junior high school together, and the four of us made our way to the Schlachtensee via the S1, one of the many trains that comprise Berlin’s train and subway system.

2012 56