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.
Category Archives: Europe
A proposed new road in Poland threatens wildlife and habitats which are protected under European law. Over 150,000 Poles have already signed a petition against the construction, but now the Polish version of BirdLife International invites concerned citizens in cyberspace to help the cause with their online petition. Read more about the cause here, and click here to sign the petition.
“London Mayor Ken Livingstone defended his policy of slashing the numbers of pigeons in Trafalgar Square, amid a flap over the cost of keeping the famous tourist landmark bird-free. Feathers were also flying among animal rights activists after it emerged that two hawks deployed in the square, intended to scare off pigeons, were in fact killing them.” Read the full story at Yahoo News.
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.
A pair of young honey buzzards have been fitted with transmitters so conservationists can track their migration. The birds breed in the UK and winter in Africa and Asia. The birds left their summer homes in the Scottish Highlands on 7 September.
The city council of Gloucester in the UK is expanding a program of placing plastic eggs in Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gull nests. The plastic eggs keep the birds sitting on their nests longer which in turn reduces the nuisance they cause. Read the full story Decoy gull eggs scheme expanded at the BBC.
Hundreds of finches across Britain are dying from an outbreak of trichomoniasis, a parasite which causes the birds a painful death but is not harmful to humans. The disease is transmitted via water or saliva, as infected birds share bird feeders and baths with healthy birds. Garden hygiene can stop the spread and homeowners are asked to keep bird feeding areas clean and change the water supply regularly. Read more about the epidemic in Garden finches fall prey to deadly virus on the Times Online.
Guillemots are being found starved to death along the coast of Scotland and Northern Ireland. The birds are able to dive up to 300 feet for fish, so indications are suggesting that they are suffering from a chronic shortage of food. Read the full article Starving guillemots hint at seabird crisis on the RSPB website.
“Britain’s birds of prey are doing better than ever before in modern times – with two notable exceptions. Many of the 15 species of eagles, buzzards, hawks and falcons that currently breed in Britain are on an upward curve, expanding both their numbers and their range, some spectacularly.” Hen harriers, which live on heather moorlands, come into conflict with grouse-shooting, while two golden eagles have been poisoned in Scotland in the past six months. Read the full story Birds of prey boom – but eagles and harriers still face persecution in the Independent.
“A pair of rare and secretive birds has been found in Shropshire for the first time in more than 20 years. The return of the nightjars, which are on the red list of threatened species in the UK, has sparked hopes of a revival of the bird in the area.” Read more in the BBC article Secretive birds return to county.