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Schulze-Hagen, Kaiser, Heinroth: Die Vogel-WG

Language: German
22,00 €
Tax amount 1,44 €

The Bird WG

The Heinroths, their 1000 birds and the beginnings of behavioral research


Curious and entertaining bird observations of a Berlin zoologist couple


An apartment in the middle of Berlin. Birds in every room. A nightjar broods on the carpet, a woodpecker pecks holes in the cupboard, a swift circles through the living room. A real scenario. It lies 100 years in the past. This book tells the life story of the naturalist couple Heinroth, who raised almost 1,000 birds in their apartment. With a subtle sense of humor, the Heinroths describe their observations and thus bring native bird species unusually close to the reader. The curious and instructive descriptions are accompanied by their best photographs, which have only recently been rediscovered.


Exciting and interesting facts from close research on formerly common and today very rare bird species:


Oskar Heinroth and his equally passionate wife Magdalene are considered the founders of behavioral research. For more than 30 years they raised native birds in their home from eggs they had searched for themselves or were given, observed their behavior and documented it in text and pictures. For naturalists of the early 20th century, a visit to the Heinroths' aviary was the "non plus ultra". Today these two researchers are almost forgotten. In addition to the life story of the researcher couple, the book contains descriptions of over 100 native bird species from blackbird to nightjar. The historical picture material is supplemented by original texts and quotations.


Thus this entertaining natural history not only describes the exciting and bizarre life of the committed researcher couple Heinroth and their scientific achievements, but is at the same time a historical document of the time, which encourages reflection on the creeping disappearance of birds in Central Europe.


Authors: Karl Schulze-Hagen, Gabriele Kaiser, Oskar and Magdalena Heinroth

The doctor and biologist Dr. Karl Schulze-Hagen leads a double life. In everyday life he looks after pregnant women in a group practice, in his spare time he studied the reproduction of songbirds for many years. Due to a lack of time, he is now researching the history of ornithology, as this is also possible in the evenings after work. He is particularly fond of the eccentric and passionate personalities that are not uncommon among ornithologists. The - almost forgotten - Heinroths and their achievements can be considered a prime example of this. The result of his diverse studies are over 80 publications and five books, including two that were voted "Best Bird Book of the Year" in Great Britain.


Oskar Heinroth (1847-1945) was a zoologist, director of the aquarium at the Berlin Zoo and Konrad Lorenz's teacher, as well as an excellent photographer. Together with his first wife Magdalene, he raised about 1000 birds (of 286 species) from the egg onwards in their private Berlin rented apartment over a period of 28 years and described the details of their youth development in words and pictures. This resulted in the unique work "Birds of Central Europe" (1926-1933), 4 voluminous volumes with more than 1000 pages and 511 full-page plates, which founded the comparative behavioral research on birds. About 500 of his 20,000 photographs miraculously survived the Berlin bombing raids, many of them are unique and expressive portraits of our native bird life.


Dr. Gabriele Kaiser studied library science and history and is a research assistant in the Manuscript Department of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. She earned her doctorate and is working on historical manuscripts of Germany, Switzerland and Australia, among others on the physician, alchemist and printer Leonhard Thurneysser zum Thurn. Her last publication was Diethelm Eikermann's Die Pest in Berlin in 1576, a rediscovered plague publication. In addition, she curates historical and scientific exhibitions, including those about the zoologist and Berlin Zoo Director Heinrich Dathe. Currently she is working on natural history expeditions in the early 20th century.


1st edition 2020, 272 pages, 136 colored illustrations, hardcover


Language: German

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