Dutch Stork Population Up – Way Up

There are over 500 breeding pairs of storks in the Netherlands today, the same amount as in 1900. The bird has been doing especially well in the Green Heart area between Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht.

Dutch bird protection group Vogelbescherming is extremely happy with the return of the stork to the Netherlands. In 1970, only fourteen birds were recorded in the country, and only one breeding pair. In that year the group took action and volunteers began a protection program to save the bird in the Netherlands.

Twenty-eight pairs of storks from Switzerland were brought to a breeding area set aside for the birds. Breeding here was successful and gradually the population began to spread from the original breeding area. In all twelve areas were set aside for stork breeding and the protected zones were managed by volunteers. Most of these areas were in the Green Heart and the northern province Friesland.

Approximately half of the 500 breeding pairs build their own nests, while the rest use nests still in existence in the protected areas. One such zone, in the town Alphen aan den Rijn, will close down because it is not necessary to offer the birds extra protection there anymore.

Because of a love for animals, some people feed the storks. According to Vogelbescherming this poses a great risk to the birds – if they are provided food on a regular basis they may fail to migrate south in the fall.

Storks are found in watery areas because they find their food, including frogs, there. Most nests are also found close to water, but there are some known exceptions in Dutch cities today. A pair of birds lives in the area of the Amsterdam zoo, Artis, and they obtain their food from the zoo. There is also a pair of birds living in the Kralingse Woods close to Rotterdam, and one pair living close to the center of the Hague.

Aantal ooievaars terug op oude niveau
Number of storks back up to old level

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