Large birds as status symbols
Large migratory birds such as eagles, vultures, storks and pelicans that were shot and survived often end up captive as pets or exhibits in private homes, bird collections or dubious zoos. There, they are considered status symbols of sorts. Other large birds such as cranes or pelicans also have a considerable "circle of lovers" throughout the country. The conditions under which they are kept are often cruel and brutal: eagle buzzards and peregrine falcons kept in cages that are far too small, short-toed snake eagles tethered to car roofs in the middle of the city or lesser spotted eagles that have had their wings cut off - our teams have documented almost every conceivable husbandry situation.
The birds concerned are those that are deliberately shot during migration. The majority of the animals do not survive the hail of bullets - but those that do make it land in human hands as live exhibits. Especially in spring, when these animals are on their way back to their breeding grounds, shooting almost always means the end of their journey and is synonymous with one fewer breeding pairs in the breeding grounds. In the case of particularly endangered species such as the lesser spotted eagle or small populations, every individual counts