Category Archives: Europe

Thousands Of Belgian Pigeons Lost In Heat Wave

Flemish pigeon fanciers are mourning the loss of thousands of pigeons that took part in a flight originating from Noyon in France last Sunday. Temperatures in the area had reached the lower 30’s centigrade.

The fanciers estimate 12,000 birds are lost. Approximately 30,000 pigeons participated in the Noyon flight. It is believed the extreme heat is to blame.

Source: Mogelijk 12.000 jonge duiven vermist na rampvlucht

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EU Ministers Discuss Lifting Wild Bird Ban

EU veterinarians are meeting in Brussels today to discuss recommending the lifting of a temporary ban on importing wild birds. The ban was implemented during last year’s bird flu scare. The EU ban has nearly collapsed the wild bird trade in some parts of the world; Europe accounts for 93% of global avian trade following a similar ban in the U.S., implemented in 1992. Read the full story EU urged not to lift its ban on ‘cruel’ import of wild birds in the Independent.

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White-Tailed Eagle Nest Attracts Dutch Birders

The first and only breeding pair of White-Tailed Eagles in the Netherlands is attracting birdwatchers to the Oostvaardersplassen in Lelystad.

Despite the rainy weather, lots of enthusiasts tried to catch a glimpse of the eagles over the weekend. Forest rangers were innundated with questions about the nesting birds.

The rangers have kept the location of the nest a secret, to avoid visitors disturbing the endangered birds. The rangers themselves keep a distance of at least 800 meters from the nest at all times.

The success or failure of the nest will probably not be known until late July, when the chicks, if any, would be ready to fledge. The hatchlings from a first nest often do not survive the fledge, because the young parents do not know how best to teach their young how to fly.

Source: Zeearendnest in Oostvaardersplassen ‘hot’

Related: White-Tailed Eagle Returns To The Netherlands

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Posted in Endangered, Netherlands | 1 Comment

German Shepherd Saves Ducklings From Death

A German Shepherd in Edinburgh discovered two lost Mallard ducklings in some undergrowth. Much to the amazement of his owner and the local SPCA, Duke picked up the helpless birds in his mouth and brought them to the safety of his blanket, where he proceeded to give them a tongue bath. You can read the whole story Good shepherd plucks lucky ducks to safety with his jaws at the Edinburgh Evening News.

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Baby Storks Perish In Bad Dutch Weather

The cold and wet spring in the Netherlands this year has proven fatal for this year’s stork hatchlings.

In the Rhee area in the province of Drenthe, four dead stork youth have been found. In a preserve near Meppel, eight dead storks have been found.

Storks live in open nests, which means that adverse weather will affect the nests directly. Parent birds try to protect their young but in not leaving the nest they are unable to feed the hatchlings. Either the exposure to the extreme cold and wet, or lack of food can prove fatal to young, growing birds.

The problem has struck stork nests all over the country. Experts expect more dead stork youth will be discovered in the coming days and weeks.

Source: Ooievaarsjongen sterven door kou en regen

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Rare Birds In London Halt Fireworks Show

A pair of Peregrine Falcons nesting in London have put a halt to a scheduled fireworks show to kick off a Mozart festival. The protected birds could be disturbed by the pyrotechnics so the festival will offer attendees a free glass of champagne on opening night in lieu of the fireworks. There are currently five breeding pairs of Peregrine Falcons active in London. Read the full story Rare birds put stop to fireworks on the BBC.

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Mink Destroy Bird Colonies In Scotland

Mink are blamed for decimating a colony of seabirds on the Western Isles of Scotland. A colony of 200 pairs of adult terns are struggling to raise just 5 or 6 chicks this season, where normally the group would have at least 100 surviving hatchlings. The mink prey on other native species, including voles. The mink are believed to have been brought to the island from the US to stock fur farms, but were set free as the demand for fur dropped. Read the full story Mink ‘run amok’ in bird colonies on the BBC.

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Expedition To Search For Dodos

An international research team will try to reconstruct the habitat of the extinct dodo bird during an upcoming expedition to Mauritius. The team wants to determine the cause of the dodo’s habitat destruction and ultimate extinction.

The team also hopes to find complete skeletons of adult and young dodo birds. In October 2005 researchers in the southeast of Mauritius found a large burial site with bones of dodos and other domestic animals.

The team will depart the Netherlands on Friday, 2 June and returns on Monday, 3 July. The team is maintaining a weblog of their adventures, which is available at (in Dutch).

Source: Expeditie op zoek naar oorzaak verdwijnen dodo’s

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