True, birdwatching in winter is just for hardened nature and bird lovers. While we freeze on the northern hemisphere and only the resident birds like robin, blackcap, blackbird, thrush, tit, starling or Golcrest stay, most bird species are in Africa, Latin America or in South East Asia. It is tempting to just follow them or directly travel to the north to watch Gyrfalcons or Whiskered Auklet in Alaska, a Snow Goose or a Tow-barred Crossbill on Iceland or a Ross’ Gull and a Siberian Rubythroat in Siberia.
Unfortunately, we do not travel as climate-friendly and cost neutral like migrating birds. So, we have to put two layers of outdoor clothing on, take our optics around our neck, the spotting scope on the back and then set out for the next lake or woods. Everywhere in the northern world there are many interesting species to find with enough patience, which we only in winter get in front of our optics.
Koji Nagano is a passionate bird watcher and photographer. Since his first trip to Hokkaidos 30 years ago, he has returned to this region again and again. The natural landscape is one of the most important bird watching areas in Japan.
Hokkaidos is known for a wide variety of different natural habitats. Birdwatchers get their money's worth in both summer and winter.
At the birding hot spots one observes several thousands of the globally roughly 50 billion migrating birds in fall. If they travel a short or a long distance is determined by the genes of each bird species.
Often the migrating birds fly in energy saving groups, sometimes not only with the own species. Our blog article discusses facts about bird migration and takes part in the adventure from the perspective of a young birder in Hamburg.
Fair Isle special protection area for rare seabirds
Fair Isle is a Scottish island belonging to the Shetland Islands. For birders it’s not only an important stopover for migratory birds. Fair Isle is also home for the great skua, a rare species of seabirds.
Glen Tyler and Bethany Stonier study the behavior of these birds. They give us an insight into their exciting research, which seeks to ensure the preservation of great skuas despite human influences.
Bowerbirds rank among the most intelligent bird species with some habits quite similar human beings. In total, 20 bowerbird species exist in Australia and New Guinea. This exceptional species of passerine birds are well-known for their special building art.
Bowerbirds are not just great at building their nests. They are also big artists in voice imitation. Bowerbirds are able to master 44 different bird songs. Michaela Sulz tells us about some unique impressions, which arouse interest for the next birding adventure.
Hamburg has plenty to offer birders besides the Carl Zeiss Bird Station. Way out to the east of the city is Lake Öjendorf, where several rare duck species can be observed, especially during the winter.
With top-end ZEISS gear in tow, Sören Rust meets the Young Birders Club at the lake – together, they make a few remarkable discoveries. Even the bad weather can’t dampen their spirits.
ZEISS and the "International Birding and Research Center" in Eilat
Eilat is famous for its International Birding and Research Center. As the only land bridge connection between Eurasia and Africa it's a hotspot for birdwatching in Israel. Birds can stop there safely before they continue their flight through the foodless Sahara desert.
Noam Weiss, the director of the IBRCE in Eilat, tells you about his passion for birding and how he finds peace through nature observation. One of the most important things is to be well equipped with professional optics. Noam relies on ZEISS binoculars.
Every year in November, birders from around the world celebrate the return of sandhill cranes and snow geese to the Bosque del Apache Refuge in New Mexico. The Festival of the Cranes is the oldest birding festival in the U.S.
ZEISS has been an integral part for the Festival of the Cranes for many years and will continue their support in the future. Stephen Ingraham tells you about the fascinating scenery and the stunning wildlife around the Rio Grande Valley.