Category Archives: Europe

Spoonbills Discover New Hangout In Holland

At least ten spoonbills have been spotted recently at the Zwaakse Weel in Zeeland, the Netherlands. They have nested on the Middelplaten and are now feeding in the area before their migration south.

Last February Natuurmonumenten began the first phase of a plan to make the Zwaakse Weel more appealing for birds and animals. The area covers approximately 200 hectare. The area was formerly used for agriculture. Besides inviting nature back, the area is also being developed for recreational use. A fishing pier was installed, as well as a viewing tower, accessible for the handicapped. Walking and bicycle paths have also been constructed.

Source: Lepelaars ontdekken Zwaakse Weel

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H5N1 Bird Flu In Dutch Zoo

Earlier this week it was revealed that two young owls in the Rotterdam zoo died from the deadly bird flu strain H5N1. As the first zoo in the world to inoculate all of their birds against the flu, the news came as a surprise.

The owls were born in May, after the last round of shots given to the bird population at the zoo.

A low-pathogenic H7 bird flu strain was discovered at a Dutch farm earlier this month, prompting five countries to ban imports of Dutch poultry.

Source: Vogelpest in Blijdorp

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RSPB: Scottish Crossbill Is Britain’s Only Endemic Bird

“Although the British Ornithologists Union has classed the Scottish crossbill as a distinct species since 1980 many ornithologists, including those in the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, have hesitated to follow suit, as they believed there was not enough scientific research to prove it was different from other crossbills. But after undertaking years of study into the habits and characteristics of the bird, which thrives in Scotland’s conifer woodland, the RSPB has at last accepted that the Scottish crossbill is unique to Britain.” Read the full story A Scottish accent gives away Britain’s only indigenous bird in The Independent.

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British Soldiers Follow The Birds In Afghanistan

“The RSPB’s online video footage of osprey chicks has been entertaining the troops in Afghanistan. The RSPB has received emails from soldiers serving in war torn Afghanistan, thanking them for the web-based coverage, which allows them to keep in touch with the wildlife of home.” Read the full story RSPB webcams keeping spirits up in Afghanistan at the RSPB.

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Illegal Bird Trading Problem In Holland

A study by the Dutch bird protection agency Vogelbescherming has revealed that there is a big problem with illegally caught wild birds in the Netherlands. Nests are robbed and the hatchlings are sold at bird shows and markets and over the internet.

The illegal trade of wild birds has been investigated more thoroughly since the subject was brought before the European Court in 1996. Since that time legally traded birds must be ringed. According to Vogelbescherming, the ringing process has been circumvented with illegal and forged rings.

Source: Wilde vogels zijn vogelvrij

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Dutch Street ‘Infested’ With Gulls

About a hundred seagulls living in the area of Marienpoelstraat in the Dutch town of Leiden are driving the residents crazy.

The birds make so much noise that residents cannot sit in their gardens in the evening, which is a true hardship during the current heatwave striking the country. It is also impossible to leave windows open in the night due to the excess noise made by the gulls.

Some residents have placed wires on their roofs in order to prevent gulls from building nests there. However, there are enough roofs around without anti-gull protection for the birds to nest in great numbers. It is also difficult to prevent the birds from nesting on flat roofs.

According to bird expert Frits van der Sluis, the nuisance from the birds is the most noticeable this time of year. The baby gulls are not confident with flying or leaving the nest and parents are nervous and vocalizing warnings to the babies almost constantly. The baby gulls should all fledge within two to three weeks and the nuisance for the most part should be over.

In Leiden there are also large gull populations around Drie Octoberstraat and some spots in the city center.

Source: Meeuwen teisteren Marienpoelstraat

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White-Tailed Eagle Fledgling A Quick Learner

Holland’s recently fledged White-Tailed Eagle is proving to be a quick learner. The bird made its first flight last Thursday and this week has already been seen soaring gracefully above the treetops.

The parents birds have been seen giving the youth lessons in flight and hunting. The young bird is picking up on flying skills very quickly.

Source: Zeearend is snelle leerling

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Holland’s White-Tailed Eagle Fledges!

Forest rangers from the Oostvaardersplassen in the Netherlands have announced that the White-Tailed Eagle hatched in May has successfully fledged last Thursday.

The fledge occurred at about 3pm on Thursday. The White-Tailed Eagle is the largest bird of prey in Europe. When it was announced earlier this year that a pair of White-Tailed Eagles was nest-sitting in the Oostvaardersplassen, rangers took steps to insure that the birds would not be disturbed by the public. In the park visitor center there is a six-minute video of the eagles available for public viewing.

After this year’s successful nest, there is a great chance that more White-Tailed Eagles will breed in the same area. The birds, who prefer large open watery areas, live in their breeding area year-round and re-use nests for many years.

Dutch White-Tailed Eagle Ready To Fledge
White-Tailed Eagle Nest Attracts Dutch Birders
White-Tailed Eagle Returns To The Netherlands

Source: Jonge zeearend verlaat nest

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200 Graylag Geese Dead On Dutch Island

The Dutch national forest management agency (Staatsbosbeheer) revealed that in the last month two hundred Graylag Geese were found dead on the island of Texel of unknown causes. The birds were found in the De Muy reserve, which is part of the Dunes National Park on the island.

Although the cause of death is still unknown, the agency did assure the public that the dead birds posed no danger to humans and did not carry botulism or the H5N1 virus. The population of Graylag Geese over the entire Netherlands has risen dramatically in recent years.

Source: Tweehonderd ganzen Texel om onduidelijke reden dood

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