Ornithology is the study of birds and the term ‘birder’ is for bird watchers that travel long distances to spot a rare bird. When a birder sees a certain bird, they check if off on their list. There is even a 24 hour World Series of Birding which is held in New Jersey every year!
Well if you can’t make it to the World Series of Birding, you can still home in your inner ornithologist (that is just pecking to get out) at the Adlerwarte Niederwald (Niederwald Eagle Sanctuary) located on top of the hills in Rüdesheim.
The Location and History
First of all, this eagle sanctuary is located in one of the most beautiful views I have ever seen. It is located right next to the Niederwald monument on the top of Rüdesheim. You can get there by going up the cable cars or driving up the mountain in your car to the car park. No doubt these birds are living on some prime real estate!
Founded in 1968, the mission of the sanctuary is to look after injured birds of prey and owls as well as raise abandoned chicks. As soon as the birds are either recovered or are grown enough, they are then released in the wild.
The sanctuary has 15 different species of bird of prey with 30 to 35 birds in total. You can even catch the birds flight training from time to time.
Also Go Hiking
The sanctuary has wonderful woods with spectacular views of the Rhein, and it is also a perfect place where you can go for a hike! Some famous locations nearby is the old town of Rudesheim, Bingen, Schloss Johannisberg, and the Niederwald monument.
What to Expect
You can buy your tickets at the entry way. The entrance price is adults € 4.50 and children 3-14 years it is € 3. There is also a family group rate for € 10.
The ticket man was very nice and we were ready to see his birds!
There is a path in the sanctuary where you can view the birds in their cages. The cages have plenty of room and often times have only one bird per cage.
We were looking at them and they were looking right back at us!
I think of the coolest things about the sanctuary compared to a zoo is that you know these birds will be back in the wild someday soon. So now we have a rare opportunity for an up close look and have a connection with them.
The path was peaceful and didn’t feel like a zoo at all. It was important for us to be quiet and respect the birds in the sanctuary.
The cutest of the day award went to the baby owls, especially the one that was missing an eye. It’s such a good feeling to know that he (like all of the inhabitants) will be taken care of while at the sanctuary.
The most impressive and my personal favorite was the adult owl! His talons were so impressive, and I thought it was so amazing to look into his eyes.
Right outside the sanctuary there is a restaurant with an incredible view!
Unless you have ornithophobia (an abnormal and irrational fear of birds), the Niederwald Eagle Sanctuary is a great place to go when you want to leave your weekend living room nest!
How to Get There
Address: Zum Niederwald-Denkmal
65385 Rüdesheim am Rhein
The sanctuary is just under an hour drive from Wiebaden.
Author’s Profile: Gemma is a Jersey Broad Abroad living in Wiesbaden, Germany, and she is enjoying her extended European vacation.
Featured Image Photo Credit: © Gemma