Birds ups and downs in Dutch Achterhoek region


This video from the Netherlands is called European Cranes, Grus grus, Blokzijl Scheerwolde, 25 May 2013.

BirdLife in the Netherlands reports about changes in birds living in the south-east of the Achterhoek region in Gelderland province. For forty years, Achterhoek people have counted nesting birds.

Changes in agriculture, destruction of hedges, etc. led to the disappearance about 2000 of ortolan buntings, which used to nest there. These environmental changes also meant much less tree sparrows and turtle doves. Stonechats disappeared as well, but came back recently. So did nightjars and woodlarks.

Great grey shrikes and black grouse had already stopped nesting earlier in the twentieth century.

However, recently cranes started nesting in this region. So did eagle-owls.

In the forests, raven, treecreeper and middle spotted woodpecker are newcomers. There are less nightingales and willow tits though.

In the Achterhoek towns, nesting birds declined about 50% in these four decades. Crested larks became extinct. Black redstart numbers plummeted. There was a positive trend for greenfinches, which like gardens and parks.

As more ponds were dug, water bird numbers went up. Grey lag geese arrived; so did Egyptian geese, mute swans, tufted ducks and gadwall ducks. Coot numbers went up dramatically.

Streams are now allowed to flow more naturally; this has benefited birds like kingfishers and grey wagtails.

19 thoughts on “Birds ups and downs in Dutch Achterhoek region

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