Tag Archives: Eifel

Das Rebhuhn in der Eifel

RebhuhnEnde August ist die Zeit um auf dem Kaaner Feld im Maifeld in der östlichen Eifel Mornellregenpfeifer (Eudromias morinellus) auf einer Zugrast mitten im mitteleuropäischen Binnenland zu sehen. Noch hat sich dichter Nebel über die Hochebene südlich von Mayen gelegt. Die Zeit der Warterei wird mir durch einen Trupp Rebhühner (Perdix perdix) verkürzt. Eine Familie läuft im Nebel auf einem Acker. Einige Jungtiere sind noch schön von den Erwachsenen zu unterscheiden. Sie sind auf dem Acker bei Nahrungssuche zu fotografieren und lassen sich von dem Fotografen im Auto nicht weiter stören. Später konnte ich dann doch noch die Mornellregenpfeifer etwas weiter, nämlich in der Feldflur bei Einig, ebenfalls im Maifeld, beobachten. Damals hatte ich den Rebhühnern gar nicht so viel Beachtung geschenkt. Aber im Nachhinein – mit 12 Jahren – zeitlicher Distanz muß man wohl sagen, daß die Rebhühner der eigentliche Höhepunkt dieses schönen Spätsommertages waren.

Rebhühner teilen ein hartes Leben mit vielen anderen Vögeln der offenen Feldflur. Die intensiven landwirtschaftlichen Steppen geben ihnen keinen Lebensraum mehr. Im Westen Deutschlands scheint die Situation noch etwas besser zu sein, was insofern interessant ist, als daß die Grauammer (Miliaria calandra) – ebenfalls ein typischer Continue reading Das Rebhuhn in der Eifel

Searching for Eurasian dotterel on migration through Middle Europe

MornellregenpfeiferThe Eurasian dotterel (Charadrius morinellus) is a member of the plover family which migrates from northern Europe, where it breeds, to North Africa, where it winters. In the Middle Rhine area (Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse) the Eurasian dotterel was considered to be a rare vagrant until recently. Only through systematic migration surveys, a large number of records were discovered of this species. The (re)discovery required the migration status to be set by Rhineland-Palatinate ornithologists from ‘accidentally’ to ‘regular passage’. The main migration period is during late August and early September. But observations are both from return migration as well as from the fall migration to the wintering areas. Springtime observations are significantly less often counted than the fall findings. Spring migration occurs during the period between mid-April to mid-May. The species prefers open habitats in elevated locations like hilly plateaus. Only rarely the pretty small Eurasian Dotterel be discovered by accident. The Eurasian Dotterel (Charadrius morinellus) shows a strong preference for grubbed stubble fields. In the Continue reading Searching for Eurasian dotterel on migration through Middle Europe

Red Kites in North Rhine-Westphalia

Red Kite in flightThe Red Kite (Milvus milvus) is a character bird of well structured landscapes with woods and forests in Central Europe. Approximately 65% ​​of the world’s population of the Red Kite (Milvus milvus) is found in Germany. Since the late 1970s, the population is declining. In the lowlands even a large-scale retreat is observed. In recent years, although a positive population development was found again, due to which the Red Kite was released from the Red List. However, it is discussed whether the downgrading of the red kite in a lower risk category compared to the red list of 1999 is not likely due to an altered system of criteria as to an change in the situation of the environment. This applies especially to the Red List in North Rhine-Westphalia. Future intensification of agriculture and the increasing use of wind energy (many red kites crash on wind turbines) probably will further put pressure on the population of the kite.

Foraging on agricultural land with a mosaic of meadows and fields is preferred. The nest, however, is found in small woods, in light wood stocks and the forest edges of larger forests. Red Kites are pretty faithful of their territory and use old nests often over many years. Typical is the lively, rocking flight of the Red Kite with a hanging hand and quite a deeply forked tail. He looks much bigger and heavier than a Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo) though he is only slightly larger with a body length of 60-70 cm. Perhaps because of the hanging wings he appears more massive. The Red Kite is also called “Gabelweihe” in german because of the forked tail.

Since about 65% of the world’s population if the Red Kite occurs in Germany, the geman state of North Rhine-Westphalia also has a special responsibility for the protection of species. The total population is estimated at 420-510 breeding pairs. In North Rhine-Westphalia, the Red Kite mainly breeds in the Weserbergland, the mountains along the river Weser, the Sauerland and in the Eifel. To the many Kites over the sky of the area of Blomberg – which is within the Weserbergland – the “Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Rotmilanfreunde Lippe” Continue reading Red Kites in North Rhine-Westphalia