Bird count 2021 – “Stunde der Gartenvögel” in Germany

This year the citizen science project "Stunde der Gartenvögel 2021" took place from the 13th to the 16th of May. As I have participated in this Germany-wide citizen science project, I write more about my bird observations on that weekend in this blog article. In total, I came to 17 different bird species which I found in one hour in the center of Berlin in the Volkspark Friedrichshain.

In one moment it's sunny. And in the next moment rainy. The weekend of the "Stunde der Gartenvögel 2021" started and more or less continued like this. The weather just could not really decide between rain and sunshine. For me it was the same. Therefore, I was not very keen this year participating in this citizen science project. But luckily, I convinced myself to go out and count birds. Therefore, around midday I went to one of the next close-by parks - the Volkspark Friedrichshain.

At the end of my observation hour in the park I felt indeed very lucky to have participated!

Although I was not quite sure at all to go into a park on a Sunday around midday.

Usually, parks in Berlin are crowded on a Sunday morning, and especially, afternoon. Around midday, typically, more and more people come to the parks. I thought that observing birds might become stressful in a more and more crowded park.

However, although I expected many people in the Volkspark Friedrichshain, I wanted to go their satisfied and relaxed. Because even in crowded places there might be many birds to observe. And at the end it was not that bad on that day in the park. Maybe most people who normally would have gone for a walk remained at home due to the changeable weather.

bird count 2021

In total, I even could count 17 different bird species during that hour in that park on that Sunday afternoon!

Not to forget, this was in the center of a big city!

At some places I encountered numerous birds. Some birds even seemed to participate in singing contests. One blackbird on the left. One Eurasian blackcap on the right. And anywhere in the background was singing a common nightingale.

Not to forget all those great tits passing by. However, those great tits seemed to be unimpressed by all these beautiful bird songs. They did not intermingle with the other birds and immediately vanished.

Maybe they were looking for another spot to express their bird songs. Indeed, all the birds in the Volkspark Friedrichshain have to give everything in order to be heard by conspecifics. Not only because of other bird species singing. Human voices. Cars and ambulances. Or construction noise.

Although it might seem, it is never really quiet in the center of a city!

bird count 2021
bird count 2021

I felt the high humidity on that day on that small hill just next to the large pond in the Volkspark Friedrichshain. I smelled spring and the sun rays which got through the clouds not only warmed my skin, but seemingly, also motivated the birds to become more and more active.

On my way through the park, I also spotted some playing Eurasian red squirrels.

Eurasian red squirrel

As there were people walking along the same path where I was, I felt in some moments weird, because I was looking up the trees and making notes.

However, I left my telephoto lens at home.

That time I just wanted to observe birds and not being distracted by my camera.

Therefore, all photographs of birds in this blog article are from other days.

Nevertheless, I was during that hour of the "Stunde der Gartenvögel 2021" by all means quite successful!

But I also have to mention that I walked along a path on one side of a hill in the park and did not remain at one single spot. Furthermore, at the end of my observation hour I reached the large pond of the park and counted all the ducks and rails I found there.

Once I participated in a guided bird watching tour on the weekend of the "Stunde der Gartenvögel". The guide led us through the park. It was not a tour through the whole park, but we remained in a certain area. Thus, apparently it is allowed to move within a certain area, but not to go through the whole park during that hour of the "Stunde der Gartenvögel".

Information: Do you want to participate in the citizen science project "Stunde der Gartenvögel"? Next time the "Stunde der Gartenvögel" takes place from the 13th to the 15th of May in 2022. In contrast, in winter you can participate in the "Stunde der Wintervögel". Next time the "Stunde der Wintervögel" takes place from the 6th to the 9th of January 2022.

Bird observations in the Volkspark Friedrichshain

I observed all birds, which I listed here, in the Volkspark Friedrichshain. Only the nightingale and the chiffchaff. I could only hear them.

House sparrow (Passer domesticus)

bird count 2021

Eurasian blackbird (Turdus merula)

bird count 2021

Great tit (Parus major)

bird count 2021

Eurasian blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla)

bird count 2021
bird count 2021

Common nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos)

bird count 2021

European robin (Erithacus rubecula)

bird count 2021

Hooded crow (Corvux cornix)

bird count 2021

Common chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)

bird count 2021

Common chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)

bird count 2021

Great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)

bird count 2021

Common wood pigeon (Columba palumbus)

bird count 2021

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

bird count 2021
bird count 2021
bird count 2021

Eurasian coot (Fulica atra)

bird count 2021
bird count 2021

Common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)

bird count 2021

Mandarin duck (Aix galericulata)

bird count 2021
bird count 2021
bird count 2021

Mute swan (Cygnus olor)

bird count 2021
bird count 2021

Tufted duck (Aythya fuligula)

bird count 2021

Results of the "Stunde der Gartenvögel 2021"

House sparrow, blackbird and great tit were the most common birds this year during the citizen science project "Stunde der Gartenvögel 2021". Likewise, these three bird species were most frequently observed by all participants in 2020.

It is great to see that the blue tit increased by 22% in 2021 when compared to the previous year. I mention this, because last year the pathogen Suttonella ornithocoa caused many blue tits to suffer and die of a lung disease.

However, I could not spot any blue tit in the Volkspark Friedrichshain during the hour of "Stunde der Gartenvögel 2021".

bird count 2021

Nevertheless, in Berlin the results were quite similar. Again, house sparrows won the "competition" and blackbirds and great tits as well belong to the most common birds in Berlin. However, in the capital of Germany, starlings reached the second position and blackbirds came "only" to position three. The great tit, in contrast, achieved position four.

I couldn't spot on that day a starling in the Volkspark Friedrichshain, but I know that there can be starlings, as in the past I had already seen some groups of them foraging anywhere on the ground.

bird count 2021

Last year the common swift was on the third position and displaced the blackbird and the great tit on position four and five.

And European robins? That means, the bird of the year 2021?

In all of Germany European robins reached position nine on the weekend of the "Stunde der Gartenvögel 2021" and in Berlin position eleven.

Links and more information

More about the blue tit situation (in German)

Results of the "Stunde der Gartenvögel 2021" (in German)

"Stunde der Gartenvögel 2020"

"Stunde der Wintervögel 2021"

bird count 2021
bird count 2021

Have you participated in the citizen science project "Stunde der Gartenvögel 2021"? If yes, which birds could you see? Please let me know in the comments!

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