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
Students from across the United States are participating in The National Schoolyard Birding Challenge (NSBC). The NSBC is a monthly competition that introduces the interesting and educational hobby of birding to students.
Students learn how to identify birds by observing the various species found on school property. Besides encouraging students to become more familiar with the natural world, the competition also benefits participants who must practice patience, teamwork, and communication.
The NSBC is supported by the National Biodiversity Parks, a 501(c)(3) non-profit groups. Donations can be made via post or online at the Fledging Birders website.
We recently visited the Sinai Peninsula for a birding and scuba holiday. One morning we visited the sewage ponds outside of Sharm El Sheikh. Here’s our report, including map and photos. “Storks falling from the sky at Sharm El Sheikh sewage ponds in Egypt”
Earlier this month a flock of 3,000 Sociable Lapwings was discovered in Turkey. It was the largest flock of this endangered bird seen in over 100 years. The flock was discovered when BirdLIfe in Turkey followed a Lapwing that had been tagged in Kazakhstan.
Sociable Lapwing by Alastair Rae, Creative Commons on Flickr
Just a few years ago the total Sociable Lapwing population was thought to be as few as 400 individual birds. BirdLife partners in several different countries, including Syria, Kazakhstan and Turkey, have been working hard during the past few years to protect this species by preserving winter, summer and stopover sites for the migratory Sociable Lapwing.
Read more about the return of the Sociable Lapwing.
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
Scientists in New Zealand have reported a record-breaking migration of 11,500 kilometers by a Black-tailed Godwit. The data was collected after the bird was fitted with a transmitter.
The bird, called ‘E7’, flew from New Zealand to Alaska and back again. The same individual bird also traveled a journey of 10,000 km from New Zealand to China.
In May E7 flew to the breeding grounds of Alaska. The bird remained in North America for July and August before returning to New Zealand this month.
The study, by the Massey University in New Zealand, fitted 16 Godwits with transmitters in February.
Source: Grutto vestigt trekvogelrecord
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
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
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
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