Loburg is a small township near Magdeburg, around half an hour bus ride from Opernhaus, the nearest bus stop to my home. One place there, significant enough to find a place on a Saxony-Anhalt tourism website is Storchenhof Vogelschutzwarte Loburg e.V. If you would need a little personal context, please click on the button below, else just keep reading ahead!
Storchenhof Vogelschutzwarte loburg e.V is a non-profit organisation, funded by the Government in Germany where Dr Michael Kaatz and his team have developed a rehabilitation and conservation centre for birds, mainly the storks. He is a very passionate man and he took us around, explaining in English the various stories about the storks, their migration and their behaviour.
There are mainly white storks in the conservation centre. A few of them were caged but mostly all are free. Their homes have cameras and are under observation for studying. There is a Black Stork, something which I had not seen before. He had a broken leg when it was taken to this centre. In a couple of weeks, the storks would start migrating down south.
Dr Kaatz, in his talk, would mention “Princess”, a very special stork who was there at the conservation centre and later he tracked while she migrated from Germany to South Africa. I would not give too many details because you should go there and listen to the story yourself! It is however on the website, so if you would like to know more, you can read it here. Whether or not you are uninitiated to the animal kingdom, the story would amuse you.
Another story that he would mention is of “Asklepios”, a stork whose egg was recovered by cutting open the belly of the dead mother. It was incubated by a turkey and was born healthy. This story could also be found in the news by MDR.
Apart from the Storks, you would find a variety of birds which are fairly uncommon. Albeit, the Black Stork is uncommon. The Swan-Geese are rare but you can find them in this conservation centre. There are other common birds which are orphaned and young or injured and recovering in this conservation centre.
There was an incredibly young Magpie. It opened its mouth each time I went near it. I took a couple of moments to realize, it was hungry. Soon after, a person came and spoon-fed it.
In case you are around Magdeburg / Germany reading this and are interested in birds, please go visit this place. Not only birds, but it is also a pleasure meeting and interacting with Dr Kaatz.
Our next destination was the Sraussenland Nedlitz.
“Straussenland” or the country of the Ostriches is situated near Nedlitz which is closer to Magdeburg and on the way back from Loburg. We visited this place and I must tell you it is pretty amusing for those who are uninitiated to the animal world. The common Ostriches which are native to Africa can be seen, interacted with and even touched just around Magdeburg! There is a lady guide who would explain to you how the farm is organised, with the infant Ostriches in one segment, the young ostriches in another, another segment with female ostriches and finally at the end one family of Ostrich with one male and three female Ostrich. The amusing stories include how one female Ostrich does not know she is the most favourite wife of the otherwise very flamboyant male Ostrich. You could see an Ostrich bone, an egg and eggshells. Outside the farm is a restaurant where you could eat an Ostrich egg omelette, along with other things.
I am not sure if I had appreciated being in that space. The setup was pretty synthetic and is not a simulation of their natural habitat. I have photographed birds in the open, in bird sanctuaries mainly. It felt a little weird.
But if you are interested, you should definitely visit this place! It’s a good place to start interacting with birds! This is the link to Straussenland Nedlitz.
Birding in Magdeburg (update)
I’ve come across NABU Magdeburg chapter, who have made specific projects for the Peregrine Falcon, the Lesser Kestrels and the Owls in Magdeburg. I also need to mention the beautiful small mobile phone application called “BirdNet“, which you can use to identify birds by recording their calls! Let’s get back to birding in Magdeburg. You can check the first three blog posts on birding in Magdeburg here.
During my recent morning walks, I spotted a Nightingale bird near Neustadter Feld. I also saw a different kind of crow that day, which was later identified as Hooded Crow.
Very recently a lot of Common Kestrels came back to my backyard and there was a minor event which I would like to believe was some sort of a territorial fight. I am not knowledgeable enough to know what it was, but there were clearly two sets of kestrels fighting each other. I could only photograph the last couple of minutes. I’ll share a couple of photographs for you!
Watching birds is not just an amusement, it is peaceful. While I am yet to find another person nearby with whom I could go out and photograph birds, I am happy that my friend Carl takes care of my interests for at least weekend day trips! Madhu understands that bird photography is important for me, so he is with me. Surprisingly, Aman and a few other friends also took interest in the day trip to the stork conservation centre and the Ostrich farm! The entire day trip made me very happy. And on this happy note, I take your leave.