We`re looking for students who like to work in the field

Student jobs

During the next field season we can offer some themes for students bachelor-, master- or Phd-works on Kolguev and in on the staging sites in northern Germany. In cooperation with Institute for Avian Research, Wilhelmshaven, we'll continue our work in the arctic in 2012. Read more hier.

Follow tagged Greylag geese

Collar with integrated GPS tag

Within several projects we tagged Greylag geese with high resolution GPS tags in The Netherlands, Germany and Sweden. You can follow the migration of this geese by our webtool here. Greylags were reintroduced in western Germany and The Netherlands from 1960-1980th. The population does well and recovers in more or less all suitable places now. To find out more about the breeding biology and migration of this population we caught Greylag families and moulting geese and banded them. Some of them got collars with integrated GPS-transmitters collecting position, height, speed and behavioural data (ACC).

Our tagged pair "Nina" and "Niklas"

Lesser Whitefronts start autumn migration

The arctic summer has gone and the Lesser Whitefronts started autumn migration to wintering grounds again. Not all geese returned from the high mountains yet, but some transmitters are still active. In 2017 no more geese were tagged, so the number of tags decreased. For more information read here .

Successful end of field season 2016/17

In late evening Barnacles were released again

On 16 march 2017 we successfully caught 98 Barnacles at Lower Elbe area near Freiburg (Nordkehdingen) and marked them with coded yellow and black legrings. Observations should be reported via . For this season we ended field work in arctic geese now. 27 of the birds were equipped with backpack transmitters to study their spatial use and migration pattern during the following weeks and months. This birds can be followed on our website. For this click here .

Germany:Lower Saxony started new goose research project

To study influence of hunting on spatial distribution of geese and agricultural goose damage Lower Saxony ministeries of Environment and Agriculture started a new goose reseach project fo 2015-2018. by using high-res tags local and regional movements of staging Greater Whitefronts and Barnacle as well as local breeding Greylags will be studied. Read more here

online again: neckband smartphones for white-fronted geese

After several months of development, a new, improved neckband tag is ready to study the behaviour and movement of geese. On 15 February 2015 the first three white-fronted geese have been equipped with these tags in Friesland. The tags are able to record GPS positions and accelerometer measurements and send those to the scientists of this project via the GPRS network (mobile internet). Thus, they are small goose smartphones. The white neckbands are optimally balanced. They have two solar panels at opposite sides, an easy to read, (for now) two digit black number to read and can be reported via With sufficient sun light the tags send their data via the internet daily. Thus, it is no more necessary to download the data in the field. If geese with such a neckband tag are seen, we are highly interested to hear how the geese are behaving, how their condition is, if they tolerate the tags well and if they have a partner and/or young.
Due to protection issues the webpresentation of taggs was stopped during spring migration and over the summer period, but now the geese are online again! Please follow their migration here.

TV shooting on Kolguev

End of June 2015 a team of goose researchers will return to Kolgeuv accompanied by a production team of German TV broadcast. They will work on a new TV production about bird migration, focussing on wild geese. For this we`ll visit breeding grounds and additional will use this to get some new information about breeding sesaon 2015. For more information go here.

A special camera outsite the helicopter allows fantastic shots of flying birds and landscapes.

German broadcast produces TV movie about goose migration

Wild geese winter in Western Europe but breed in Russian and Sibirian tundra. The ecology and migration of the geese and other arctic breeding migratory species will be issue of a broadcast movie which is under production at the moment. So goose researcher Helmut Kruckenberg travelled together with the TV team to Olonets Fields, a well known staging site in Russian Karelia east of Lake Ladoga. The film will be presented in autumn 2016.

How to catch wild geese

How to catch wild geese in winter? In The Netherlands there is a very old tradition based on the mediaval. Goose catchers used trained decoys and clapping nets. Kees Polderdijk, one of the active goose catchers, presents how to catch in this Dutch video. Click here.

See movie about Dutch goose catching

How to catch geese in a traditional frisian way? in this video you can learn about this when Kees Polderdijk, head of the Frisian Goose Catcher Society, tells about this very old tradition (in Dutch).

Successful catch of Whitefronts in hungary

It took a long time waiting but on 01-12-20013 Andrea Kölzsch (MPI), Gerhard Müskens (Alterra) and hugarian collegues were successful in catching whitefronted geese at Hungary. Altogether they caught 60 birds, 6 of them were equipped with satellite or GSM-taggs to trackn them during next months. More information will follow soon.

