Eurasian Spoonbill in Germany

2012 might become a good year for the Eurasian Spoonbill , Platalea leucorodia, in Germay – and a good year for the birdwatcher to observe one far away from the coasts. Right now, you can see up to 8 individuals at the “Große Flutmulde” on the Bislicher Insel near Wesel/ Lower rhine valley. Another location is the nature reserve “Bingenheimer Ried” in the Wetterau near the town of Giessen/ Hessen, where one individual has been seen at least until the 19th of June 2012. The Eurasian Spoonbill is a rare breeding bird in europe with a stronghold in the northwestern part of the Netherlands (Ijsselmeer) or Germany. 46 years ago, Urs N. Glutz von Blotzheim wrote in his „Handbuch der Vögel Mitteleuropas“, Band 1. Gaviiformes – Phoenicopteriformes that only in 1962 there have been successful breeding on the island of Memmert and that Eurasian Spoonbill could be seen in Germany only on the north-western coast or – very rare – in Bavaria. Since then, western populations have increased during the last decades. But still, in the center of Germany this bird is a rare but regular visitor. Mainly there are birds in non-breeding plumage, but a Eurasian Spoonbill in breeding plumage could be seen on  15th of June 2007 in Niederweimar near the town of Marburg/ Hessen.

This species has an extremely large range and is widespread in Africa, Eurasia and the Oriental Region. It winters in the Mediterranean regions and in Sub-Saharan Africa. The spoonbill prefers a basically warm climate, locally penetrating deep into temperate zone. Normally the bird occurs in coastal lowlands or alluvial river basins but breeds exceptionally to nearly 2000 m asl.. Platalea leucorodia is a widespread but patchily distributed breeder across much of  southern Europe, which holds just over 50% of its global population. Its European  breeding population is small (less than 9000 pairs), and underwent a large decline  between 1970-1990. Whereas the russian population continued to decline during 1990-2000, the species increased or was stable across most of the rest of Europe

The population of the European Union is totalling 1200-1400 breeding pairs, which represents up to 25% of the total European population. The western populations have increased during the last decades, but the eastern populations, including the Greek population, have undergone a steady decline. Platalea leucorodia is one of the species which have to be protected in Germany due to international obligations.

To cope with the growing demand for top shots of the rarer species of the Palearctic Bird-Lens is keen to enrich the range of pictures of birds you can find in the western palearctic.  Trips to remote places to capture images of rare birds of western palearctic were very successful. Part of the images gained are photos of Baillon’s Crake, Heuglin’s Gull and Imperial Eagle. This nice image is only a first impression, what you will find in the gallery in the “Pictures Shop” very soon. Just give me a message, if I could serve you with an image needed before the new pictures are online.

Other successful shootings you can see under: http://www.bird-lens.com/zencardshop/.

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