New book: Birds of the Lake Neusiedl Region

17. May 2023
A new book published by the Natural History Museum Vienna is devoted to a detailed exploration of the great variety of avian fauna around Lake Neusiedl, featuring all 371 species of wild birds that have been documented in the region. The region was mapped over decades in close cooperation between Austrian and Hungarian ornithologists. The book is available for pre-order until 15 September 2023 for a subscription price of €65 (later €95) at the publishing house of NHM Vienna.
Lake Neusiedl and the adjoining Seewinkel region are situated on the western edge of the Little Hungarian Plain, a part of the Pannonian Basin that extends into Hungary, Austria and Slovakia. In this area with some characteristics of a steppe, rare animals and plants are found, some of them at the westernmost edge of their habitat. This brought researchers to the region as early as the beginning of the 19th century. Johann Natterer (1787-1843), whose name is closely linked to the collections of the Natural History Museum Vienna, tracked avian wildlife in the region as early as 1806. Many bird-watchers and amateur ornithologists have followed his lead to this day, fascinated by the wealth of bird species on the lake, in the reed belt, on the region’s small salt water lakes, and in its pastures and meadows. Countless papers and publications, as well as the collection of NHM Vienna, attest to the great variety of birds in the region.

What was missing till now, however, was a modern compendium of avian fauna, a foundational work bringing together this expertise. The new publication “Die Vogelwelt des Neusiedler See-Gebietes” (Birds of the Lake Neusiedl Region) was written under the aegis of Dr. Michael Dvorak (BirdLife Austria) and offers bird enthusiasts detailed information on all wild bird species documented in the region. The region has been mapped for decades in close cooperation between Austrian and Hungarian ornithologists. The result is a comprehensive book on avian wildlife in the Lake Neusiedl region. For each of the bird species documented, the publication features a photograph and a summary of the main facts. It also includes detailed information on the habitat, regional distribution, past numbers and population development of each species. Handy distribution maps and diagrams showing the seasonal occurrence of common species complete the descriptions.

“The book discusses the results of ornithological research and the interactions between climate, landscape and birds, but also touches on aspects of nature conservation and bird protection,” says Hans-Martin Berg, manager of the Ornithological Collection at NHM Vienna and co-author of the new publication.
It also addresses the sometimes severe transformation of the landscape, and the threat of Lake Neusiedl and even more so the small lakes drying up due to climate change, developments whose impact on avian fauna is already being felt.

The publication is released in cooperation between BirdLife Austria and NHM Vienna.

Die Vogelwelt des Neusiedler See-Gebietes, Dvorak, M., Grüll, A., Ranner, A., Laber, J., Berg, H.-M., Pellinger, A., Hadarics, T., Kohler, B., Verlag des Naturhistorischen Museums Wien, 2023.
ISBN: 978-3-903096-65-3
(hardcover/approx. 850 pages)

Video with Hans-Martin Berg about the new publication “Birds of the Lake Neusiedl Region”:
Available for pre-order at a reduced subscription price of €65 at: