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Germany: Millions of birds draw nature lovers

October 14, 2018

Germany is one of the best countries to observe migratory birds in the fall. Hundreds of activities are arranged around this natural phenomenon.

Bar-tailed godwit
Bar-tailed godwitImage: picture-alliance/imageBROKER

About two million migratory birds from some 200 species rest along Germany's North Sea coast and on the East Frisian Islands in the fall before flying to their southern winter quarters.

To mark this fascinating natural phenomenon, the Wadden Sea National Park launched the 10th annual Migratory Bird Days festival on Saturday.

Between October 13-21, more than 300 events will be held on the mainland and islands of the UNESCO World Heritage listed park, all centered around migratory birds. Activities range from boat tours and guided birding hikes, to concerts and workshops.

The national park aims to highlight to the thousands of expected visitors the importance of protecting migratory bird ecosystems. 

The birds use the richness of the Wadden Sea to develop energy reserves to continue their journey from northern summer grounds to southern winter areas as far as Africa.

In addition to migratory birds, a number of bird species are permanent residents of the park or overwinter there.

There are also separate bird-related activities across northern Germany in the fall and winter.

In October, tens of thousands of cranes rest along the Baltic Sea and in parts of Lower Saxony.

Read more: Wandering among geese in Germany's Lower Rhine  

East of the Wadden Sea, up to 80,000 barnacle geese, or about 20 percent of the world population, overwinters near the mouth of the Elbe River each year.

The protected area of Bislicher Island in Germany's Lower Rhine region is home to nearly 200,000 geese that overwinter there.

Flying with geese