Category Archives: Netherlands

Netherlands Results Of Birdwatch 2006

Volunteers counted birds at over 130 locations in the Netherlands last Saturday as part of World Birdwatch 2006. From the spotting points as many birds as possible were counted during their migration south.

This year the European Starling was the most counted bird, just as last year. 114,000 individuals were counted. In second place was the Common Chaffinch, and the Lapwing came in third place. In total 193 different species were counted.

Here is the complete top 10:

European Starling
Common Chaffinch
Meadow Pipit
Black-headed Gull
Greylag Goose
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Eurasian Wigeon
Mew Gull

Sightings of note:

One group of 68,807 Common Starlings at Kinderdijk
1025 Northern Gannets
83 Great Egrets
36 Peregrine Falcons
14 Ospreys
5 European Honey Buzzards
2 Little Bitterns
One Rose-colored Starling
One Black Stork
One Little Bunting
One Eurasian Hoopoe

Spreeuw met stip op één
Resultaten Birdwatch 2006

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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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World Bird Festival 2006

The world’s biggest birding event will take place 7-8 October. It is Birdwatch weekend, which kicks off a month-long celebration during BirdLife International’s World Bird Festival. The worldwide festival includes participation by 32 European countries. In 2005 more than 40,000 European participants were involved in 1,427 events where over three million birds were observed. Dutch Birdlife International, Vogelbescherming, is organizing a few events in the Netherlands. You can read more about it here. To find out more about the World Bird Festival, click here.

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Seniors Forbidden To Feed Pigeons

An elderly couple from the Dutch town of Leeuwarden has been forbidden to feed pigeons within a two kilometer radius from their house. That was the judgement from the Frisian court on Thursday. Thirteen neighbor families brought the senior couple to court for attracting dozens of pigeons to their neighborhood, along with the nuisance of pigeon poop and coos. Food that was not eaten by the pigeons also attracted vermin to the neighborhood.

The offenders will be allowed to keep fifteen domestic pigeons in their yard, but they may only be fed in a caged area to prevent wild birds from returning to the garden.

Source: Bejaarden krijgen verbod op voeren duiven

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Dutch Nightjar Survey Finds Increased Numbers

This summer the twelfth annual edition of the European Nightjar survey took place in the Sallandse Heuvelrug, in the province of Overijssel in the Netherlands. Volunteers found the birds in a record 62 different locations this year, which is an increase of six locations from last year.

In total 42 volunteers counted the birds from 16 different areas over the course of three nights.

The nightjar lives in heath land. They are difficult to spot but more easily heard; their rattling call is unmistakable. Nightjars live in the Sallandse Heuvelrug during their nesting season, from May until August.


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No Exemption From Fauna Law: Leiden vs. Gulls

The government of Leiden will not seek an exemption to the flora-and-fauna act in order to alleviate the gull ‘problem’ the city faces. Political party CDA had pushed for such action earlier this month.

The municipality is in agreement with CDA that the situation with gulls in Leiden is a problem that needs a solution. The city will seek advice from other communities which have solved gull problems. Leiden has also been in contact with a Scottish research team looking into gull-problems. City garbage clean up has also been more stringent in an attempt to rid the city of the annoying birds.

Besides depriving Leiden residents of peace and quiet, the CDA also theorized that the gulls endanger road traffic by attacking drivers. However, behavioral research of gulls has so far not found them to be intentionally aggressive towards humans without being provoked first.

Breeding Season For Seagulls In Leiden
Gulls: Leiden Political Party Vs. Animal Protection Group
Dutch Street ‘Infested’ With Seagulls
Local Government Debates Over Seagull Nuisance

Source: Gemeente doet niets aan meeuwenoverlast

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Dutch White-Tailed Eagle: It’s A Girl!

The White-tailed Eagle hatched in the Oostvaardersplassen earlier this year is a girl. The radio program Vroege Vogels (Early Birds) made the announcement last Sunday. The young bird is already so large that she can no longer be ringed.

Experts claim the bird is a female because she is already larger than her father. In most birds of prey, females are larger than males.

Since female eagles are less likely to roam than males, the future is looking bright for the population to grow in Holland. The female bird will likely remain close to the Oosvaardersplassen.

Source: Zeearend: Hoera het is een meisje!

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Dutch Ministry: No Bird Flu At Rotterdam Zoo

Last week MFB reported that H5N1 was found in two dead owls at the Rotterdam zoo. On Monday this week an agriculture ministry spokesperson indicated that initial tests show the birds did not in fact die from H5N1. Definitive results will be made public on Friday. Read the full story Two dead owls at Dutch zoo probably not infected with bird flu.

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Conservationists Fight Against Gas Extraction In Wadden Sea

BirdLife Holland, or Vogelbescherming, is fighting to prevent oil concern NAM (Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij) from taking oil from the Waddenzee (Wadden Sea). The bird agency contests the license NAM has been given to take the gas. The first gas is allowed to be taken on 1 January 2007.

The Wadden Sea is the most important bird area in the Netherlands, and an extremely important link in the East Atlantic migration route. The Dutch government has promised to intervene in case there are problems during gas extraction, but Vogelbescherming does not find this suitable.

Vogelbescherming is backed by BirdLife International in their protest. Natuurmonumenten and the Wadden Society are not protesting the action. The Wadden Society gave up the protest in 2005.

Source: Vogelbeschermers in geweer tegen gaswinning Waddenzee

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Gulls: Leiden Political Party vs. Animal Protection Group

Citizens of the South Holland city of Leiden have complained about nuisance from gulls for years. During the breeding season the noise level is so great that people cannot sleep at night. The local branch of the political party CDA wants to put an end to the nuisance once and for all. They are seeking an exception to the ‘flora-and-fauna’ law which prohibits killing the gulls. The animal protection group Dierenbescherming opposes the plan.

CDA is taking the problem of sleep deprivation seriously. Public safety is also affected by the gulls, who rip open garbage bags and litter the city. The gulls have also been known to attack people if they feel their young are being threatened.

Seeking the killing exception comes after the city has already tried to discourage the birds by shaking eggs and placing anti-gull netting over popular nesting spots. A falconer was also used, but to no success.

In a press release Dierenbescherming recognized the nuisance caused by the gulls but called for alternative solutions to be explored, rather than killing the birds. The protection of these splendid, ingenious birds is worth the trouble. Shooting birds will not be a lasting solution and will only lead to the birds suffering.

Dierenbescherming proposes the only way to get the gulls out of Leiden is to reduce the food on offer for them. Therefore Leiden has to improve trash disposal and insure containers are closed and clean up must be more frequent.

CDA Leiden wil af van meeuwenterreur
Dierenbescherming verafschuwt meeuwenplan CDA

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