Balloonist Fined For Disturbing Birds

A 36-year-old hot air balloonist has been fined 300 euros by a judge in the Hague for disturbing breeding birds in a protected nature area.

The balloonist flew his balloon too low over the Nieuwkoopse Plassen (lake) in June 2005 and frightened hundreds of breeding birds. The judge found the balloonist responsible for keeping the birds off of their nests during incubation which proved fatal for many of the nests.

Changes in the wind caused the balloon to drift towards Schiphol Airport. In order to avoid breaching that prohibited area, the balloonist decided to bring the balloon down in the protected lake area instead.

Source: Ballonvaarder beboet voor storen broedende vogels

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