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Migrant Birds Returning To Germany Find Unseasonably Cold Weather, Not Enough Food

posted 4 Apr 2013, 08:40 by Mpelembe   [ updated 4 Apr 2013, 08:41 ]

Exceptionally cold weather continues to force thousands of migrant birds in search of food to put in extra stops on their way to the north.

 BUETTELBORN, GERMANY (JANUARY - MARCH, 2013) (AMATEUR VIDEO BY BERND PETRI) - As temperatures remained near freezing in much of Germany, migrant birds in search of food and en route to the north have been turning around and waiting for better weather, an ornithologist said on Thursday (April 04).

Bernd Petri saw and filmed thousands of resting cranes from January to March this year in the southern Hesse town of Buettelborn, saying "the month of March was exceptionally cold and for a very long time, north-eastern Germany was covered under a layer of snow."

"Migrant birds en route to their breeding grounds in the north -- cranes, geese and peewits -- were unable to continue their journey so they rested here in southern Hesse, waiting for better weather."

Asked whether the unseasonably cold weather posed any danger to the birds, Petri said the animals "reacted to the cold by turning around."

"The only danger for the birds is when they are being disrupted in their rest areas, by dogs, walkers or riders. In that case, they loose a lot of energy and since they find only little food, that would be dangerous for them," Petri said.

In the small town of Linum some 70 kilometres north of Berlin, a few hundred cranes were seen gathered near snow covered fields on Thursday.

Linum regularly attracts hoards of bird watchers when migrant birds fly south in the autumn and to the north in spring.