On Wednesday 13 July, the 'small launch' of BirdEyes took place in the old building of the Friesland Bank on Leeuwarder Zaailand. BirdEyes is the new center for education and research of professor Theunis Piersma and the University of Groningen (RUG). Piersma is professor of migratory bird ecology.
BirdEyes is to become an international center for research and post-masters education in the field of climate change. It is a collaboration between the University of Groningen, Campus Fryslân, NIOZ (Royal Netherlands Institute for Marine Research), the University of Amsterdam and the Fryske Akademy.
Jouke de Vries, president of the Executive Board of the University of Groningen, started the projection of fluttering meadow birds on the canvas, which marked the birth of BirdEyes.
De Vries said he was happy with Piersma's initiative and promised to continue to support it. He recalled how he used to cycle from Balk to Sneek as a student and heard the birds sing in the meadows. He hardly hears those sounds anymore when he sails through Friesland with his sloop.
BirdEyes uses, among other things, the 'big data' that birds provide with transmitters. Using this technology on the back and legs of birds, a large amount of data is released. This provides a lot of information about the living conditions of birds.
Piersma estimates that about 200 birds fly around with a transmitter: "Their movements tell what is going on in places. A bird that knows what it wants makes direct movements. But birds in trouble become much more restless and move much more "
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