Back From Birding Hungary

10,000 Birds

And what a trip to Hungary it was! Before I get into the nitty-gritties of my awesome birding experiences in Hungary I thought I would just share a few of the shots that I got during the trip. If you ever get the chance to visit Hungary you should take it: you definitely won’t regret that choice. … My week-long trip to Hungary was a familiarity trip organized by the wonderful folks at Swarovski Optik. Destinations Europe Hungary Swarovski

Five Things I Learned While Birding in Hungary

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I do try to experience and learn as much as I can on every trip and my week in Hungary was no exception. Rather than force you to go all the way to Hungary to learn on your own the five main lessons I learned I figured sharing them here on the blog would be worthwhile. Just consider saving you having to go to Hungary to look at birds as one of the many services we here at 10,000 Birds provide. Birding Europe Hungary

By The Time You Read This I’ll Be Birding In Hungary!

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We Americans, or at least this American, know little about Hungary. But this American did know enough that when Swarovski Optik offered a spot on a week-long trip to Hungary that I couldn’t possibly say no. After a long, drawn-out negotiating session we managed to strike a deal that involved me going to Hungary for a week and left Daisy smiling wickedly. Anyway, Hungary! Destinations Europe Hungary SwarovskiYikes!

Feeding a Fledgling Song Thrush

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It is a fledgling Song Thrush being attended by a parent outside of the wonderful Nomad Hotel in Hungary’s Bükk Hills. I hope she brings me more cherries and not a slimy slug. ••• My week-long trip to Hungary was a familiarity trip organized by the wonderful folks at Swarovski Optik. Birds Baby Bird Week baby birds Hungary Song Thrush thrushesDo you know what the luckiest little bird in the world is?

2012 67

Searching for a White-backed Woodpecker

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White-backed Woodpecker was one of the major target birds of the Bükk Hills portion of the trip to Hungary and though I would probably have preferred seeing what I now believe to be the mythical Black Woodpecker , the White-backed Woodpecker was a nice consolation prize. Then my iPhone started ringing, which was weird, because pretty much everyone I know knew I was in Hungary and who would be calling me at 11 PM in New York and 5 AM in Hungary?

Eurasian Wryneck Jynx torquilla

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Until a month ago I had never seen the Eurasian Wryneck either, but the trip to Hungary took care of that gap on the life list easily. I considered myself extremely fortunate that there was a pair apparently nesting just down the street from the Nomad Hotel in Hungary’s Bükk Hills. Many thanks to Swarovski Optik for inviting me along and letting me experience both some awesome new optics and the natural wonders of the wonderful country of Hungary. ••• a.

2012 62

Fledgling Barred Warbler

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We, and by we I mean me and a gang of about ten other birders, found this youngster along the edge of Lake Tisza on the grounds of Tisza Balneum, a marvelous hotel where we had the good fortune to stay for two nights of the Hungary trip. Many thanks to Swarovski Optik for inviting me along and letting me experience both some awesome new optics and the natural wonders of the wonderful country of Hungary. ••• Baby Bird Week is our celebration of the young, the cute, the adorable, the twee.

2012 61

Birding Sarokház Panzió – An Airport Hotel in Budapest

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Having jumped around a bit while writing up my trip to Hungary – sharing a few galleries , a trip to find an elusive woodpecker , and the most exciting news in optics since Galileo discovered Jupiter’s moons – I thought it was time to go back to the beginning of the trip and proceed chronologically. Trips Budapest Europe Hungary Swarovski

2012 57

Northern White-breasted Hedgehog Erinaceus roumanicus

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My week-long trip to Hungary was a familiarity trip organized by the wonderful folks at Swarovski Optik to introduce their new line of superior spotting scopes, the ATX and the STX modular telescopes. Many thanks to Swarovski Optik for inviting me along and letting me experience both some awesome new optics and the natural wonders of the wonderful country of Hungary. Mammals hedgehogs Hungary Swarovski

When Horses are Persons

Animal Person

In " Hungary's Spirits Are Back Up, on a Horse ," the New York Times' Nicholas Kulish reports that a thoroughbred known as Overdose, who is owned by Hungarian Zoltan Mikoczy, has become "the Hungarian Seabiscuit. Overdose has become a celebrity and a symbol and a sign of hope for Hungary. Animal rights activists have considered sentient nonhumans as persons for quite some time. But on rare occasions, the animal-using world deigns to use the term when referring to an animal.

Horses 100

Investigation Reveals Cruel Treatment of Pigs in Europe

Critter News

In one of the biggest undercover inquiries into pig-farming, CIWF visited 60 farms across five big pork-producing states, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, Hungary and Britain. Overall, Spain had the worst conditions, followed by the Netherlands, Germany, Hungary and Britain. It really sucks to be a factory farm pig in Europe.

2008 100

The Wryneck: Biology, Behaviour, Conservation and Symbolism of Jynx torquilla: A Book Review

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The Eurasian Wryneck is the woodpecker that doesn’t look like a woodpecker, the bird with the portmanteau name that is also a medical condition (and which may remind some people of a Nora Ephron essay).

