Raptors & Owls
Universität Bielefeld > Faculty of Biology > Animal Behaviour > Behavioural Ecology > Raptors & Owls

Goshawks, Kites & Owls

Top predators above the Teutoburg Forest

Raptors form a fascinating community in our environment. We research their interactions with each other, with us and with our change to our shared environment.




Red Kites

Have you seen a wing tag?

If you have seen a Red Kite with wing tags, it is a real rarity! Let us know! If you want to find out more about the wing tags, go back to the buzzard page.

To report sightings, please contact us via

bussarde@uni-bielefeld.de or Phone: ++49 521 106 28 42

The kites star in the prize-winning documentary The Year of the Red Kite. More about the movie and the Green Screen Awards.

The Lippe region is home to the largest concentration of Red Kites and a substantial proportion of the world's population. The Rotmilanfreunde promote the protection of this important species in the region.

We hope to also equip Red Kites with transmitters in the near future. This would allow us to understand how they use their territories and which aspects of their habitat is most crucial to their survival. Here you can follow other Red Kites on their migration South from Germany. 


Other Projects

Eagle Owls

The eerie calls of Eagle Owls can be heard once again in the Teutoburg Forest. The return of this large predator constitutes a wonderful natural experiment. Eagle owls both compete with and prey on smaller raptors. We study the effects their return has on local buzzards and goshawks.





Little Owls

Intensified agriculture is currently challenging the hunting and breeding habits of Little Owls. These small birds need increasingly rare tree holes to rear their young and short meadows to hunt insects, often on foot. We study whether the reduction in Little Owl numbers has already led to a decrease in genetic diversity and how their population can be maintained.






The construction of wind farms has increased strongly during the last decades. These wind farms are mainly placed in areas with low human densities, where they may cause conflicts with the protection of birds. Large, long-lived species like raptors are especially vulnerable to human impact because of their low densities and the requirement of large areas of habitat to sustain their populations. Moreover, late maturity and low reproductive rate causes long-lived species to take much longer to recover after a disturbance than short-lived species. In this study, we aim to assess the long-term effects of wind farms on the populations of birds of prey. Moreover, we will study which factors affect the collision risk, which is important to consider when planning wind farms.



Prof. Dr. Oliver Krüger

Bielefeld University
Animal Behaviour
Morgenbreede 45
33615 Bielefeld
Phone: ++49 521 106 2842