Bird count 2022 – „Stunde der Gartenvögel“ in Germany

The bird count 2022 "Stunde der Gartenvögel" took place this year from the 13th to the 15th of May. It is a Germany-wide citizen science project where every bird enthusiast is asked to count and report birds to a platform of the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union NABU. The project takes place every year on the second weekend of May. I write about my observations of this year in Berlin in this blog entry.

The weather on the weekend of the bird count 2022 was perfect. Sunny and warm. No rain and no wind. Just perfect.

I really wanted to participate in the bird count 2022 “Stunde der Gartenvögel”.

I participated already in 2021 and 2020. Two years ago, I went to the Tiergarten to count birds. Last year I chose the Volkspark Friedrichshain. This year, I actually planned to go to another place.

A place farther away where I could quietly observe birds.

However, I was a little bit sick and I didn’t want to go to a place too far away.

But I felt good enough to go to a close-by park like the Volkspark Friedrichshain.

It was indeed a beautiful Sunday morning.

I went in the morning, as I hoped to not encounter that many people by this time. I remembered last year when I went to the Volkspark Friedrichshain around midday. Usually, parks are full with people on Sundays. Especially in the afternoon. But I had to admit that I observed quite many different birds on that day last year.

Thus, I thought, maybe I would see again many birds in the Volkspark Friedrichshain this year in the morning.

Please continue reading if you are interested to know which bird observations I made this year in the Volkspark Friedrichshain in Berlin.

Interesting: Did you know that the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union NABU organizes the bird count “Stunde der Gartenvögel” for the 18th time this year? The NABU works together with the LBV (Landesbund für Vogelschutz) in Bavaria.

Bird observations in the Volkspark Friedrichshain

One of the first birds I spotted in the Volkspark Friedrichshain was a song thrush. Unfortunately, as fast as the bird appeared as fast it vanished again behind some bushes. I only saw one individual.

As I couldn’t photograph that bird, I share here a photograph of a song thrush I took last year in May in the Tiergarten.

song thrush

Luckily, I didn’t have to wait long for the next birds.

There was a European robin on the pathway.

European robin

It was a shy European robin and it immediately disappeared again when it saw me.

Again, I had not to wait for a long time for the next birds.

On the left sight was a Eurasian blackbird digging around in the fallen leaves. And on the right side was a great tit. Then it took the European robin’s place on the pathway.

Maybe there was something delicious to feed on?

Another great tit appeared for a short moment at a fence a little bit farther away.

great tit

Later I saw another Eurasian blackbird.

Eurasian blackbird

Although I saw here and there these beautiful black birds, I only could write down two individuals. I only saw two individuals of Eurasian blackbirds once at the same time.

Important: The rule of the bird count is to document only the birds participants see at the same time. If you encounter several times, for example, a blackbird, but you see them every time just solitary, don’t document every encounter. In this case you have to write down only one observation.

After my encounter with the blackbirds, I was following the pathway up the hill. However, please note that I counted the birds just at one side of the park (and not of the whole park).

Along this pathway I spotted an Eurasian jay.

Eurasian jay

I see them quite frequently in Berlin. Usually, I see them solitary.

However, just a few days ago - when I was recording bird songs for the Dawn Chorus - two Eurasian jays flew just next to me.

It was a beautiful moment.

Nevertheless, on that day of the bird count 2022 I saw quite many hooded crows in the Volkspark Friedrichshain. In total, I counted nine.

hooded crow

Not very far away I saw some house sparrows on the ground searching for food. Unfortunately, I was not careful enough and scared them away.

But one female house sparrow was still sitting or feeding, respectively, in one of the trees.

house sparrow

In total, I counted five house sparrows. Maybe there were more than five and I couldn’t see and count all of them. But of course, I wrote down only the number I could really count.

Just close-by I heard a common nightingale.

I love their songs!

I also heard a common chaffinch.

Of course, I also love their songs.

And a Eurasian blackcap.

Is there a bird I don’t enjoy to listen to?

It was really beautiful on that day.

I still felt good.

However, when I was standing next to a tree looking up to a bird nest box, a woman tried to talk to me. But I couldn’t answer. I still had a cold and I couldn’t use my voice! She immediately detected my difficulties and gave me several tips what to do. But she also recommended me to go home and just rest. Actually, I still hadn’t finished the one-hour-observation... But maybe she was right...

