Austrian Ornithological Centre (AOC)

European robin (Erithacus rubecula) (Photo: Anne Hloch)

The Austrian Ornithological Centre (AOC) has its headquarters at the Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna.  It is a scientific institution for the research of all biological and ecological aspects of birds.  It serves as ornithological documentation centre and is meant to bundle all bird research in Austria.  When it was founded in 2015 Austria became the last European country to establish such an ornithological centre.  

The AOC´s tasks include basic research on the lives of wild birds, causal research regarding threats to our birdlife, monitoring of breeding and migratory bird populations and the establishment and operation of a national bird ringing centre 1.


Sensational catch during bird monitoring at Wilhelminenberg: Great Spotted Woodpecker in Vienna almost breaks the age record

At the end of January 2019, the Austrian bird ringing center at the Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology (KLIVV) caught a very special bird in the net during its annual bird monitoring: a  ringed great spotted woodpecker female of the considerable age of at least 12 years!

The data from the long-term monitoring program show that this bird was ringed at KLIVV in 2008. This is all the more remarkable when you consider that the average life expectancy of this species is 7 to 8 years and that the current known age record for wild spotted woodpeckers is 12 years and 8 months!

As luck would have it, on this very day a professional photographer was on site, who was also able to portray the beautiful woodpecker female.  The female bird was still very fit, so there is hope that it will grace Vienna´s Wilhelminenberg for a while longer and maybe even break the current age record.

12-year old great spotted woodpecker female (Photo © Johannes Hloch)

Fourth AOC bird ringer meeting

Numerous bird ringers of all ages met at the House of Nature in Salzburg on Saturday, 16 February 2019, for the 4th annual meeting of the Austrian Ornitholocigal Centre, AOC.

Apart from the current AOC annual report and discussions about bird ringing matters, Jan von Rönn held an informative lecture on the analysis of ringing- and recapture data.  Jan van Rönn is head of the bird ringing centre at the Swiss Ornithological Institute in Sempach.  Two volunteer bird ringers gave talks about the Little Owl and the Wheatear, which provided interesting insights into species-specific ringing projects.

The AOC team would like to thank all participants and presenters as well as the host for the successful event and the nice joint dinner!

Participants at the 4th Austrian bird ringer meeting (Photo: Stefan Graf)
Photo of meeting participants

News Archive AOC 2



Recovered a bird ring?

Photo of bird rings

Please report your recovery here 3.