Wildlife: population counts winter birds - does the mast year have consequences?

Are there fewer birds at the bird feeders this winter because they can find enough food in the forest? Citizens should observe this again from Friday to Sunday (January 6th to 8th) at the "Hour of the Winter Birds".

Wildlife: population counts winter birds - does the mast year have consequences?

Are there fewer birds at the bird feeders this winter because they can find enough food in the forest? Citizens should observe this again from Friday to Sunday (January 6th to 8th) at the "Hour of the Winter Birds". The State Association for Bird and Nature Conservation (LBV) in Hilpoltstein, Bavaria, and the German Nature Conservation Union (Nabu) in Berlin are calling for what they claim to be the largest scientific hands-on campaign in Germany this year.

According to Nabu, more than 176,000 people took part last year and most frequently saw house sparrows, great tits and blue tits. The question of whether there will be less activity at the bird feeder this year is exciting, says LBV biologist Angelika Nelson. Because last year was a fattening year in which beech, oak, spruce and other trees produced a particularly large number of seeds. "For woodland birds like jays, hawfinches and chaffinches, acorns and beechnuts abound to provide high-energy food for hungry beaks," says Nelson.

With the "Hour of the Winter Birds", the nature conservation associations are not concerned with a complete recording of all birds. Rather, the campaign is intended to provide important insights into changes in the native bird life in the towns and villages. For this purpose, the data is compared over several years. According to Nabu, the observations show, for example, that more and more migratory birds are staying in Germany even in winter.

Anyone who wants to take part should count the birds in the garden, on the balcony, in front of the window or in the park for one hour and report them via the internet, app, telephone or post. The highest number of each species that can be seen simultaneously in the course of the hour is noted.

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