Thus, I decided to leave and go home without finishing my one-hour observation. I passed the pond of the park, documented the ducks in and around the water and left.

In the pond I saw several Eurasian coots (on the top left), Mandarin ducks (on the top right), mallards (below on the left), and one mute swan (below on the right).

The mallards and Eurasian coots had already chicks.

As I didn’t want to stay for much longer outside on that day, the following photographs are from other days (but from the Volkspark Friedrichshain).

Eurasian coot
Mandarin duck
mallard chicks
mute swan

Information: If you have missed the bird count 2022 “Stunde der Gartenvögel”, the next time you can participate is in 2023. Next year the bird count will take place from the 12th to the 14th of May.

Results of the bird count 2022 “Stunde der Gartenvögel“

As every year, house sparrows, Eurasian blackbirds, and great tits are the most frequently seen birds in the gardens and parks in Germany.

In Berlin, the house sparrow was on the first position as well. But the European starling reached the second position and the common swift the third.

I know that European starlings can be quite common in Berlin. However, in comparison to other birds I don’t see them that often. Thus, for me this is an interesting result.

Once I saw them in great numbers at the Tempelhofer Feld and in the Döberitzer Heide.

starling

But why is the common swift that common in Berlin?

According to the NABU, the sunny weather might be the reason for this observation. When the weather is sunny, there are more insects to catch. Another reason might be the late arrival of common swifts in Germany from their wintering grounds in Africa. As they arrived later in Germany, the common swifts were still busy with courting. In 2021 they were already breeding at this time of the year.

The same might be the case for the common nightingale.

By the way, I had already great observations of a common nightingale this year at the Tempelhofer Feld.

nightingale

Nevertheless, common swifts increased by 99% and common nightingales by 85% in Berlin (and Germany-wide by 79% and 114%, respectively).

Interestingly, the number of common chiffchaffs increased by 39% Germany-wide. In Berlin, in contrast, only by 22%.

bird count 2022

Another interesting observation during the bird count was the increased documented number of barn swallows in Berlin (Germany-wide 8% and in Berlin 81%).

Again, was this because of the sunny day and the increased number of insects in the air?

Last year I saw quite many barn swallows in the Döberitzer Heide.

barn swallow

While some birds were seen more frequently when compared to previous years, for other birds the opposite is the case.

For example, the common redstart.

common redstart

The number of common redstart counts decreased by 22% in Berlin and by 28% Germany-wide, respectively.

What could be the reason for this observation?

Information: Do you want to know more about the observations during the bird count 2022 “Stunde der Gartenvögel”? Please visit the website of the NABU. On that website you can study the results of this year and previous years.

There is one last observation to name.

Last year was a good year for the bird count “Stunde der Gartenvögel”. The NABU could count more than 140.000 participants. Together they counted more than 3.1 million birds.

In contrast, in 2022, about 66.800 participants counted birds at the second weekend of May. In total, this year we came to almost 1.5 million birds.

That is impressive. Not from a positive side. That is hard to believe. Can we trace back this observation to the Covid19 pandemic? Last year we still had more restrictions due to the pandemic. This year people had more options of free time activities.

I think this is very remarkable.

Hopefully, next year more people will participate in the bird count again...

bird count 2022

Information: Did you know that the Eurasian hoopoe is bird of the year in 2022? There are Eurasian hoopoes close to Berlin. However, they are very difficult to spot. If you want to try it, the Döberitzer Heide is known as a breeding habitat for Eurasian hoopoes.

More information

"Stunde der Gartenvögel":

Bird count "Stunde der Gartenvögel" 2021

Bird count "Stunde der Gartenvögel" 2020

"Stunde der Wintervögel":

Bird count "Stunde der Wintervögel" 2023

Bird count "Stunde der Wintervögel" 2022

Bird count "Stunde der Wintervögel" 2021

Bird count "Stunde der Wintervögel" 2020

Results:

Results of the bird count 2022 "Stunde der Gartenvögel"

Have you participated in the bird count 2022 "Stunde der Gartenvögel"? If yes, please tell me about your bird observations in the comments!

bird count 2022
bird count 2022

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