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Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

Stonechat Saxicola torquata ©Gerd Rossen Website

Luxembourg is one of Europe's smallest sovereign states, with a surface area of 2,586 km2. It has a border with Belgium to the west and north, with Germany to the east, and with France to the south. It has no mountains, no moor land and very little standing water. There are four main land divisions: a small area of iron-ore deposits in the south, with a declining but still important iron and steel industry; a small area of lowland farmland in the rest of the south and the centre; a strip of very steep, heavily wooded valleys (part of the Eifel/Ardennes massif); and remnants of marshes and bogs in the north-west on an otherwise cultivated plateau.

Ornthological Importance

Eighteen Important Bird Areas (IBA) are included in the BirdLife International IBA-Programme. Some 330 bird species have been recorded in Luxembourg (including 15 escaped and 5 introduced species). One of the most interesting zone is the Haff Réimech Nature Reserve (Remerschen Gravel pits) in the Moselle valley where more than 250 species have been recorded. The most interesting breeding species here are Little Bittern, Grey Woodpecker, Great Reed and Melodious Warbler. It’s the only breeding area in Luxembourg for Common Tern, Crested Grebe and Tufted Duck. Regular winter or migratory birds are Bittern (up to 6); Osprey, Bearded Tit, Hobby, Purple Heron and Great White Egret, ducks and waders. An 80ha Nature Reserve was declared here in 1997 and the whole area is a Natura2000 area and one of Luxembourg's only two Ramsar sites. Since 2016 the visitor centre Biodiversum gives information on the area

Perhaps the second major zone is the northwestern part of Luxembourg, the so-called Oesling, the land of Black Stork. 12 to 18 pairs of Black Stork breed in Luxembourg and this part of the country is probably the best for seeing them. Other interesting birds species are Eagle Owl and Great Grey and Red-backed Shrike. The numerous little wetlands owned by the Help for Nature Trust (Fondatioun Hëllef fir d'Natur) held populations of Yellow Wagtail and Whinchat. In Winter, Jacksnipe and Hen Harrier are likely to be seen here.

The Our is a little Stream on the German border. It’s good water quality makes it possible for the Otter to survive. Major bird species are Grey Wagtail, Dipper and Kingfisher. Black Stork, Red Kite, Hobby and Hazel Grouse breed in the forests alongside the Our.

The open iron-ore deposits in the southwestern part of Luxembourg are a unique place in central Europe. Breeding species include Woodlark, Tree Pipit, Eagle Owl, Stonechat and Black Woodpecker in the adjacent forests.

Habitats

Nearly 50 % of the Luxembourg landscape is arable land. In the northern part of the country, the Oesling region (covering one third of the country); agriculture is partially dominated by grassland culture (26 % of Oesling). Agriculture is part pastoral, part arable, with grazing, hay and silage meadows predominating (the main product being milk). Vines are grown for wine along the Moselle and some of its tributaries.

Forests cover a third of the land surface (almost entirely modified); and of this area one-third is coniferous and two-thirds deciduous. Luxembourg's landscape is extremely poor in standing freshwater and moor lands; wetlands, once abundant, have been much reduced by modern agriculture, as have hedgerows. A small part of country, the so-called Minette, is dominated by abandoned open-cast (iron-ore) mines.

Contributor

Patric Lorgé

natur&ëmwelt - BirdLife Luxembourg

patlor@naturemwelt.luNumber

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 296

National Bird: Goldcrest Regulus regulus

Checklist

iGoTerra Checklist

iGoTerra Checklist

Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web

Useful Reading

Birds, CDs etc.

Most parts of Europe are adequately covered in Europe wide fieldguies etc… see the Fatbirder Europe page for useful reading

Vögel Luxemburgs

Lorgé, P. & Ed. Melchior (2016)

ISBN: 9782919920013

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Trip Reports

CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

Organisations

BirdLife Luxemburg - natur&ëmwelt

Website

Kräizhaff, 5 Route de Luxembourg, Kockelscheuer, LU, LU-1899 Tel. +352 29 04 04-1; Fax +352 29 05 04 secretariat@naturemwelt.lu To protect wild birds and their habitats, natur&ëmwelt works closely with its foundation Hëllef fir d'Natur, (above) which is concerned with the purchase and management of habitats.

Fondation Hëllef fir d’Natur

Website

The principal areas of activity are the acquisition and management of nature reserves, information and awareness campaigns concerning the conservation of nature and biodiversity, studies and scientific research, conservation of forests, carrying out national, inter-regional and European projects with the main objective of the preservation and the restoration of the natural environment. Donations and legacies allow us to achieve the aforementioned objectives. The Foundation owns 1200 ha of natural reserves (wetlands, reed beds, grasslands, ponds and bodies of water, oak and beech coppices and woods, hedges, orchards, vineyards and terraces, brownfields and valleys in the Ardennes, …), all of which are rich in biodiversity. The upkeep and management of these habitats is carried out in collaboration with farmers, volunteers or teams of local interest groups.

Museums

Musée National d'Histoire Naturelle

http://www.mnhn.lu

Research project - Raptors and Owls from Luxembourg and Belgium: Exposure by mercury and organochlorines…

Reserves

Wetlands

Website

The convention entered into force in Luxembourg on 15 August 1998. Luxembourg currently has 2 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites), with a surface area of 17,213 hectares.

Other Links

Checklist of the Birds of Luxembourg

Webpage

Vivara Naturschutzprodukte Luxemburg

Website

Willkommen bei Vivara Naturschutzprodukte Luxemburg…