Thousands of migratory birds on their way from
Africa to the Arctic have been stranded in Germany by freak cold
weather and strong headwinds, ornithologists said Thursday.
Germany, which usually shows the first signs of spring around now, is still under snow across wide areas, and the big chill is forecast to last another week.
The birds are also waiting for the strong winds to ease, said Berthold Langenhorst, a Hesse state ecologist.
"This is heaven for ornithologists," he said. "Normally the birds fly straight over us."
Masses of lapwings, plovers, skylarks and cranes have gathered in snow-free valleys north of Frankfurt to feed on whatever they can get in farmers' fields.
Nine storks which have come to the Hamburg area to nest are strutting through ankle-deep snow.
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