The diversity of birds in towns and villages has declined in recent years. According to Statistics Netherlands, the number of species in the so-called urban area decreased by 6 percent between 2007 and 2020.By: NU.nl
In particular, bird species that often nest in bushes are less common. That number dropped by 30 percent. The number of bird species that live in the forest or park (-20 percent) and open greenery (-10 percent) also decreased.
An important cause of the decline in bird species is the “further building up” of cities. As a result, less greenery remains in the urban area for the birds. Species that generally thrive in urban environments, such as house sparrows, starlings and swifts, also saw their population decline by 10 percent.
In fact, the population of birds living in or near water or swamps increased. On average, those populations have grown by 30 percent since 2007. Among these birds are the gadwall and the greylag goose.
A special phenomenon is the increase of lesser black-backed gulls and herring gulls in the cities. On the coast they are declining as breeding birds due to foxes and human disturbance. Alternatively, these birds have found safe nesting sites on rooftops in cities and towns. They are moving further and further inland.
The development of a total of 83 species of birds was followed for the study.