More winter birds in woods and parks

04/03/2002 10:00

Million of birds spend the winter in the Netherlands. Many species stay all year round, but some migrate here for the winter because of favourable feeding grounds while others stay temporarily on their way south.

Of the 84 bird species counted every winter, 35 increased in number, 23 have declined, and 26 have remained stable in the period 1980-2000.

Birds in woods and parks, 1980 =100

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Improvement in woods, parks and water areas

Many species of which numbers are improving live in woods and parks or are fish-eaters that need water. Birds living in open countryside habitats belong to the group which are doing less well.

Birds in woods and parks are doing so well because the total wooded area in the Netherlands is increasing, and because the woods are ageing. Moreover, forest management is increasingly focusing on nature preservation rather than wood production.

Birds in open countryside, 1980 = 100

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Changes in farming such as the increase in scale and the increasing cultivation of maize instead of winter cereals have made conditions more difficult for countryside birds.

Calijn Plate (CBS), Ben Daemen (CBS) and Arjan Boele (SOVON)