Sasha holding a loggered goose

Observers take care: a new type of collars

Starting this summer we used a new type of neckcollars: white collar with a numeric 3-digit inscription and solar panel. In the collar there is a highresolution GPS-datalogger included. This datalogger have to be read out manually. will send out an alarm in the moment this collars will be reported. Issue of the study is to find out more about the way how juvenile birds learn migration routes, site-fidelty etc. So, the datalogger save position in a high density, but finally the amoung of data is so big that cannot send by satellite anymore. That`s why we have to read them out by VHF connection. To do this we`ve to know about a sighting of this birds as fast as possible and ask all observers kindly to help us. For more information see here.

Zwerggänse (c) H. Kruckenberg

New NABU project: research and protection of Lesser Whitefronted Geese in Germany

The Lesser Whitefronted Goose is the most threatened goose species in Eurasia. The population decreased during the last 40 years dramatically. So, nowadays just app. 90 birds survived in Scandinavia. The wintering grounds of the Lesser Whitefronted Geese are places in Hungary, Greece, Bulgaria up to Iraq, but also a part of the population is wintering in western Europe. Well known wintering sites are Petten and oude Land von Strijen in The Netherlands. On the other hand data beginnin 1900/01 show staging adn probably wintering Lesser Whitefronts in Northern Germany as well. So, one target of the new project of BirdLife Germany is to find the stepping stone and wintering sites in Northern Germany. More information you'll find here.

Lesser Whitefronted Geese (c) H. Kruckenberg

New NABU project: protection of Lesser Whitefronted Geese

Lesser Whitefronted Geese are the most threatened goose species in the western paleartic. The population decreased drastically during the last 40 years. Today the scandinavian population is estimated of app. just 90 birds.

While the birds breeding in Norther Norway winter in Hungary, Kasakstan, Greece and Iraq, the Swedish population mainly migrates to The Netherlands.

The concrete flyway, staging sites and night roosts of esp. the Swedish birds are quite unknown. To find out the needs of protection of this birds in Lower Saxony German Birdlife Partner NABU in Lower Saxony started a new project to find out fundamental data of migration biology. Finally a new approach to protect this bird species on their migration to the wintering grounds shall by carried out. Read more here.

Short stop at Bugrino village, south Kolguev (c) H. Kruckenberg

Kolguev 2013 - new expedition

In beginning of august 2013 a short expedition to Kolguev was made to catch and mark Whitefronted Geese, organized by Prof. Martin Wikelski (Max-Planck-Institute for Ornithology). For several scientific questions Whitefronted Geese were caught and marked with collars as well as GSM-transmitters and GPS-Datalogger. Altogether we caught 350 geese. 161 Whitefronts and 8 Beans were marked with coloured neckbands, 4 juvenile Beans got white legrings. Additionally 22 Whitefronts got highresolution GSM-GPS-Transmitter as backpacks. This birds carry no additional mark. Read more here.

Migration of Hungarian Whitefronted geese now online

With large equipment Gerhard Müskens went to Ungary for goose catching

Using cannon nets, 31 White-fronted geese have been caught in Hungary ton the morning of 28th february. Five males of this were equiped with satellite transmitters At 15:20 the birds were released and started to move immidiatly. Transmitters save GPS position during the day and send it once a day via satellite. So migration can be observed in the web was well. Find map here.

Density of breeding Dunlins decreased on Kolguev during last 10 years

NEW: Breeding waders on Kolguev Island 2006-2008

Kolguev Island is an unique place for arctic breeding geese, but also a lot of wader species breeding on this island. In a publication at Wader Study Group Bulletin 119 we present our study results of nesting waders on Kolguev: nesting density, trends and habitat use. For publication read more here.

Geese flying on the green wave of spring

When Whitefronted geese leave their staging sites in early spring, they are constrained by strong energetic stress. On one hand they need lots of fuel for the long distance flight, on the other hand they have to save their fat deposits for incubating and broad rearing. We analysed spring migration of tracked geese now and found out that they optimized to travel on the green wave of spring to arctic breeding grounds Read more here.

This picture was taken by Dehelean Luca on 11-1-2012

More and more opbservations from southern and eastern Europe

Searching for color-marked geese becomes more and more popular in south and east parts of european geese wintering areas. So, more and more interesting reports coming in.
The last report was about White-fronted goose "DLA black" seen at "Sacoșu Turcesc fishponts" (Romania) by Dehelean Luca on 11.1.2012. This bird was ringed in a moulting flock on Taimyr in 2007 and has never been reported so far
Please report your sightings here to our webportal!

