On the trail of birds, wolves and their companions – a journey

Caution with Animal Watch Tours: Before booking, critically check how important animal and nature conservation/.

The rising of the bird song begins early in the morning at five. Participation is voluntary – but Thomas Grayson Pflueger is always amazed at how many people join his morning walks before breakfast. The 67-year-old is the co-founder of Birdingtours, a company that specializes in bird trips.

The beginning looks like this for everyone who is part of the morning excursion: hike for two hours, then have breakfast at the hotel, and only then go to the actual destination area. In small groups of about 15 participants, the tour leads to the coast, lake, pond, fields, meadows, or forest, depending on the excursion. In fact, you are in nature and outdoors all day long. Always with you: a knowledgeable tour guide.

“When we’re bird-watching, we go out and look at something beautiful. It’s as relaxing as yoga,” says Griesohn-Pflug. Most travelers are not interested in putting rare animals in front of their lens. Instead, to experience nature and immerse yourself in observation. After dinner, for example, the group returns to the swamp to watch the night. This nocturnal bird can be observed at dawn. There are a number of legends surrounding it. “Because it races through the air with its jaws open and catches moths,” says the expert.

Birds can be seen in many places in Germany. Curls, snipes, sandpipers, and terns can be observed in the Wadden Sea. In the Black Forest “there are still rare grouses and woodpeckers,” says Grayson Pfluger. With a little luck, a lemon canary or a mountain sucker will turn up.

No matter where you go on a tour: the animals should not be disturbed. The general rule is simple: always stay on the marked paths and never enter closed areas. Crossing the meadows, land breeders will be disturbed and nests destroyed. One has to be especially sensitive during the breeding and breeding season, advises Jennifer Kramer of the German Conservation Union (NABU). In general, it is best to keep your distance from yourself. Therefore, binoculars are considered part of the device.

Wild animals should never be touched or picked up. “Unfortunately, this often happens during the bird’s breeding season,” Kramer says. “Then the young birds flutter out of their nests and look helpless. A lot of them are collected every year.” “Most of the time, these birds are not helpless. That’s why you should know this in advance.” For example, in more than 80 nature conservation centers in Naboo, Germany, or in nature parks and national park centers.

How do you find trustworthy service providers? By carefully reading if you’re going to protected areas and how they handle them, Kramer says. “Nature is nature, and wild animals live there,” she says. “When in doubt, do not see them.” If the provider promises the opposite, alarm bells should ring. and: “Good providers provide information about species protection and conservation and always have an educational character.”

This also applies to the observation tours of an animal that does not have a good reputation and is mainly found in eastern Germany. Although wolves are found in all federal states, areas in Lusatia are especially inhabited. “Wolves live in a completely territorial area in an area of ​​100 to 250 square kilometres. There are an average of five to twelve animals within this area,” says Stephen Heeber, wolf officer in Brandenburg and tour guide at Wolfland Tours. “The young migrate, so there can be no more in a given area,” he says, explaining the seemingly small number of wolves in each area.

It’s easy to find wolf trails in sandy Brandenburg. This does not mean that animals are tracked or even pursued in this way. exactly the contrary. “We are interested in educating and protecting these special animals and conflict-ridden species,” Heber says. The goal of wolf outings is to learn more about animals and their behaviour. This can be done on day trips or multi-day trips.

On a multi-day tour, the probability of seeing wolves is 50 to 70 percent, depending on the season. The promise of a 100% chance would be questionable. “Of course, humans are only guests in nature and should behave as such,” Heber says. The rules of conduct must be stated and implemented in the concept of the tour. Tours with a small number of participants are recommended.

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