Döberitzer Heide

Brandenburg  >  Germany

Large area of open heathland, scattered trees, grassland and young woodland, just outside the city boundary west of Berlin.

Added* by Steven Schulting
Most recent update 1 July 2022


This site has a long history as a military training ground, but is now a nature reserve. A legacy of the military background however is that certain parts (south) are prohibited due to residual munitions, but the accessible paths are well marked. A more positive effect of its military legacy is that it is one of the few remaining sites in Germany where one can find the European Tadpole Shrimp (Triops Cancriformis), the oldest living species on the planet estimated to be over 200 million years old. The deep tracks created by tanks and other military vehicles created the water pools that the tadpole shrimps need to survice.

But of course, this site is also an excellent site for birding, especially in summer a visit can be very rewarding as the open landscape offers good line of sight where other more forested habitats obscure the view in this vegetation abundant season. Like most heathlands, it is very quiet in winter apart from some resident woodland birds.

In summer however the sound of Golden Oriole can sometimes already be heard from the parking area. Spotting them will take a bit more luck or patience however. Not so hard to find are the Red-backed Shrike that are literally everywhere. Also abundantly present are Northern Wheatear, Wood Lark, Skylark, Black Redstart and Common Redstart. There is also a fair chance of seeing Hoopoe, Wryneck and European Honey-buzzard .



You can start from train station Elstal or Eingang Döberitzer Heide (Parking place). From the northern edge there are also entry points at Havelpark, Sperlingshof and Elstal. You can make a circular walk of 20 km (marked with red dots) that also passes a watchtower and several viewpoints (see the map below).

Terrain and Habitat

Scattered trees and bushes , Grassland , Moors/heathland , Forest


Sandy , Open landscape

Circular trail


Is a telescope useful?


Good birding season

Spring , Autumn , Summer

Best time to visit



Unpaved road

Difficulty walking trail

Average walk

Accessible by


Birdwatching hide / platform


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Top 5 birds

Other birds you can see here

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