The Dutch authorities have confiscated 2199 illegally traded birds in the Netherlands so far this year. That is almost double the number confiscated in the same period last year.
The illegal bird trade in the Netherlands continues to flourish because the rewards are so high. Some birds, such as raptors, sell for as much as 400 euros.
The illegally traded birds are often banded so they can be traded more openly. But the banding is sometimes done by unqualified banders which results in injuries to the birds.
Source: Grote stijging in beslag genomen vogels
10,000 hungry vultures are causing panic in the Pyrenees and Basque Country. They have been attacking live animals and have also been aggressive towards humans.
The vultures are starving due to a new EU directive which prohibits farmers from leaving cattle carcasses on their land to rot. The dead animals must now be burned or disposed of in another way. The initiative is to prevent disease spread among cattle but the results have been devastating for the vultures.
Live cows have been attacked by vultures and a farmer in the Pyrenees witnessed a group of vultures trying to eat the leg of a living sheep.
In France, a man among a group of elderly walkers died during an outing and his companions were threatened by a group of vultures as they tried to get at the dead man.
Source: Hongerige vale gieren zaaien paniek in Pyreneeën
The Teylers Museum in Haarlem, the Netherlands, plans to exhibit one of the world’s largest and most expensive books to the public. The Birds of America, by John James Audubon, will be on display from 3 November until 20 January 2008.
Teylers will show five parts of the book. Due to the value and size of the book, it is rarely displayed. A copy of the book sold at a 2002 Christie’s auction for almost nine million dollars.
Most of the bird illustrations in the book are life-size. The book measures 64 x 97 centimeters.
The Teylers Museum in Haarlem is the oldest museum in the Netherlands.
Source: Teylers Museum toont vogels van formaat
A wildlife management specialist in the Netherlands has a unique way of dealing with nuisance geese in the Hof van Delft park – he talks to them.
Martin Hof relocates geese from city centers and educates the public on issues related to the waterfowl. He has an remarkable rapport with the birds and can be seen whistling and whispering to the geese on their level while keeping their numbers to a manageable level.
Read more about the Goose Whisperer of Delft.
In October 2005 Dutch researchers discovered a mass-grave of Dodo birds on the island of Mauritius. In June 2006 an international team of scientists returned to the location for further study. A new party from the Leiden museum Naturalis plans to return to Mauritius in August 2007 for more research.
The Dodo grave on Mauritius may be the largest such natural cache of animal bones in the world. Few such graves are found on volcanic islands, making the Mauritius cache even more remarkable.
The team from Naturalis plans to further excavate the bones, which lie one meter underground, by draining the soil. This special method of excavation will allow scientists to determine the age of the bone cache with more accuracy.
Source: Nieuwe dodo-expeditie naar Mauritius
Woodlark numbers have risen 89% over the last ten years. The birds are breeding on English farms in greater numbers due to land improvements and habitat-building.
A recent survey estimated the number of breeding pairs of woodlark at 3,084. There were just 241 pairs in 1986.
Read more about Woodlarks in Britain.
A recent report reveals that Turtle Dove numbers are down 61% in the UK in the past 12 years. The bird has effectively disappeared from the north and southwest of England.
The Turtle Dove is a migratory visitor to the UK. The number of breeding pairs spending the summer in the British Isles is steadily decreasing. A number of factors have been cited, including illegal hunting along the migratory route and changes in UK agricultural practices affecting food supplies.
Read more about the missing Turtle Doves.
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.