Mark Zuckerberg ‘Likes’ Two New Dogs

4 The Love Of Animals

Komondorok have been bred as livestock guard dogs originating from Hungary, and when threatened they reveal sheer athletic muscularity and a deep, ferocious bark that is sure to scare anyone. Pulis also hail from Hungary, and share the same corded appearance as Komodorok, however they are a lot smaller of a breed, and reach an average of 16 inches tall and 30 pounds. LA-Based Zoom Room CEO and Dog Training Expert Explores the Breeds He Chose.

2011 178

Why Go to the Birdfair?

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While on my trip to Hungary I was pleased to bird with and spend time with Tim Appleton, the co-founder and co-organizer of the Birdfair, the world’s largest birding event. Having never been to Birdfair I figured I would ask him why someone would want to go. And, being the bird blogger that I am, I took video of his answer so I could share it with you. What do you think? Sounds good, right?

New Swarovski Scopes – the ATX and the STX

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Yet, somehow, that is what I found myself doing on the grounds of Tisza Balneum, the gorgeous hotel on the shore of Lake Tisza in Hungary where Swarovski Optik had decided to unveil to a gathered group of European and American birders the scope for which we had all been waiting, even if we didn’t know we had been. … You can read another take on these scopes from another of the Hungary travelers, American Birding Association President Jeff Gordon, over at the ABA Blog.

2012 78

Eastern Imperial Breakfast

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In the same period, neighbouring Hungary had more than 60 pairs of them. Today, Serbia’s population has risen to 4 to 5 pairs, while Hungary’s went up to 130+ pairs! One brightly coloured male Common Redstart is patrolling a nearby hedge, while a pair of Common Ravens is circling the valley. Driving on a sunny May morning through meadows and vineyards takes me to the Mt. Fruska Gora national park.

2013 75

The Great Bustard Search is On (2)

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Yet, it takes great logistical effort to organize the census all the way from Germany to Austria, Hungary and Serbia in the same day, to count on numerous volunteers and hope for the best February weather. I feel that there must be some more good looking girls to attract some boys from Hungary, but I no longer dare to hope. I woke up at 5 am, a good two hours before the sun (and I really hate to be up before the sun). And I had a 100 mile drive ahead of me through the… raining snow?

2018 60

Best Bird of the Weekend (Third of June 2012)

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Corey’s Best Bird of the Weekend was the last bird he paid attention to in Hungary on Saturday morning before flying back to the United States, a European Goldfinch singing in a tree outside of his hotel. Happy belated Father’s Day to everyone who observed it this weekend. Just to keep that sweet paternal vibe going, I’m going to award double points to anyone whose best bird of the weekend was seen in the company of a dad or by a dad with his child.

2012 59

Birding the Kruger Park (2): Bateleur area

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Preliminary Study of Slaughter Value and Meat Characteristics of 18 Months Ostrich Reared in Hungary. Bateleur is a very small camp in the Kruger Park – a bit remote, but worth visiting.

My Nemesis Birds to Be

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Black Woodpecker – This is a bird that has eluded me on two trips to Germany – both of which included exploring forests where they were supposed to be present – and a trip to a region of Hungary where they are supposed to be common. In Hungary I managed to track down White-backed Woodpecker , allegedly a much more difficult bird to see, but never spotted a Black Woodpecker. “Thus, I give up the binoculars!”

2014 73

White Stork in New York

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Fortunately, she had the presence of mind to get a picture (not the one at the top of this post, which was taken in Hungary). Imagine coming home after a long day at work, pulling into your driveway, looking up on the roof, and seeing a White Stork perched there.

The Eurasian Nuthatch

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And while I can still remember the first time I saw one in 2007, in the company of Jochen and Hendrik in a pine forest on the coast of the Baltic Sea, it took until this year’s trip to Hungary before I managed to get a decent image of one. Many thanks to Swarovski Optik for inviting me along and letting me experience both some awesome new optics and the natural wonders of the wonderful country of Hungary. ……… … Birds Eurasian Nuthatch Europe nuthatches

2012 48

The Great Bustard Search is On (1)

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The Pastures of Great Bustard occupy 6770 ha of extensive steppe, bordered by meadows, pasture, arable fields and seasonally inundated depressions in the north of the country, towards the triple border with Romania and Hungary. I am preparing for the new census of one of the rarest birds of Serbia, the globally threatened Great Bustard , taking place two days from now.

2018 43

The Common Cuckoo and The Evolution of Mimicry

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The answer may lie in locations, like Hungary … where rufous cuckoos are more numerous than in the UK. Photo of Common Cuckoo by Flickr user jamalhaider There is some interesting new research you will want to know about concerning Reed Warblers and Cuckoos. In the common European Cuckoo, Cuculus canorus , females come in two morphs: Gray or rufus. It is thought that the gray morph mimics a bird eating hawk.

