Migratory birds -

Resting place and winter refuge

Important resting place WiesenKönigReich

Resting and overwintering place

Lake Zeller See and the vast wet meadows on its south shore are an important resting place for migratory birds and overwintering bird species.

Every year thousands of birds are crossing the Alps on their way to the breeding sites in the north of Europe. A good resting place close to the main Alpine ridge is this reserve on the southern shore of Lake Zell in Salzburg. In bad weather though, many birds are waiting here to go on. This is similar to a jam on the highway. Lake Zell gives shelter and food for them on their exhausting way to and back from the breeding grounds in spring and autumn.

But this bird paradise has changed. The change in the water balance caused by overfalls in the channels and drainage of the meadows as well as the increasing number of visitors and their domestic animals are disturbing the tranquil resting place.

Waders such as dunlins, knots and sandpipers used to look for food in the mudflats of the shore. But these are nowadays permanently flooded, keeping the water back in the lake by overfalls at the end of the channels.


Migrants and guests

More migrating bird species or winter guests are:

  • Shelduck, Little Grebe (both breeding and wintering)
  • The Eider Duck can be observed in winter as well. They usually breed on the sea coasts of Northern Europe. In 1975, the only breeding record in central Europa was made here in the sanctuary.
  • Cormorants are migrating through. Especially in winter one can observe larger groups. Herons and egrets are foraging in the area, a great blue heron colony is found in the vicinity of Bruckberg.
  • Wigeon, Red-necked Grebe, Northern Pintail, Velvet Scoter
  • Pochard, Red-breasted Merganser
  • Marsh Harrier and Kestrel
  • Black Tern
  • Greenshank, Black-headed and Yellow-legged Gull
  • Wheatear, Dunnock

List of Bird species for download (pdf in German)