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Nature

Bird of the year

November 18th, 2014
in:Nature
by:Frank Odenthal
located in:Germany
tags:Bird of the year, Hawk, NABU

So he finally did it: The hawk has been awarded Germany's Bird of the Year 2015 by NABU, a popular german group of environmentalists. Among experts however, the choice is regarded as highly problematic, because until recently it was unclear whether the green woodpecker, Germany's Bird of the Year 2014, should be granted a second term.

Douglas Whatsoever, spokesman of the non-governmental watchdog 'critical ornithologists', explains: "The term of the green woodpecker was extremely successful. To drop him now sends a completely wrong signal."

In fact, the green woodpecker was widely seen as the ambassador of open grassland and is therefore very popular especially among bird lovers. His joyful singing during courtship he owes this name as cheerful minstrel. With his serenades - presented in his typically throaty melancholy – he wrapped loads of females around the finger. During his tenure, he was the absolute star of every orchard.

"A second term would have been legally possible," Whatsoever argues. "The decision was purely politically motivated. The hawk surely knew that he could rely on the support of the mighty bird-of-prey lobby. “Against such an opponent, the green woodpecker as well as all the other songbirds are ultimately powerless."

The accusation of having influenced NABU's decision in favour of the hawk, has been cathegorically rejected by the hawk's environment. Rather, they now harvest the fruits of years of hard work, as a spokesman for the bird said.

In fact, the 'accipiter gentilis', as the hawk is named by experts, is considered a worthy winner, too. Of course he cannot match the charm of the iridescent green woodpecker, since he lacks a big deal of the woodpecker's glamour. But the hawk's intelligence alongside his aura as a bird of prey more than compensates this shortcoming.

An assessment that is - by the way - also shared by the Critical Ornithologists as well. "The hawk has earned all the honors, no doubt", regarding Whatsoever. It is more about the way the decision was made, the causes all the headache. "We're fighting for so many years now to get a more balanced composition of the election commission. It's just unacceptable that about half of the seats are still being given to the representatives of the bird-of-prey lobby." Fowls, on the other hand, are completely under-represented. "Just consider the proud european golden pheasant; he has absolutely no chance in the current composition of the electoral bodies, probably for years to come – it's a scandal!" 

The NABU doesn't want to comment on the allegations. By fax, they told media that they'll wait for the election of Germany's Frog of the Year. A strategy that could prove fatal, since five of the six frogs, that made it onto the shortlist for the award, are red-listed as threatened by extinction.

Article written by:
Frank Odenthal
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© www.woodpeckersofeurope.blogspot.com
So far the green woodpecker was very popular and a second term would have been legally possible.
So far the green woodpecker was very popular and a second term would have been legally possible.

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