Category Archives: Europe

Sugar Factory Closures Threaten Lapwings In Great Britain

“The closure of two sugar factories could have a devastating impact on one of England’s most rapidly declining farmland birds. Lapwings are attracted to farms growing sugar beet, nesting and foraging on the bare earth between plants in the spring and summer and feeding on the winter stubble. But their habitat is under threat following recent reforms to the heavily subsidized EU sugar regime, intended to reduce its high cost and its negative impact on developing countries.” Read the full story Sugar factory closures leave bitter taste on the RSPB website.

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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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Lost Racing Pigeons Rescued From Deserted Island

Racing pigeons, blown off course by storms, have been rescued from remote Scottish islands by National Trust staff. The birds faced starvation due to lack of suitable vegetation, or becoming prey to other birds, if they remained on the island. Some of the lost birds are believed to have started their journey from as far away as France. Read the full story Lost pigeons saved from islands on the BBC.

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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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