2012 61

The Fourth Record

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Still, in recent decades, the Great Black-backed Gull has become a regular migratory and wintering wanderer of neighbouring Hungary and Croatia.

2013 71

A little hedgehog story

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After Corey shared his story of his hedgehog experience in Hungary I thought you may like to see some rather adorable pictures of a young European Hedgehog in England. It appears that hedgehog numbers in the UK have dropped by 25% in the last 10 years , so every hedgehog that can be saved is extremely worthwhile. Sadly you do tend to see more roadkill hedgehogs than hedgehogs enjoying the countryside.

Birding from a Hide

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I have asked myself that same question many times over the last six months, until last week, when I was involved in an opening ceremony of five new bird hides at the Palic Lake, by the town of Subotica in the very north of Serbia, along the border with Hungary (all photos are from that area). What do you think makes for a good bird hide?

2015 84

The Secrets Inside Your Dog’s Mind

4 The Love Of Animals

A team led by cognitive scientist Josef Topál of the Research Institute for Psychology in Hungary recently ran an experiment to study how 10-month-old babies pay attention to people. The Secrets Inside Your Dog’s Mind. By Carl Zimmer { source }. Brian Hare, assistant professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke University, holds out a dog biscuit. “Henry!&# he says.

2009 148

The Danube Backwaters

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But, published in 1921 in Budapest, Hungary, it was written in Hungarian. As you know, I started to bird from a canoe, exploring the Danube backwaters in Belgrade, Serbia. Those foreland backwaters stretch all along the left/northern bank, between the river and the levee, somewhere only 450 m / 1500 ft wide, but somewhere reaching even 2100 m / 7000 ft.

2018 51

My Year in Birding 2012

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June – Hungary. In June I went to Hungary. Two-thousand-twelve was a pretty darn good year for me birding-wise and otherwise. Seeing 525 species was nice, as was the fact that I birded in four countries, nine of the fifty states in the United States, and fifty-one counties. I had some goals for this year as well, goals which I laid out in the introduction to my 2012 year list. This year my goals are simple.

2012 53

Twitching Northern Lapwings in Montauk

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While the Northern Lapwing wasn’t a year bird for me (I was lucky enough to see a couple in Hungary ) it was a new bird for my ABA list , number 495. Driving to the eastern extremity of New York State with the hope of seeing a bird, rare for North America, is an odd and entertaining way to spend the predawn hours.

2012 50

Black Woodpecker: Officially a Nemesis

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Well, here is what I wrote about the worst woodpecker a couple of years ago : This is a bird that has eluded me on two trips to Germany – both of which included exploring forests where they were supposed to be present – and a trip to a region of Hungary where they are supposed to be common…Whenever I get to Europe again this will be my most-wanted bird. I have never before had a true nemesis bird.

Crossbill Guide to Extremadura: A Review

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The Crossbill Guide Foundation is a publishing NGO, founded by Dirk Hilbers, and they currently have 10 Crossbill Guides for great European birding/nature areas, including the Finnish Lapland, Hungary’s Hortobagy, France’s Loire Valley and the Biebrza Marshes in Poland. The second edition of the Crossbill Guide to Extremadura has just been released and – to my delight – a copy arrived in the post for me the other day.

2011 70

First Outbreak of Usutu Virus in Germany

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It subsequently spread to Budapest/ Hungary (2005, 2006), Zürich/ Switzerland (2006), and north-east Italy (2008/2009). Okay, I meant to write an entertaining post. I honestly did. But I have been sick with different kinds and forms of cold since the beginning of December with no interruption, and so has my entire family. And I am sick of winter, too: first there was no winter at all, with scarcely a night below freezing all through December and January and only rain, rain, rain.

Germany’s Great Bustards and how to see them

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Today, birders wanting to see this avian gem usually venture to the healthy populations of the Iberian peninsular or travel to Hungary. 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.

Santa Paws Drive 2012

4 The Love Of Animals

Foundation of Animal Protection – Fuzesabony, Hungary. It’s time for the Santa Paws Drive ! The mission of the Santa Paws Drive is to bring holiday cheer to shelter animals around the world. How do they do it? With your help of course! The Santa Paws Drive is an online toy drive dedicated to shelter pets to bring them a little joy and fun while they await their forever homes.

2012 173

Your Best Birds of the Year for 2012

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Attila Steiner, who I was lucky enough to meet while I was in Hungary , was ecstatic to see a rare rail in Ghana: It was my last afternoon in Ankasa Reserve, Ghana. On this final day of 2012 it is time, just like it was on the final days of 2010 and 2011 , to share your Best Birds of the Year. Well, actually, your Best Bird of the Year will only be shared here if you took the time to respond to the post in which we here at 10,000 Birds shared our Best Birds of the Year.

2012 48

‘Tis the Season: Notable Bird Books (and Booze and Binoculars) of 2020

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In other pieces, she makes clear her disapproval of Brexit, of Hungary’s efforts to enforce its border, of Britain’s “era of rising political nativism.” This has been a great year!

2020 80