Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux (LPO)
– UK branch

Wild Birds Know No Frontiers

Every day the world grows smaller. Birds are constantly crossing man-made barriers as well as the natural ones they have had to contend with for centuries. Whether from the Arctic, Scandinavia, Britain or Central Europe, their paths inevitably take them through France on their way to winter quarters in the Mediterranean and beyond.

Ospreys from Scotland, Black-tailed Godwits and Spoonbills from Holland, Cranes and Honey Buzzards from Scandinavia, Brent Geese from Russia, as well as the hordes of Willow Warblers, Swallows, Cuckoos, Tree Pipits and all the other familiar woodland and farmland birds of northern Europe – all need safe havens here if they are to survive from one season to the next.

And it is not just the migrants. France is one of the largest countries of western Europe. Its landscapes range from the high mountains of the Alps and Pyrenees, through the wooded hills of the Massif Central, the plains and lakes of Champagne, to the marshes and estuaries of the Vendée and the Camargue. Habitats like these are the very heartland of the breeding bird populations of western Europe.

Everyone knows of the Camargue – for many older birdwatchers it was their first venture into the wider world of European birding. Others have visited the lakes of La Brenne and the mountains of the Pyrenees. More recently the Cranes and White-tailed Eagles of the north-eastern lakes have attracted much attention. But much of the rest of the country still seems to be unknown territory as far as many birdwatchers are concerned.

And yet, there are some wonderful birds and places waiting to be discovered – Bluethroats in the west coast marshes, White Storks breeding as close as Normandy, Collared Flycatchers in Lorraine, Griffon Vultures in the Cevennes, hordes of raptors crossing the Pyrenees – more than are seen at the Bosphorus. And this in spite of the fact that France is the most popular foreign destination with British holidaymakers, and that French is the most widely taught second language in British schools. Not to mention the myriads of British citizens who own holiday homes in France, or who have retired there. If you want to know more about the birds of France, to find out the best places to go to see them, and to help protect them and the places in which they live, join the LPO today, or subscribe to one of its publications – L'Oiseau Magazine and Ornithos.

Investing for the Future

The LPO works for the protection of birds and the places on which they depend for nesting, wintering and during their migration.

The LPO in Action

The LPO, with the help of its members (ca 44,000) and supporters,

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