Rules for the behaviour of birders and photographers on Helgoland

During the last “Helgoländer Vogeltage” in October 2003 there were some people complaining about the behaviour of some birders and photographers. Already in 1991 the OAG Helgoland had introduced rules for the behaviour of birdwatchers. However, recently some birders seem to have forgotten these rules and therefore we will update these on this page. Most birders are guests on Helgoland and should set a good example in behaviour in following these rules:

Behaviour on Helgoland:
  1. The graveyard around the church must not be entered by any birdwatcher or photographer. The Helgoland graveyard is not comparable to large graveyards on the mainland, which usually are used by the public as quiet recreation area.

  2. On Düne Island, birding is only allowed from public tracks and the beaches. Especially the dunes along the beaches are very important for coastal protection and must not be entered. Along the beaches please keep a distance of at least 50 m to the roosting seals. The airstrip must not be entered during any time.

  3. On the main island please respect the privacy of the inhabitants, especially in the gardens around the lighthouse and along the Falm. Trespassing on private property is not allowed.

  4. The Youth Hostel is a good place for seawatching, especially during westerly winds. However, the best seawatching-spot is private property. The owner allowed us to use this place nevertheless. However, during the meals (8:00-9:00, 12:00-13:00, 18:00-19:00), guests do not like to see just the backs of birders and not the sea, so please respect that seawatching is not allowed along the windows during the meals.

  5. Entering the cliffs is not allowed, neither from the Kringel, nor from the Nordoststrand (beach west of the Youth Hostel). Especially at the northern cliff, there are daily small avalanches, which are nevertheless dangerous.

  6. The dunes between the Youth Hostel and the Jägerstieg must be entered only on the public tracks.

  7. The tripods have to be made small on the dune ferry and in the elevator. On both islands tripods should be parked in a way that pedestrians and electric cars can pass without problems.

General behaviour for birding and photographing:
  1. Please take care that neither the bird nor the nature takes any damage during birding or photographing.

  2. Please take also care of other birders or photographers. When a rare bird turns up, usually several birders are present. Beside taking care of the birds and natures health, please do not disturb the photographers.

  3. In case of a very rare bird, please respect other birders and do not line up between them and the bird. The same refers to seawatching places, where room is restricted. The one who comes first gets the best position.