Red Kite appreciates golf course as its habitat
It is a candidate for the “Bird of the Year 2021” election – at least from the golfer’s point of view: The red kite, which is on the so-called early warning list of the Red List species, has found its habitat in numerous German golf courses and even breeds there in some cases .
And: You could also see the red kite in the sky above the golf course during winter laps. According to the German Wildlife Foundation, around 1.000 to 1.200 animals, which can reach a wingspan of a good 1.60 metres, spend the winter in Germany. The German Red Kites, on the other hand, which migrate further south, usually come back in March.
Golf courses offer more food
Golf courses have now developed into an essential habitat for the elegant thermal sailor, who has problems raising their offspring on intensively used landscape areas. Monotonous grassland areas usually do not have enough small mammals or carrion to feed on.
Golf courses are an important alternative here: The large areas with hedges, bushes, small forest areas, but also meadows or water areas provide plenty of supplies when it comes to food. Mice and other small rodents such as the hamster or the mole are welcome, but it also eats smaller birds such as thrushes and starlings. He even collects earthworms. In most cases, the habitat can even be improved if there are also horses or sheep on parts of the golf course, which in turn leads to a larger number of other small mammals.
In some cases, stocks on golf courses are even growing
The red kite does not shy away from contact with people or houses. On the contrary: since the bird also accepts carrion or waste, they are generally found again and again in the vicinity of villages or houses. The perfect golf course bird, which also finds fish in the large water hazards of the golf courses or occasionally plunders another bird’s nest. Incidentally, its own nest often appears chaotic at first glance: Whether it’s a plastic bag or a golf ball – the strong bird of prey just likes to collect.
You see it quite often on Germany’s golf courses, whether in Burg Overbach or in Wiesensee, in Lauterhofen or Wörthsee – to name just a few. In the GC Lauterhofen, the bird even made it into the club logo. And: Ornithological surveys on the site have revealed a growing population of birds in the golf course area, which also breed here.
Election for “Bird of the Year” 2021 begins
This year, for the first time, anyone can nominate a bird for the Bird of the Year voting via the NABU website. In 2021, the election will be public for the first time, which also has to do with the fact that NABU is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the award. So the red kite would be a candidate – but with not very good chances, because it was already “Bird of the Year” in 2000. For the golfer irrelevant. For them, the large bird of prey in the sky remains a visual treat during a round of golf.