Raptor Rehabilitation and Research

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Species are listed according to their breeding density:

  • Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo): very common, high densities in suitable habitat. Decreasing slightly because of growing Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo) population. Eagle Owls seem to take the fledgelings one after the other once they have located them.
  • Eurasian Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus): very common, high densities in suitable habitat. Decreasing slightly because of growing Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo) population, numbers also dependent on vole peaks. Interestingly Kestrels among Eagle Owl prey-remains are adult birds in almost every case.
  • Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus): common, numbers seem to be going up slighty, rarely found among Eagle Owl prey- remains or pluckings.
  • Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis): quite common, still shot and caught in traps illegally, numbers depend on "quality" of nestsite locations. At well-known eyries threatened by human persecution, mostly by hunters.
  • Honey-Buzzard (Pernis apivorus): surely more frequent than expected. No exact numbers known because of lack of monitoring.
  • Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus): quite common in suitable habitat, mostly fishponds. Numbers slightly increasing, sometimes breeding in fields in open country. Breeding success often poor, maybe because of very high Otter (Lutra lutra) populations.
  • Hobby (Falco subbuteo): quite common in fishpond areas, hunting for dragonflies or larger beetles, bats, swallows and swifts above the water.
  • White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) ??: expected to start breeding here in the near future because of rising numbers in the nearby Czech fishpond area. May already have bred on Austrian territory according to Czech ornithologists. Hard to monitor because of the large woods along the border.

  • Tawny Owl (Strix aluco): usually quite common, numbers seem to decrease a little, mainly caused by lack of old trees with cavities. Frequently taken by Eagle Owls.
  • Long-eared Owl (Asio otus): common, breeding in old crow nests. Very often found as prey of Eagle Owls, thus slightly decreasing.
  • Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo): at the moment almost at peak densities, even breeding on the ground in suboptimal habitat. Breeding success decreasing with growing number of breeding pairs - nest ledges sometimes as close together as 2 kms. Still threatened by illegal human persecution - hunters or often wildlife photographers who cannot avoid taking pictures before the nestlings are at least four weeks of age. Brooding females leave them in panic and do not return sometimes for hours which may very well result in the clutch freezing to death in cold and/or wet weather.
  • Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium passerinum): common, very often found breeding in Eagle Owl habitat. Population seems to be stable at the moment.
  • Tengmalm's Owl (Aegolius funereus): rare species, but maybe monitored too little. They respond very well to calling at night and could be quite easily detected. I once found some feathers among Eagle Owl pluckings and called some individuals myself. They come very close to protest!
  • Barn Owl (Tyto alba): very rare, almost extinct in our region. I suspect the loss of multi-structured landscape and old open barns being the main reasons for decline.


P. Mortem
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