|Universität Bielefeld > Faculty of Biology > Animal Behaviour > Behavioural Ecology > Raptors & Owls|
Join us on a virtual tour of our work with charismatic European wildlife! Below you can see pictures of how we ring and tag birds and of course of the birds themselves: European Eagle Owls (Bubo bubo), Common Buzzards (Buteo buteo), Red Kites (Milvus milvus) and Little Owls (Athene noctua).
A mother and her chicks. Females usually protect and warm the chicks, whereas males leave to hunt and provide for the entire family.
Fighting over food is most common outside the territorial breeding season and at feeding sites.
Buzzards nest in lofty heights. Nayden Chakarov is on his way: 25 m (80 feet) straight up.
A chick arrivea on the ground in a canvas bag. It will become part of science over the next few minutes, then be returned to its nest. The parents will resume caring for it within minutes.
First, the chick gets the one precious ring ...
... which is unique and centrally registered at the 'Vogelwarte Helgoland'. Worldwide, every ringed bird is supposed be equipped with a ring like this.
Now we measure the bird to learn its age and body condition...
... and we take a saliva sample.
Looking for parasites requires a very close inspection.
This is the blood sample for genetic analyses...
...and finally, there is the wing tag, the bird's life-long identity card.
Some of our samples need to be cooled down to -196°C (-321 °F) while we are still in woods. Only this keeps them fresh for specialised analyses...
... In the lab, we will determine the sex of each bird and its genetic fingerprint.
Wing tags on a fully grown buzzard. The relative size of the tag compared to the wings is much easier to see when they are fully extended than in sitting buzzards.
Depending on the position of the nest, the usual diet of voles may be enriched.
These chicks were too young for wing tags and smaller than their prey when we met them.
Curious about the camera?
Almost old enough to fledge and already beautiful.
Dramatic approach: a Red Kite (Milvus milvus) has spotted the food laid out in front of a photo trap...
The kite has grabbed its prey in mid-flight, and Robin has captured the beauty of this skilled flyer in a stunning image.
Others take a more leisurely and pedestrian approach to feeding.
... and chick rearing.
While the kites ignored the camera most of the time, this inquisitive youngster gives the equipment another good look before leaving the nest for good.