Already since two years one of our members of the Birdringingstation 'Schlammwiss' is working together with Christian Stange at Kaiserstuhl / Freiburg. During the autumn and winter the main work is the maintenance of the biotopes. For spring they start to control the nest boxes of little owls (Athene noctua) and hoopoes (Upua epopos) and to ring the juveniles.
This year they checked the area around Ihringen and controlled about 12 nest boxes of hoopoes and 1 box of the little owl.
Most of the hoopoes started already with the second brood. So most of the nest boxes which are inside of a vineyard cabin were empty or with eggs. We checked the empty boxes if any birds breed inside and checked what happen with the juveniles (Are we too late and they flew out? Did something happen? Did they breed?). We also checked the nest boxes around the vineyard cabin which are against the breeding pressure to see which birds used it.
To check if something is inside of the box we checked the ground in front of the hole for faeces and smell on the hole to determine the present of juveniles (>> penetrate smell for the defence of the juveniles against predators like the beech marten (Martes foina)). We also check for marks on the hole to see if a beech marten already tried to get in. Than we close the hole and go inside of the cabin to get the juveniles. Before we open the box we shine with a light inside of the box to see if there are juveniles or the female with eggs. Inside of the box we check the condition of the nest box and have a look if we can find some remains of their food.
We had only two nest boxes with juveniles which had the right size to ring. More than the half of the boxes had only eggs which mean that the hoopoe started with the second brood.
We also we checked a nets box of the little owl which was impossible for Christian to check earlier. We found one juvenile inside of the box and another one outside in a natural hole.
Same as the population of hoopoe Christian Stange is also responsible for the little owl population at Kaiserstuhl. Both species need the same area and conditions to live. For the moment there are about 56 pairs with 160 juveniles at Kaiserstuhl.
To the end we installed a new nest box for the scops owl (Otus scops) which has been seen and hearing a bunch of times at this area.
Autor: Charel Klein