Intangible Cultural Heritage in Austria

Salzkammergut bird-catching

Applicant: Salzkammergutverband der Vogelfreunde, Obmann Alfred Riezinger
Province: Upper Austria
Domain: Practices concerning nature
Year of inclusion: 2010

The tradition of catching birds in Salzkammergut involves the capture of individual local woodland birds in autumn, and the woodland bird exhibition on the last Sunday before “Kathrein” (a religious holiday on November 25). This show features birds that stand out because of their colour, physical integrity and their flawless condition. It also provides information on their keeping in aviaries after the bird catching season. The birds are fed with local food that is collected throughout the year. Apart from decoys, all birds are set free again in springtime.

Stories about bird catchers and bird-catching are represented in figures displayed in the Christmas cribs of Salzkammergut, as well as in songs and poems about the region. Knowledge about bird behaviour in nature and in human care has been collected and passed down for centuries and generations.