First Whitefronts arrive end of September 2011 at Western Europe

First Whitefronts return to Western Europe

Within the last week of September first White-fronted Geese arrived at Northern Germany and The Netherlands. So, on 28-9-2011 first neckbands were reported from Lake Gülpe (Brandenburg) and Dutch province Friesland. The arrival of bigger flocks was also reported from lots other staging areas during the last dekade of September.

The norther coast of Kolguev is rough

New: second report of Kolguev expedition

Our Kolguev expedition 2011 is finished now and all participants arrived home happily. In July and august the teams also worked hard on their studies. OUr collegues Olga Pokrovskaya and Alexander Kondratvey reporting for you about the last weeks of arctic summer on the island. Read more.

chicks of geese hatched so far

New expedition to Kolguev 2011

On 28-5-2011 a group of Russian and German scientists started again for a scientific expedition to Kolguev Island in the Barents Sea. During the summer they will study breeding biology of geese and waders and start some new work on migration biology of waders and ducks.
When the scientist arrived snow has started to melt and the delta of Peschanka river was flooded. But the first geese were also arrived. Until the geese will leave the island the goose researchers will stay on Kolguev.
Mid of June a group additional four participants travelled to Kolguev. They enforced the researchers for the time of intensive study work. In June all chicks of birds hatch. It`s the most intensive stime of research: measuring clutch sizes and density, hatching success and colour-marking of incubating adults. Now, mid of July most chicks are hatched and left their nest. During time of broad rearing, scientist have to be very careful not to affect families. So, three researchers returned to Germany. Until end of expedition mid of August broad rearing success will be documented and in the end flocks of moulting geese have to be caught for colour-marking.
Read more here.

Gyula with its mate (c) G. Kraft

New transmittered Goose was released at Hungary

In early morning of 21-11-2010 a new satellite-tracked Whitefronted goose was released. This time at Lake Fertö, Hungary. The bird was determinated as an adult male with its mate and two offsprings. While the family got neckbands starting with "1" the male was marked with a lime coloured legring "C". We called him "Gyula".
The bird started spring migration in march and flew eastward to Kalmykia when the international goose meeting was held there. Just three weeks later last signal of this bird was recieved from Kasakstan. Read more here.

31 whitefronts were marked with black neckcollars at Bulgaria (c) S. Dench

Whitefronted Geese were marked at Bulgaria

Ornithologists from the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) and the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) managed to catch six Red breasted geese and thirty White fronted geese. The geese were ringed with colored bands, and mini GPS transmitters were attached to the Red breasted geese. This study aims to monitor the behavior and movements of the birds near their traditional wintering sites around the lakes of Shabla and Durankulak and is part of the project "Conservation of the wintering population of the Red-breasted Goose” funded by the Life + Programme of the European Union.
All neckbanded whitefronts can be reported via the database.

Ringing first Beans at Meksikopuzta (Lake Fertö, HUG) (c) A. Pellinger

Goose catching at Hungary

Since 6th November dutch goose catcher Kees Polderdijk atually catches Bean and Whitefronted geese in a ringing project of Bildlife Hungary (project coordination: Marta Ferenczi) and Fertő-Hanság National Parc (Attila Pellinger). The catching places is situated in the southern part of Lake Fertö in the saltmarshes. In the project goose researchers want to get more information about geese migrating from the Pannonian Basin to their wintering grounds. Also connectivity to other populations in western and southeaster Europe shall be analysed.Untill 16-1-2010 altogether 16 Beans, 5 Whitefronts and 3 Greylags were ringed - a low numbers cuased by bad weather and unpredictable distribution of maizestubble eating geese.
During the last 100 years only 18 Beans and 9 Whitefronts were ringed in Hungary. Thats why lots of goose interested people look full of expectation to first results of this project.
Marta Ferenczi

Alex Kondratyev with banded Bean goose

Report of Kanin 2010 expedition

During last summer expedition 21 Bean geese were ringed on Kanin penninsula. The birds were caught an Shoina river 30km inlands of Shoina village. Observed geese can be reported at
Read more here.

Neckbanded Greylag (c) H. Kruckenberg

Neckbanding of Greylags in Germany

Since 1998 two different projects working on Greylag studies by using neckbands, now. So birds were ringed in the counties Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Northrhine-Westfalia, Hessia and Lower Soxony. To read more about this, go here.