Busy, busy, busy. Spring has finally reached us, so it’s time for action. Birds are bustling with activity everywhere: they are building nests, finding food, raising their young. In April, we will guide you through the wondrous world of the black-tailed godwit, blackbird and sedge warbler. See our researchers at work in the Arctic, the Wadden region, on the Seychelles and... simply in their own backyards.
Interviews and news reports
Getting help with the kids slows down ageing in female birds
Seychelles warblers live and breed in family groups. In each group, a dominant female and male reproduce. When helpers assist the female with incubation and feeding of chicks, the dominant female breeders age more slowly and live longer.
Manure injection detrimental to meadow birds
On farmland where liquid manure is injected into the soil, the amount of earthworms is lower than on tracts of land where rough farmyard manure is used. The cutting open of the grass surface during injection causes the top soil to dry out to such an extent that worms are no longer found at the surface. In farmland areas where this method is applied, meadow birds feeding on worms find this source of nutrition considerably diminished.
Climate change intensifies war of the birds
University of Groningen biologists have discovered that climate change has an effect on the regular clashes between great tits and pied flycatchers during the breeding season. In some years, great tits killed 10% of the male pied flycatchers.
Godwits are real high-fliers
The Dutch national bird, the black-tailed godwit, spends more than 20% of its migration flying time at very high altitudes en route to its West African wintering grounds. Altitudes of at least five kilometres and sometimes nearly six are not unknown. This is amazing because godwits are true lowland birds.
Blackbirds in the city: Bad health, longer life
Blackbirds live longer in cities than in forests. But their telomeres, the repetitive stretches of DNA at the ends of the chromosomes, show that these city birds have a much poorer health status than their rural cousins.
Researchers in the spotlights
|Dr. Maarten Loonen||Polar research, Arctic ecology|
|Prof. Theunis Piersma||Migratory birds, godwits, animal ecology|
|Prof. Charlotte Hemelrijk||Behavioural biology, self-organization in primates, birds, fish|
|Dr. Eize Stamhuis||Biological fluid mechanics and locomotion of marine, aquatic and aerial organisms|
Birds and Dutchmen
The amount of citizens, related to one bird. Created by our Geodienst. The UG Geodienst is creating various maps on the basis of available geographic sources.
|Last modified:||17 April 2019 2.30 p.m.|