The European Commission is taking Germany, Austria and Poland to the European Court of Justice for failure to comply with the Birds Directive. The three countries have failed to designate sufficient Special Protection Areas.
Eight countries that joined the EU in 2004 will also receive warnings for failure to comply with the Directive. Of the states that joined in 2004, only Estonia is currently in compliance.
Read more about the Commission’s actions.
Posted in Aside, Europe, Law
Last week thousands of nests on the Dutch Wadden islands were washed away. A combination of strong winds and rain caused dikes to flood and drown the nests.
Most of the nests of the 10,000 breeding pairs of birds on Ameland were washed away. At least 5000 seagull nests were lost. Many tern chicks were preparing for fledging but as the nests were washed away they lost their parents and may not be able to find them again.
The damage to nests on the islands Schiermonnikoog and Terschelling was also significant.
Source: Duizenden nesten Friese kwelders weggespoeld
Aberdeen Red Kites (ARK) plans on releasing 30 Red Kites per year into the wild, in an attempt to reintroduce the bird to Scotland, where they were persecuted to extinction in the 19th century.
The Kites will be fitted with radio transmitters so the ARK can track their progress and behavior. The public will also be encouraged to report sightings of the Red Kites. The birds will also be fitted with wing tags.
Read more about the ARK project.
Yesterday sightings of Eurasian Griffon Vultures continued to pour in from throughout the Netherlands.
Sightings Tuesday came from seven provinces: Noord Brabant, Noord Holland, Gelderland, Utrecht, Zuid Holland, Friesland and Limburg. The most sightings noted on www.waarneming.nl (also in English) were in Noord Brabant. In all over 100 different sightings were recorded throughout the day.
Source: Vale gieren blijven hangen in Brabant
One of the largest known bird of prey roosts was discovered by French BirdLife researchers in Senegal in January. The roost is thought to contain over 28,000 Lesser Kestrels and over 16,000 African Swallow-tailed Kites.
It is not unusual for raptors to roost communally during the non-breeding season, but the discovery of this ‘super-roost’ is remarkable because of the large number of individual birds. The roost may contain birds that breed in Morocco, Spain, Portugal and France.
Read more about the ‘super-roost’.
Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) by Lip Kee, Creative Commons on Flickr
The 6th Annual Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival, a month-long affair, kicked off last weekend on Earth Day. The event raises support and awareness for the Caribbean’s 208 endemic bird species.
The theme for the festival this year is the thread of climate change. Events will include birding excursions, exhibitions and competitions.
Read more about the Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival
A report by the UK Dept. for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) exonerated wild birds as the cause of the 2006 outbreak of H5N1 in Suffolk.
The DEFRA report states in part: “There was no evidence to support the hypothesis that wild birds were the source of the outbreak. This was based on the fact that there had been no isolations of H5N1 from wild birds in Europe during the 2006/7 wild bird migration period and subsequent residency”
Read more about the DEFRA report.
A Bar-tailed Godwit set a long distance migration record for the longest non-stop flight when it flew from New Zealand to China, a distance of more than 10,000 kilometers. The bird was tracked via satellite.
The Godwit traveled the great distance over a period of just nine days, facing a headwind. The study of the birds is part of the Pacific Shorebird Migration Project.
Read more about the Project.
Results from the UK’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) Big Garden Birdwatch revealed a decline in back yard birds across the island nation. Resident and migrant birds have abandoned residential gardens for wilder areas.
The RSPB believes the mild winter across Europe resulted in fewer birds migrating to the UK and more birds feeding in the countryside.
The House Sparrow was the top back yard bird with just under 4.5 per garden.
Read more about the Big Garden Birdwatch.
The first Bald Eagle nest in 200 years was discovered recently in Philadelphia. The birds are being monitored by wildlife officials but the nest location is not being revealed to the public.
Read more about the return of the Philadelphia Eagles.