Category Archives: Europe

Dutch White-Tailed Eagle Ready To Fledge

The attracted attention earlier this year has raised one chick to fledgling age. The young bird is now almost as large as a full-grown eagle.

Forest rangers were surprised that the young mother eagle was able to raise a chick to maturity in her first attempt. The mother is believed to be three years old while the father is believed to be a more mature eagle.

The eagles began nest-sitting in March and by the beginning of May the egg had hatched. Due to the size of the nest (approximately 2.5 meters in diameter) and the deepness of the bowl, rangers were not able to see the number of eggs laid. However one chick is quite normal for this species.

The sex of the chick is not known. It has an almost black plumage, normal for a young eagle. White-Tailed Eagles achieve their adult plumage, which is much lighter, in their 5th or 6th year.

The parents bring food to the nest but the chick eats the meals alone. It is performing flying exercises on a regular basis which consists of fierce wing-flapping and some lift to a maximum of 2.5 meters. Rangers expect the bird to fledge within a week.

After fledging the bird will remain dependent on the parents for another two months while it learns how to hunt for itself.

Source: Jonge zeearend in Oostvaardersplassen op punt van uitvliegen

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Posted in Netherlands | 1 Comment

Dutch Town Gassing Pigeons

Last week a judge ruled that the Dutch town of Groningen can continue catching and gassing pigeons in the city center. The animal protection agency Dierenbescherming had tried to stop the killings by bringing a lawsuit against the municipality.

According to the judge the large population of pigeons is a serious nuisance in Groningen and the town is justified to catch the birds and kill them with poisonous gas.

Dierenbescherming had presented more humane methods of removing the birds from the city center, including luring the pigeons away with special food. According to the judge the alternative methods would not rid the town of the pigeons fast enough.

Source: Rechter: Groningen mag duiven vergassen

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Posted in Law, Netherlands, Pigeons! | 1 Comment

Wild Ducks Die Of Botulism In Holland

In the Dutch town of Heerenveen dozens of ducks have died from botulism. The illness struck in the middle of a heat wave currently affecting the Netherlands. The Frisian government has advised residents to notify the authorities in case dead birds are found in open water and to avoid swimming where dead birds have been found.

Most types of botulism are not dangerous for humans, but most do cause some symptoms of illness. In water fowl the disease is almost always fatal. The botulism has spread by bacteria dispersed on the warm, nutrient-rich surface of the water.

The dead ducks were discovered last weekend. Twelve ducks were removed on Sunday. Dead ducks were also found in other Frisian towns over the weekend, but the cause of death is not yet confirmed.

Source: Tientallen eenden dood door opwarming water

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Belgian Tern Colony Webcam

The largest breeding colony of terns in Western Europe can be seen by everyone thanks to a new webcam installed by BirdLife Belgium. The colony in the port of Zeebrugge hosted over 7,000 pairs of terns in 2004, including Common Terns, Sandwich Terns and Little Terns. The terns reside in an area of the port where public access is restricted, so the webcam at is the only way to view the birds. Read the full story Belgian terns go online! on BirdLife International.

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Spain Finds H5N1 In Wild Grebe

Last week Spain confirmed its first case of the H5N1 virus. The virus was discovered in a dead Great Crested Grebe found near the city of Vitoria in the Basque country in nothern Spain seven weeks ago. Experts will confirm the age and species of the bird and try to determine the sub-species, to find out if the bird likely migrated to Spain from Africa or was a permanenet resident of Spain. Read the full story Spanish H5N1 grebe unlikely to be from Africa on BirdLife International.

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Netherlands Must Tighten Up Bird Legislation

Last week the European Commission, the governing body of the EU, asked the Netherlands and twelve other member states to adopt bird preservation legislation. According to the commission, the Netherlands does not do enough to limit hunting on certain bird species, and more must be done to prevent egg-stealing.

If member states do not adopt the new legislation, the commission can take further legal steps to impel compliance.

Source: Nederland moet wetgeving over vogels aanscherpen

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Racing Pigeons Stolen From Belgian Fancier

Last weekend thieves stole thirteen pigeons from Handzame resident Georges Bolle. Among the missing birds were some of the most prized birds in the collection.

The weekend crime was the third pigeon robbery in the area in the last few weeks. Birds were also stolen from keepers in Ingelmunster and Wervik. Mr. Bolle lost 13 male pigeons; thirteen female birds were taken in the Wervik incident. The birds were all banded so using them for racing is not possible. The thieves may try to use the birds to raise a new generation of racing pigeons.

Source: “Mijn duiven zijn mijn leven”

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Scottish Bird Population Numbers Down, And Up

Several species of birds inhabiting Scotland have seen their populations decrease in the past decade, including the Northern Lapwing (down 48%) and Eurasian Oystercatcher (-22%). A few birds did see their populations increase, including the Starling (+33%) and Goldcrest (+155%). Read the full story Will these birds vanish from Scotland? in the Scotsman.

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