Urban birds in the Netherlands

This is a video about crows.

Yesterday, there was a BirdLife conference about birds in urban environments in the museum. Since very recently, more people live in the world´s cities and towns than in the countryside. This affects birds as well.

In the museum cinema, there was a lecture by urban planner Angelique Mergler on green urban planning; mentioning parks in New York City and Paris.

After her came biologist Marcel van der Tol from Zoetermeer town. His subject was 50 breeding bird species in Oosterheem. Oosterheem is a new neighborhood being built, with a park and ponds. Mr Van der Tol advises Zoetermeer local authorities on how to plan Oosterheem so that there will be at least 50 breeding bird species there.

Van der Tol said 23 species would almost certainly breed in Oosterheem. They include robin, collared dove, wood pigeon, moorhen, coot, mallard, tawny owl [see also here], kestrel, dunnock, chiffchaff, willow warbler, long-tailed tit, blackbird, song thrush, starling, wren, house sparrow, short-toed treecreeper, lesser whitethroat, blackcap, blue tit, great tit, magpie, jay, jackdaw, carrion crow, pheasant, and great crested grebe.

Species which might nest in Oosterheem as well, if helped by a little luck and authorities’ effort, include ring-necked parakeet, swift, sparrowhawk, great spotted woodpecker, green woodpecker, whitethroat, greenfinch, reed warbler, garden warbler, cuckoo, mute swan, and Egyptian goose.

Finally, a category of bird species which would be hard to attract to Oosterheem, which would require real luck and/or effort: long-eared owl [see also here, and here], barn owl, stock dove, kingfisher (first nest ever in Zoetermeer this year), grey lag goose, oystercatcher, black-headed gull (there is a breeding colony of 500 couples elsewhere in Zoetermeer), common tern, icterine warbler, sedge warbler, black redstart, pied wagtail, bluethroat, reed bunting, linnet, tree sparrow, barn swallow, house martin (one breeding colony elsewhere in Zoetermeer), sand martin, goldfinch, pied flycatcher (see also here), spotted flycatcher, grey heron, tufted duck. And the hobby, with one couple nesting in Zoetermeer town centre now.

To get the maximum number of bird species to Oosterheem, authorities need to provide things like a nesting sandy wall for sand martins, and nest boxes for house martins.

Bird Atlas needs your bird records – Especially Ireland, Wales & Scotland: here.

Feeding birds in winter is a most innocent human activity, but it can nonetheless have profound effects on the evolutionary future of a species, and those changes can be seen in the very near term. That’s the conclusion of a report published online on December 3rd in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, showing that what was once a single population of birds known as blackcaps has been split into two reproductively isolated groups in fewer than 30 generations, despite the fact that they continue to breed side by side in the very same forests: here.

For several species, such as corn buntings and yellowhammers, the lack of winter food has been a significant factor in their population declines. With Scotland experiencing one of its worst winters for over four decades, RSPB Scotland believes the use of wild bird cover has never been so important: here.

3 thoughts on “Urban birds in the Netherlands

  1. Pingback: Scottish city wildlife | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Urban birds conference, Leicester, England, April 2016 | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Urban birds in the Netherlands | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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