The bird count 2022 "Stunde der Wintervögel" took place from the 6th to the 9th of January. Like in the previous years, I have participated in this citizen science project of the NABU and the LBV again. In this citizen science project people are asked to count birds in their gardens, on their balconies or in the park. Please read more about the birds I have seen on that weekend in this blog entry.
Bird count 2022: “Stunde der Wintervögel“
House sparrow, great tit or blackbird? Which is the most frequent bird in Germany according to the citizen science project “Stunde der Wintervögel” in 2022 in Germany?
Well, according to my observations in the Tiergarten of Berlin, great and blue tits, but also blackbirds have to be one of the most frequent birds this year.
But of course, the birds I have seen in the Tiergarten in Berlin do not necessarily represent the frequency of birds in other parts of Berlin or Germany, respectively.
Last year, in 2021, the house sparrow was bird number one in that winter in Germany. Followed by the great tit on the second and the Eurasian tree sparrow on the third position.
This year the results were similar.
The house sparrow was both in 2021 and in 2020 the most frequently seen bird in Germany. Although the number of house sparrows seemed to have decreased by 5%, these birds are still very common in German gardens, balconies or parks, respectively.
However, on the weekend of the bird count I saw only single house sparrows passing by. Maybe it was always the same bird. Maybe not. As I haven’t seen more than one house sparrow at once, I only could count one single individual for the citizen science project.
The second position occupied this year the great tit. Again, like last year. The two first positions do appear not to differ among years. In 2020, by the way, the house sparrow and the great tit reached as well the first and the second position, respectively.
In Berlin 3% more great tits were counted in comparison to 2021. This year I saw especially many great tits at the bird feeder in the Tiergarten. It was very (very!) difficult to count them. I counted at least ten great tits at once.
I’m especially happy to see the blue tit on the third position Germany-wide. The number of blue tits even seemed to have increased by 19% when compared to 2021. Given the fact that blue tits suffered from the bacterium Suttonella ornithocola, which caused many deaths among these birds, the apparently increased number look optimistic. Have the blue tits compensated this population decline with more breeding activity? Or have other blue tits migrated to Germany? Well, the next bird count might help to answer these questions.
In Berlin I saw quite many blue tits at the bird feeder. Like the great tits, the blue tits were moving very quickly from one branch to the next. To the bird feeder and back again on a branch. It was crazy to count them exactly. At least I did my best!
However, although I saw quite many blue tits in the Tiergarten in Berlin, in total, they only came to the fourth position in the city. But still, they increased by 5% in Berlin.
Germany-wide, Eurasian blackbirds reached position four. In Berlin, in contrast, only position six. It is hardly to believe that the Eurasian blackbird reached only the sixth position in Berlin. Sometimes I even oversee the Eurasian blackbird (although it is indeed a very beautiful bird!), because it appears to be such a common bird.
But the number of Eurasian blackbirds seemed to have increased by 1% in comparison to the previous year. In Germany in general, the number even have risen by 8%. However, according to the NABU, the number of Eurasian blackbirds is still below average. In the past, Eurasian blackbirds suffered from the Usutu virus.
The common chaffinch reached only position seven in Germany and position nineteen in Berlin. This time, that was not very surprising for me. I saw common chaffinches on the weekend of the bird count (even five at once!), but these birds seemed to me rather inconspicuously. Especially in winter I might rather overlook them.
In summer they get much more attention from me than in winter, as their songs or calls, respectively, are very typical and noticeable. However, it is often very difficult to photograph them. Luckily, this time one individual perched on a branch while I was taking photographs of it.
Although I don’t want to have favorite birds, I have to admit, that I very like European robins. I only saw one at once during the bird count, but as soon as I saw one individual, it got all my attention. I know, this is not very science-minded. But it is like it is. I especially like European robins.
Germany-wide, European robins reached position ten. In Berlin they came to position thirteen. I only observed single European robins. And so, they seemed to be quite the opposite of all the great and blue tits. Nevertheless, for birds they are great photo motifs. Usually, they perch for some moments on branches without moving.
Great spotted woodpecker
I don’t know why. But it is always a joy to see a great spotted woodpecker at a bird feeder. Maybe it is because they are so big. Or because they have such a beautiful plumage to look at. Or there is any other reason I still do not know. Usually, I hear the great spotted woodpecker before it comes to the bird feeder. These birds have a typical call which I can luckily easily remember.
In Germany, great spotted woodpecker came to the thirteenth position. Their numbers even increased by 31%. In contrast, in Berlin these birds reached position fourteen, but increased only by 3%. Nevertheless, at the bird feeder in the Tiergarten I regularly spot a great spotted woodpecker.
Just after the great spotted woodpecker on the fourteenth position was the Eurasian jay. In Berlin the Eurasian jay seemed to be relatively more frequent as it reached position twelve.
I saw one individual in the Tiergarten. Or more precisely, I especially heard one of them. It took me quite some time to spot that Eurasian jay. I heard the bird. I looked up the trees. My neck hurt already from looking up the trees. Luckily, after some time I saw that Eurasian jay from afar. I tried my best to take a photograph of that bird from a great distance.
Tip: Do you want to take photographs of wildlife? Especially birds? If yes, consider to use a fast camera with a good telephoto lens. I used a Nikon D500 and a 150-600mm lens from Sigma.
The Eurasian nuthatch is another bird I very like. Actually, I liked all the birds I saw. But the Eurasian nuthatch has again something I very like. Similar to the European robin. And I cannot explain it. Nevertheless, this doesn’t matter. What matters is the position of the Eurasian nuthatch during the bird count weekend. Well, the Eurasian nuthatch reached the fifteenth position Germany-wide and rose by 34% in comparison to 2021. In Berlin, in contrast, the Eurasian nuthatch reached only the twenty-first position and its number increased only by 2%.
I regularly see Eurasian nuthatches in the Tiergarten of Berlin. Usually, I don’t see so many of them at once, but on the weekend of the bird count I saw twice at once in one moment. Like the great and blue tits, the Eurasian nuthatch was a frequent visitor of the bird feeder.
It was indeed very surprising to see the hooded crow only on position twenty-eight Germany-wide. That is very interesting. This year its number even decreased by 8%. In Berlin I observe them on a regular basis. Therefore, the hooded crow reached position three in Berlin on the weekend of the bird count. In Berlin its number rose by 5%.
During the bird count I spotted two hooded crows at once. But I didn’t get a photograph of them. Thus, the following photograph I share here is a photograph which I took on another day in the Volkspark Friedrichshain.
More about the citizen science project
I have participated in this citizen science project several times in the past. Please visit my previous blog entries to get more information about the project in general. Everyone can participate. There are few rules you have to follow like, for example, notating only the highest number of individuals of a bird species you see at once.
I took part at the bird count “Stunde der Wintervögel” in 2020 and in 2021. In spring there is the bird count “Stunde der Gartenvögel”. Of course, I participated in previous years. Both in 2020 and in 2021.
Links about the bird count 2022
Have you participated in the bird count 2022 "Stunde der Wintervögel" this year? If yes, please let me know more about your observations in the comments!