Category Archives: Europe

Dutch Town Wins City Bird Prize

The town of Meppel has won the first ‘Stadsvogelprijs’, or City Bird Prize. BirdLife (Vogelbescherming) in Holland has created the City Bird competition to stimulate bird life in city centers.

The town of Meppel has won the prize for the new Berggierslanden subdivision, a new neighborhood with space for both people and birds. Swallow nest holes have been built into new home roofs, bird perches have been hung though the neighborhood and the gardens have been planned with city birds in mind.

Other cities nominated for the prize this year were Capelle aan den IJssel, Hardenberg and Utrecht.

Source: Meppel wint eerste Stadsvogelprijs

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Plan To Increase Flevo- Wetland

The Dutch wildlife protection agency Het Flevolandschap is working on a scheme they are calling “Plan Roerdomp” (Plan Bittern) The plan has been devised to create more suitable habitat for such vulnerable species as the Great Bittern, Western Marsh Harrier, and Great Egret.

The existing reedbed in Flevoland is too dry for most marsh birds. By dredging along the reed-bed in the western part of the Lepelaarplassen, the area should become wetter and a better habitat for birds.

Preparations for the first dredgings are underway. Het Flevolandschap will try to limit disruptions to walking and cycle paths, and of course to the birds and animals that live in the area.

Source: Het Flevolandschap start met Plan Roerdomp

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Black Grouse Released In Gelderland

The Black Grouse used to be a common sighting in the Dutch Veluwe natural area, but the bird has virtually died out there. The bird is only seen now in the Sallandse Heuvelrug, but there is a plan to reintroduce the bird to Gelderland.

Thirty Black Grouse (25 females and 5 males) were released in Gelderland earlier this month. The bird has declined in the Netherlands due to loss of heathland habitat.

Source: Korhoenders vanaf vrijdag in vrijheid

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Birds Welcome In Dutch Museum

This Sunday songbirds and their keepers are welcome in the Natuurhistorisch Museum in Rotterdam. Owners are advised that the birds must be kept in a cage.

A special songbird show will take place in the museum on Sunday. Film, audio presentations and live music will accompany the show, and the addition of live songbirds will add to the atmosphere.

The exhibit is based on a recent study by the University of Leiden that shows difference in the singing patterns between city birds and country birds. City birds have been noted to sing much more loudly than country birds, for example.

Visitors to the exhibit that bring along a pet bird will be granted free entrance.

Source: Met je zangvogel naar het museum

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Dutch Oil Platform Fitted With Bird-Friendly Lighting

The Dutch oil company NAM and Philips have developed a new type of lighting . The lamps radiate a limited part of the color spectrum. Due to the lights’ unique coloring, migrating birds traveling over the North Sea are less likely to be distracted by them.

The lights are already in use on one oil platform in the Dutch part of the North Sea. The test case has been very positive so far.

Every year 60 million birds travel over the North Sea. Most birds make their journey safely and without incident. However up to 10% of the migrating birds can become distracted by the lights on offshore oil platforms. The birds may end up circling the oil platform for a long time before collapsing from exhaustion into the platform or the sea.

NAM has been seriously researching this problem and came up with the different type of light being a possible solution. Birds are especially distracted by reds in the color spectrum, and not as much by blues and greens. Normally, light which lacks reds would be a problem for the oil platform workers. NAM joined with Philips to come up with a solution that was safe for both the birds and the oil platform workers.

The oil platform L15, off the coast of Vlieland, was equipped with a mix of the special TL- and HID-bulbs. The test is currently studying not only the reaction of the area birds but also the safety standards of the workers on the platform. Beside the reduction in bird-related incidents, so far testing has complied to all human safety standards as well. The final results of the study will be prepared after the fall migration.

Source: Eerste platform met vogelvriendelijke verlichting

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More Nightjars In Dutch Sallandse Heuvelrug

Over three evenings in June the Nightjars in the Dutch National Park Sallandse Heuvelrug were counted. The 13th annual survey counted 63 individual birds, a record.

In total 42 people, from various area bird groups, participated in the count. They observed 16 spots within the park.

Typically the Nightjar is found on heathland and open forests in the Sallandse Heuvelrug. The birds especially like the areas on the edge of the heath in this park. The Sallandse Heuvelrug is the northern border of the breeding area for the Nightjar and the birds are only found in the area during breeding season, from May until August.

Source: Toename nachtzwaluwen op Sallandse Heuvelrug

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Schiphol International Airport Concerned About Geese

Schiphol International Airport near Amsterdam has expressed concern over the number of geese living in the area around their runways. In the last five years the number of geese has increased.

The airport authorities are in talks with the Noord Holland provincial government regarding the geese. The large and heavy birds fly in groups and could present safety hazards for planes using the airport.

Source: Schiphol ongerust over ganzen

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Dutch Bird Fair Draws Thousands

The Dutch Bird Fair, which took place over the last weekend of August, attracted 9,000 visitors. The festival raised over 23,000 euros for a project to protect the Red Ibis of Surinam.

Festival visitors were treated with very good sightings of the local resident White-tailed Eagle on both days. On Saturday an Osprey was also spotted in the area, providing another treat for the attendees.

Source: Vogelfestival trekt duizenden bezoekers

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Spring Storm Damage To Bird Population Still Felt

The heavy storms that hit the Dutch Wadden Islands in June has caused permanent damage to the bird population.

The storm hit the island birds late in the breeding season, meaning that survivors, already weak and exhausted from fleeing to safety, were unable to start a second nest.

Common Redshank and Common Terns were the most affected by the storms, but exact numbers are not known as these birds are not monitored as closely as some other breeds.

At least 100 Spoonbill nests were destroyed in the storms, and 150 Spoonbills drowned.

Of approximately 5000 Black-headed Gull nests, 2000 were lost.

Source: Blijvende schade aan vogelpopulatie na storm juni

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Belgian Storks Ready For Migration

Starting in mid-August, young white storks from northern Europe begin their migration south. In Belgium this year a record 91 baby storks were hatched, and they are getting ready for the long flight south.

Data collected in Belgium found 65 pairs of stork breeding in the country in the 2007 season. The record 91 young storks will begin their migration before their parents. Their instincts tell them where to fly.

The project ‘Storks without Borders’ fitted storks with satellite devices which helps scientists understand the migration patterns of European storks. Up to two thirds of Belgian storks will overwinter in Spain or Portugal. The rest will go to Africa, some as far south as Senegal.

In the Netherlands this year almost 1000 young storks were hatched, and several thousand were bred in Germany. Most German storks follow a different migration route from the lowlands birds and will head towards Turkey and eastern Africa.

Source: Belgische ooievaars klaar voor trek naar zuiden

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