“The sight of the blue rollers returning to the southeastern part of Styria from their wintering areas in Africa never fails to thrill me each year,” says Gudrun Tiefenbach-Kaufmann, showing us a photo of the vibrant blue bird that is, unfortunately, becoming increasingly hard to spot in Austria. This makes any sighting and photo of this rare species a particularly special highlight for any birder.
...even as a child. She spent countless hours in the garden by the pond or exploring the woodlands of the Krems region with friends. “Even overgrown areas of an old market garden were a great source of discoveries,” she recalls with a smile. “Exploring the animal world has always been a grounding experience for me.”
...during a commission for television with the Austrian bird protection organization Birdlife Österreich. The project awakened her interest in ornithology. Together with her ornithologist partner, she now spends a lot of time exploring her local region and the wider world.
Over ten years ago, a pair of SWAROVSKI OPTIK EL binoculars played an important part in awakening Gudrun’s love for birding.
The first experience of seeing birds up close and discovering hidden details without disturbing their natural behavior sparked a new passion. The binoculars she used back then are still among her favorites today, as is the ATX 65 spotting scope that she now uses for wildlife and nature film shoots as well as on her own personal trips.
Gudrun is a freelance biologist, nature and wildlife film producer, and trainer. Together with her partner, a fellow birding enthusiast, Gudrun runs a biology engineering office, but also plans species-appropriate zoo habitats and organizes exciting nature workshops for children and adults. Gudrun is currently expanding her extensive knowledge with a marketing course at the Danube University Krems, and has been happily working with SWAROVSKI OPTIK for several years as a certified digiscoping trainer.
...an intensively farmed area that unfortunately leaves little room for natural diversity. This makes the region’s last traditional and sustainably managed carp ponds even more precious, as a living environment and feeding habitat for countless animal species – and a source of many potential discoveries for birders like Gudrun. The biologist often walks from her home to the ponds in the hope of spotting, with a little luck, resting cranes, ospreys fishing for carp, and birds rarely sighted in Austria, such as squacco herons or yellow-headed wagtails.