There are fewer and fewer birds in urban areas in the Netherlands. The causes are the overcrowding of the city and the unfavorable greenery management for birds. With some species, including the peregrine falcon, things are going well against the trend.
Compared to 2007, there were on average 6 percent fewer birds in cities and villages in 2020, according to a publication by the Central Bureau of Statistics and Sovon Bird Research. The worst are birds that live in thickets and shrubs, whose population has fallen by an average of 30 percent over the course of 13 years. Other birds that live in green spaces in cities are also doing badly. The numbers in forests and parks decreased (20 percent), just like in open green spaces (10 percent).
Most urban birds also do not fare well, including the house sparrow, starling, black redstart and swift. Its population decreased by 10 percent. This decrease only applies if the peregrine falcon is not included, because it is doing remarkably well with it. If this is included, there is even a positive trend for the entire category (22 percent increase).
Birds that prefer to live in urban waters and swamps are doing well. Since 2007, that number has increased by an average of 30 percent in thirteen years. This is because the populations of these species are increasing in rural areas, which means that they are also increasingly moving into cities. Gadwall and greylag goose, among others, are attracted by the improved water quality and the construction of more water in cities, the researchers said.
In the areas outside the cities, the populations of four of the five categories, in which 83 bird species are classified, are increasing. Only birds that live in open green spaces, including a number of farmland birds such as the black-tailed godwit and lapwing, have been declining sharply in numbers both inside and outside the cities for years.
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