Best selling Bird Picture 2011; the River warbler

Now with all sales of images of the last year examind, Bird Lens is proud to say, that this image of a River warbler, Locustella fluviatilis, Schlagschwirl (German), Krekelzanger (Dutch); Locustelle fluviatile (French) is the most successful; in terms of number of publications and revenues.  The photo of this nice singing individual was shot on May, 22nd 2004 at the Teerofenbruecke near Schwedt. This area is a well-known gate to the national park “Lower Odertal”, a national park created in 1995 in the northeast of Brandenburg/ Germany near the border to poland. The wide river with its riparian forest is habitat for many rare and protected plants and animals, among them beavers. The regular distribution for the breeding grounds of the River warbler are from eastern Germany to Russia, north to Finland and south to Romania. In the non-breeding season it winters between Zambia and north-eastern South Africa.
This small songbird is a species found in dense vegetation close to water in bogs or –as here – near a river. Normally this is species is very skulky thus difficult to see except when singing – mainly in the morning to greet the day. Othertimes it creeps through grass and low foliage and keeps hidden. The courtship time is not very long. Thus the time window, to see this warbler singing is narrow. The song is a monotonous mechanical sound; like a sewing machine or an insect. This pictures has been part of the following books: “Grundkurs Vogelbestimmung” von C. Moning/ Griesohn-Pflieger etc., “Taschenlexikon der Vögel Deutschlands” von Fünfstück/Ebert/Weiß, “Vögel in Afrika” von R.C. Ertel, „Die Stimmen der Vögel Europas“, Falke 10/2008 and the Falke-Sonderband “die 50 besten Vogelbeobachtungsplätze in Deutschland”. Even the Bavarian Enviroment Ageny (Bayerisches Landesamt für Umwelt) showed a sister-image on their website.

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