Birding in Bonn? (with special emphasis on Corvids)
April 11, 2014 2:00 PM   Subscribe

I will be in Germany, primarily Bonn and surrounding areas, from April 13 - 27. I am more of a bird enthusiast than a REAL birder, and particularly love Corvids. I remember from visits years ago that the local crows in the Rhine region seemed a lot gruffer than the ones we have in Seattle - they seemed to be saying "Ach! Ach!" Wondering what varieties of crows are most prevalent in the Bonn / Cologne region. I also would love to see "Nebelkraehe," which my sister said she has seen in Berlin. Are they seen in Bonn as well? If weather permits, we'll be doing a lot of woodland walking, so if anyone has any particular spots to recommend, as well as particular birds I should be on the lookout for, I would greatly appreciate it. One wonderful thing about travel is that even the most common yard birds are hopelessly exotic to me, so I just can't lose. ;)
posted by dorgla to Science & Nature (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
"Nebelkraehe" is the hooded crow, which is common across Europe. This thread (a couple of years old, but still) from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has some good photos and brief discussion of other corvids in Germany (choughs, ravens).

Googling "birding bonn germany" brings up a ton of links from UK birders, like this. And there's this, which I have no personal knowledge of but might be a good place to poke around.

In my experience as a birder, emailing random people you have found on the internet to ask them about their birding experience in [XYZ place] is not weird, so if you see a recent trip report from someone and have more questions about the name of the park they visited or whatever, email them and ask!
posted by rtha at 2:17 PM on April 11, 2014

Nabu is the largest and best known association in Germany when it comes to nature and biodiversity conservation.
Here is their info on good birding spots in and around Bonn. On your last day, April 27th, they have a free birdwatching tour (starts at 7am, outside the city, donations welcome). Bring your own binoculars if you can.
posted by travelwithcats at 2:38 PM on April 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

Most common corvid is the Rabenkrähe (looks like american crow to me?). AFAIK, Nebelkrähe is just a special variety of Rabenkrähe, one that lives (roughly) in the Eastern part of Germany. Here's a map. So, unlikely to see a Nebelkrähe in Bonn, sorry.
The other common corvid in Germany is the Saatkrähe. It lives in the countryside and wears adorable little feather pants and is a bit more scruffy than Rabenkrähen. I mostly saw them in the winter again, you might be out of luck! Something to look out for if you're American is the quite spectacular European Magpie (Elster); it's black and white and very cheeky and mischievous. You should be able to spot one in every backyard almost! They are super loud, so once you know their call, you should be able to see plenty of them. Good Luck!
posted by The Toad at 5:53 AM on April 12, 2014

Thank you all SO much for this. I know the Elsters of Bonn quite well, and although I understand they are "pests," I love them unconditionally. Will be checking out all the splendid links you folks sent me very soon - in person, in Germany!! SO much appreciated!!
posted by dorgla at 8:25 AM on April 12, 2014

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