Randecker Maar

The Randecker Maar is a former volcanic vent in the Schwäbische Alb(Swabian Alb) in Southern Germany. The fact that the ascent to a height of some 800 metres above sea level flattens out at this point makes the Randecker Maar an important destination for migratory birds from the north, and migrating insects too. On their energy-sapping flight south these creatures, like people, try to save as much energy as possible. One way in which they can do this is to choose the easiest possible route for their journey. If you stand on the edge of the Randecker Maar, you can sometimes watch the birds fly past almost at eye level. This is why the Randecker Maar research station was built there in 1970. Since that time, it has been used to record long-term observations of bird and insect migration and forest ecology. Every creature that flies past the station - birds, dragonflies, hoverflies and butterflies alike - is recorded, and the data scientifically analysed. It is only through this kind of research work that changes in migration routes and alterations in delicate ecosystems can be identified at an early stage, and preventative measures taken to protect the natural world.

Once a year, the Randecker Maar research station opens its doors to the public. This gives interested birdwatchers and nature lovers the chance to share in the experience of watching the birds migrating over the beautiful scenery of the Schwäbische Alb from the research station. In order to experience more closely the fascination of the bird migration and the passing butterflies as well as the brilliant colours found in the natural world, visitors on this day are able to borrow high-performance binoculars, spotting scopes and Victory Photo Scopes designed by Carl Zeiss. Even the people who work at the research station rely on leading-edge optics, such as the Victory DiaScope from Carl Zeiss, for their observations throughout the year – whether they are dealing with the harshest conditions on wet and stormy autumn days or difficult light conditions on warm spring days, when the sun is already high in the sky, it is still possible to identify distant passing birds with ease.

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