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The quiet disappearance of the birds

For years, a silent but large mass extinction has been taking place in Lower Austria's meadows and fields. According to BirdLife Austria, the domestic bird population has shrunk by around 40 percent over the past 20 years.  

It's shortly before twelve - we have to actively campaign for insect-friendly land management.  The preservation and promotion of native biodiversity are central future tasks for all of us .

The population development of domestic field and meadow birds since 1998 shows an alarming balance: Corn Bunting (-91%), Serin (-85%) and Partridge (-84%). The figures show that the populations of certain native bird species are declining sharply and some species are around  a tenth of what they were 23 years ago.

Those species that live in meadows and fields are particularly endangered. The reasons for this dramatic development can be found above all in the change from rural to industrial agriculture. Due to more intensive use, more and more natural areas such as roadsides, fallow land, hedges and rows of trees are disappearing. Excessive fertilization and mowing transform species-rich meadows into areas that are hostile to survival. In addition to soil sealing, the use of pesticides is the big problem. These destroy the food of many birds, which consists mainly of insects and herbs, especially during the rearing phase.

As with insects, it is shortly before twelve - the preservation of species-rich flower meadows and flower strips as well as the promotion of native biodiversity are central future tasks for all of us .

Central factors for the decline in field bird populations are:  

  • the unrestrained surface sealing through settlement and road construction  

  • the changes in the landscape structure due to the increase in intensively used agricultural monocultures

  • the use of mineral fertilizers, liquid manure and pesticides

  • the compaction of the soil by working the land with heavy agricultural machinery

  • the far too frequent mowing of forage areas and grassland (up to 6x a year)

  • the rapid decline of species-rich ecosystems such as flower meadows, fringes, hedges, meadow orchards and other field shrubs and the associated loss of habitats and food sources.

The most important measures to preserve farmland bird populations:

  • the creation of flower areas and flower strips as well as protection strips

  • the expansion of extensive grassland management

  • the restriction to ONE mowing per year after flowering and seeding of the meadow flowers

  • the care and maintenance of hedges, bends, rows of trees, copses and meadow orchards

  • and the conversion and retention of organic farming.



10 field birds of our domestic agricultural landscape
and her singing



BR 24 - KNOWLEDGE - In Europe, more than half of all field birds have disappeared in the last 30 years

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For the benefit of nature - meadow birds
A comprehensive situation report on

Natural space and bird populations in Upper Austria 

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BIRDLIFE - Austria
How do farmers protect rare bird species in Austria?


ORF Burgenland today - Endangered field birds such as skylark and partridge -  Since 1980, 300 million breeding pairs have disappeared across Europe

Bird deaths in Austria ORF ZIB 1
In just 30 years 1/3 fewer birds in Austria

10 songbirds of our home garden landscape
and her singing

QUARKS XL - Where have all the birds gone?
With the planting of flower strips, we can create a habitat for birds -
become a PRO-NATUR sponsor

MDR Garden - Why you should feed birds in the garden all year round! 
The famous ornithologist Peter Berthold explains

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NABU study
Alarming decline in farmland birds
Change of course in agricultural policy necessary



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Photos: Pixabay Royalty-free

Our native cultivated land birds


Here you will find rare (field) bird species that can hardly find a habitat due to the massive loss of ecosystems.  presents the most important field/cultivated land birds as a profile and in realistic short videos



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NDR Info - Synapses: Where are the birds?

Journalist and documentary filmmaker Heiko De Groot talks to host Lucie Kluth about the reasons, causes and possible solutions to bird deaths. They study the birds, weigh their chicks and survey their habitats - hoping to find a way to save the birds from extinction.

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