International Red Kite census
Roost counts in Austria January 4th/ 5th 2020
Compiled by Hans Uhl & Katharina Bergmüller
On the weekend of 4th/ 5th of January 2020, observers controlled eight Red Kite roosts in
Austria. The roosts in Lower Austria near the border to Slovakia have not been occupied,
instead those individuals roosted across the border. In total, 203 individuals were counted at
roosts, which is an increase compared to the previous year.
In Vorarlberg, at Weitreid/Rankeweil close to the Swiss border, the largest roost with 93
individuals actually consisted of two roost separated by ca. 400 m. The presence of about 130
crows apparently did not have an influence. The number of roosting individuals has increased
from 14 in 2017 and seems to be in exchange with the nearby Swiss roosting place. The second
roost between Lustenau and Dornbirn has been occupied by 8 Red Kites, in the first of January
there were 30 individuals. It varies in size since 2017.
In the Alpine region, single individuals or small groups are continuously being observed over
the winter especially north of the Alps (Brgenzer Wald, Inn valley, Pintgau, Flachgau, Ennstal,
but also Kärnten). However, the only communal roosting place that could be confirmed is in
the Inn valley close to Münster in Tyrol, where compost works provide sufficient food. In
Upper Austria, two Red Kites have continuously been observed around Jeging. However, the
roost could not be detected.
In Eastern Austria, the large roosts near the March-Thaya-floodplains seem not to have been
occupied this winter, instead the Red Kites have roosted across the border in Slovakia.
However, the roost in Northern Burgenland (Zurndorf) has increased from 11 individuals in
2018 to 91 in 2020.