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The nationwide search for the “Bird of the Year 2023”, organized by the Nature Conservation Union (Nabu), has begun. There are five birds to choose from this year: whinchat, tree sparrow, red-backed shrike, moorhen and pied flycatcher. The Berlin state association supports the red-backed shrike for this vote, which, according to the state association, “represents the protection of insects and shrubs”.

Last year, more than 143,000 people took part in the “Bird of the Year” poll; the hoopoe was chosen. The migratory bird nested in Berlin this spring for the first time in 29 years.

Two pairs of hoopoes have raised a total of nine young birds in the Flughafensee bird sanctuary. For the head of Nabu-AG Flughafensee, Frank Sieste, “a sensation”. Around 130 bird species have been documented in Berlin.

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The red-backed shrike lives in Berlin on wasteland such as at Pankower Tor or the former Tegel Airport. It got its name because of its prey behavior: as a food reserve, it impales insects, small birds or mice on thorns or sharp branches.

“The red-backed shrike is the perfect candidate,” Ansgar Poloczek, the species protection officer at Nabu Berlin, was quoted as saying in a statement. “It has a certain scary factor due to its hunting method, but at the same time it is beautiful to look at and also draws attention to an important topic.” Its diet – beetles, grasshoppers and crickets – is often reduced by insecticides.

According to the Nabu regional association, the red-backed shrike also draws attention to the protection of shrubs. The bird usually breeds just above the ground in thorn bushes and hedges. That’s why Nabu initiated the “Obviously Shrub!” campaign for this bird as well.

You can cast your vote at the virtual polling station until October 27th. The result will be announced on the same day.