Puffin recovering on Texel island

This 9 July 2017 video shows a puffin feeding at Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands. The weakened starving bird had been found on the beach of Egmond aan Zee on 8 July. Apparently, it was not injured, but it was very underweight. Fortunately, now it is eating well. When its weight will be normal again, it will be freed.

This 8 July 2017 video shows the puffin before its arrival at Ecomare.


Bearded vulture on Texel island

This 26 May 2017 video from Dutch nature reserve Solleveld shows the young male bearded vulture Lucky from the High Tauern mountains in Austria, which had flown to the Netherlands.

According to Dutch Vroege Vogels TV, in the last week of May 2017 Lucky flew over the Netherlands, including spending time on Texel island.

Christopher Sands explains why vultures are so misunderstood. This article is the editorial of the June edition of the BirdLife Europe & Central Asia newsletter. Read it here in full.

‘Gay’ vultures raise young bird

The young griffon vulture, raised by a same sex couple in Artis

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

A first in Artis: gay griffon vultures raise young one

Today, 14:26

For the first time a couple of male griffon vultures in Artis take care of a chick, the Amsterdam zoo reports. The egg from which the chick hatched was found loose on the bottom of the aviary.

Caregivers placed it in the incubator, but then saw how the male couple built a nest on the rock in the vulture compound. It was then decided to put the vulture egg into the nest, where it was then brooded by the males taking turns until it hatched.

Five years ago

Meanwhile, the two fathers take good care of the chick, Artis reports. Five years ago a young griffon vulture was born in the zoo. This year, two chicks were added: the one who was brooded by the gay couple and a chick of two [heterosexual] birds injured in Spain and brought to Artis for convalescence.

The male couple has been together for years in Artis. Homosexuality is not unusual in the animal world and certainly not in birds. A vulture couple always stays together.

Artis is going to investigate whether the two young birds can be freed later into the wild. The zoo participates in the European breeding program for griffon vultures.

This Dutch video says about itself:

This Griffon Vulture with ring number RO4 was ringed in Spain in January 2015 and was seen in the Dennen woodland on Texel [island] on August 1, 2015. On May 20, 2016, this same bird appeared on Texel, at exactly in the same place.

Local buzzards tried to drive the vulture away. A carrion crow even landed on the vulture’s back, as the video shows.

Sand martins nesting on Texel island

This video says about itself:

10 December 2015

Weekend, Dutch island Texel with stormy weather, Herring Gull, Sanderling, Green Sandpiper, Turnstone, Pheasant, Brent Goose and Buzzard.

Today, warden Erik van der Spek reports there is a sand martin colony of fifteen nests in the Slufter nature reserve on Texel island .

That is more nests than last year in the Slufter.

Rare ant, first time on Texel island

Temnothorax albipennis, photo © 2017 California Academy of Sciences

This photo, by the California Academy of Sciences, shows a Temnothorax albipennis ant.

This species is rare in the Netherlands. It lives only in the west coast sand dunes, from Voorne to the Zwanenwater nature reserve.

Warden Erik van der Spek reports today that he found a Temnothorax albipennis ant in the Westerduinen sand dunes of Texel last summer. This is a first for the island, and also a first for anywhere north of Zwanenwater. It was a winged female.

Texel island spiders: here.