In a small side street of the sleepy town of Balmazújváros in eastern Hungary, almost in the city center next to the church, up to 10 Long-eared Owl (Asio otus) have been hiding in large trees for years. A bizarre sight that makes every photographer or birdwatcher’s heart beat faster. Long-eared Owls are not uncommon in almost any countryside in Europe. However, they are difficult to observe outside winter time. They usually sleep during the day and only become active during the pitch-dark night.
The ecological requirements of the Long-eared Owl largely coincide with those of the Eurasian Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), the Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) and the Carrion Crow (Corvus corone). The two latter are also the most important nest suppliers, as Long-eared Owls themselves do not build nests.
In winter, Long-eared Owls concentrate in the vicinity of particularly nutritious habitats with high vole densities or mass sleeping places of small birds. Some wintering sites have been regularly visited by dozens to more than 100 Long-eared Owls for years, not infrequently also in cemeteries and parks with a good food supply.
What drives this rather large number of long-eared owls to set up quarters exactly here will probably remain their secret. The choice of location does not mean that they have to settle for a lot of traffic noise and a lot of people, but of course one or the other curious person passes by. But people are peaceful and only look up from Continue reading Long-eared Owls in Hungary in winter
In einer kleinen Seitenstraße des verschlafenen Städtchen Balmazújváros im Osten Ungarns, fast im Stadtzentrum neben der Kirche, verstecken sich schon seit Jahren bis zu 30 Waldohreulen (Asio otus) in großen Bäumen. Ein skurriler Anblick, der jedem Fotografen oder Vogelbeobachter das Herz höher schlagen lässt. Waldohreulen sind durchaus nicht selten. Allerdings sind sie außerhalb der Winterzeit schwer zu beobachten. Sie schlafen meist am Tag und werden erst in der stockdunklen Nacht aktiv. Was diese recht große Anzahl Waldohreulen dazu treibt, gerade dort ihr Quartier aufzuschlagen, wird wohl ihr Geheimnis bleiben. Durch die Standortwahl müssen sie sich zwar nicht mit viel Verkehrslärm und Menschentrubel abfinden, doch der ein oder andere Neugierige kommt natürlich schon vorbei. Die Menschen sind aber friedlich und schauen nur von Zeit zu Zeit nach oben. Das bringt für den Fotografen erhebliche Vorteile mit sich.
Eines Morgens fahren wir also an der Kirche vorbei und schwups haben wir schon die ersten Waldohreulen in einem Garten (in einer Konifere) gesehen. Super, das Beste ist aber ein eine weitgehend freisitzende Waldohreule direkt in einer Birke an der kleinen Seitenstraße. Es ist etwas tricky, da die Zweige der Birke immer Continue reading Waldohreulen am Wintereinstand
South of the Danube Delta is a wide stretch of a sandy shoreline with shallow lagoons. This is part of Romania´s Black Sea coast. May is Migration and early breeding time. Whereas the association of the east Romanian countryside is normally with the core Danube Delta with its speciality birds like Pelicans, Black-necked and Red-necked Grebes, Glossy Ibises, Spoonbills, the stretch of coast just south of the Danube Delta up to the northern city limits of Constanta is an excellent birding spot, too. A small group of bird photographers went for that countryside, with the area called Dobrudja more to the west and the area of Vadu at the coast. The tour was organized by Sakertours. The Bird Diversity we enjoyed was high; over 90 species of birds we found in only 3 days, some had just arrived from their wintering grounds in Africa. Highlights of the tour you will find in the gallery. Among others we made photoshots of Great Bittern, Botaurus stellaris, European Honey-buzzard, Pernis apivorus, Montagu’s Harrier, Circus pygargus, Long-legged Buzzard, Buteo rufinus, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Aquila pomarina, Imperial Eagle, Aquila heliaca, 2 species of Sparrowhawks Continue reading Top Birds at Romania´s Black Sea Coast
A rainy day in May at Romania´s Black Sea coast. Some good birds for a western birdwatcher like Reed, Corn and Black-headed Bunting, Great Reed-Warbler, Barred Warbler and a flying Lesser Spotted Eagle could be seen. A big surprise was what you see on the pictures: a Long-eared Owl, Asio otus, staying in a bush, eventually flying away. After a few seconds a Magpie showed up. Here you can see the Long Eared Owl chased by a Black-billed Magpie in flight. The images were photographed in the nice countryside of Romania north of the city of Constanta.
Basic habitat requirements for the Long-eared Owl are small forests or hedges with some trees. Preferred are open countrysides which nest-sites of Carrion Crow (Corvus corone) or Magpie (Pica pica). It is not clear, why the Black-billed Magpie (Pica pica) chased the owl. It is well reknown that magpies could be very aggressive in defending their nest and/or brood. Probably that has been the case Continue reading Long-eared Owl chased by a Magpie
Bird Lens is proud to show some excellent images of the birds shot from a hide in Hungary in December in the gallery of the pictures shop. The hide is located in the eastern part of Hungary in a superb old oak forest. The hide has a drinking pool in front of the window of the hide and a feeder attracted woodpeckers and some passerine birds, mainly tits. That year, it was a winter poor in snow. The temperatures and the colors of the fallen leaves created a feeling of fall or even late indian summer. Excellent conditions to photograph on 2 days from inside the hide. Besides the birds who showed up were Continue reading New Bird Images in Picture Shop