Bird photographers are apparently causing problems for birds by using a phone app with bird song to lure the feathered creatures. Sounds harmless, but according to a Dutch nature website, the app used by the photographers stresses birds, making them want to defend their territory against an invisible enemy instead of using their energy for the breeding season, building nests and the likes.
The app can be played loudly on mobile devices, but should in fact be used to recognise bird song, not lure birds. By law, animals in nature that are protected species cannot be upset on purpose, but some photographers are probably going to continue to do so, as the chances of being caught are probably next to nothing.
This week there was a woman in Bloemendaal, North Holland who went grocery shopping with her bike and was about to load her saddle bags only to discover that an entire swarm of bees had moved in. The queen bee apparently decided to park it there and her entire buzzing entourage followed suit. They called in a beekeeper and he got them to move to a box.
Recently there was a woman in Oirschot, Noord-Brabant who noticed twigs in her saddle bags and kept forgetting to remove them every time she got on her bike until one day she decided to clear them out and noticed a bird’s nest with five robin eggs in it. She left her bike alone until last week when five baby robins emerged from the eggs.
The first webcam I ever watched back in the mid nineties was that of a litterbox were viewers waited to spot the cat using it. Over the litterbox there would be different messages everyday like ‘send tuna’. If you caught the cat going to the box you were asked to take a screenshot of it (nobody had digital cameras or mobile phones with digital cameras back then), you could send it to the owner and he would send you something cool, I don’t remember.
The Archie software company in Purmerend has set up a webcam on a roundabout to test its software. Funny thing is some 250,000 Dutch people have checked it out and it’s getting traction. A journalist on Twitter who wrote about it said he witnessed a car that wouldn’t yield to a scooter, which they should do, making his viewing ‘eventful’. For anyone who wants to see how a typical Dutch town deals with bike paths and cars, this is for you. The stream is in 1080HD and looks good.
It makes me want to go and skate around it for a while. For all we know a happening is being planned. A marching band going around in circles, could be fun. Stay tuned.
Last Monday a Dutch Rail train driver discovered a wounded cat on the rail road between Utrecht and The Hague near Gouda.
The driver of the ‘intercity’ train stopped his vehicle so that the conductor could take the cat on board. An animal ambulance took the cat from The Hague Central Station to a vet. According to AD, tweeting passengers praised Dutch Rail staff for their quick action.
Although it is unclear what how the cat had become injured, its front left paw had to be amputated, as had part of its tail. The bridge of its nose is also damaged and it has a concussion. The animal hospital reported on Facebook that all things considered the cat is doing well and is adapting quickly to its new situation. Although many people have shown interest in acquiring Juna, as the ambulance staff have called her, the hospital will wait two weeks for the original owner to report.
In 2013, a train driver in Limburg stopped to pick up a cat lying on the tracks. In 2014, a rail road employee caught a pregnant cat that had walked off the train in Enschede and brought it to a shelter.
Using a modified cargo bike named the Poopymobile, inspired by the Popemobile, pet shop entrepreneur Thomas Vles cycled to London with his two cats Mushi and Cheesy last month. Owner of pet design company Poopy Cat in Amsterdam, he knows that cats hate to be locked up in small cages or fly and decided to cycle with a typical Dutch ‘bakfiets’. Mushi and Cheesy are apparently used to going everywhere by bike since they were kittens.
On YouTube Vles said that, “the cats were priority number one during the trip. Should we even remotely think that they were not comfortable, we would stop. There was driving an accompanying car with in which they could always go. Our trip was supported by two veterinarians and we kept an eye on everything 24/7. We have noticed that Mushi and Cheesy were really enjoying their time in the ‘kitty mobile’ – they wanted to stay in there even when we had to get out to sleep!”
The Society for preservation of nature monuments in the Netherlands has recently found a nesting great black-backed gull on the island of Texel, officially the first time this bird has decided to nest there.
The great black-backed gull is the largest gull in the world with a wingspan of about 170 centimetres and a huge beak, which usually breeds in Scandinavia when in Europe. When the gull does decide to pay a visit to the Netherlands, it chooses Groningen where no more than 10 breeding pairs per year have been spotted. The first great black-backed gull nesting in the Netherlands is said to date back to 1993.
This week on King’s Day in Zoetemeer, South Holland, a lamppost came crashing down on a woman while she was cycling by with her young daughters, giving her a concussion. The kids were a bit shocked to see mum bleeding from her head, as the event was as unexpected as could be. Passers-by called the emergency services and all is well.
The lamppost was fastened onto cement tiles by a metal plate with screws, but came crashing down because its base had been eroded by dog urine.
I hope the kids aren’t too scared of cycling anymore and yes, the lamppost could have done even more damage to the children. The question is why did that lamppost give way and could others do the same? We’ll keep you ‘lampposted’.
This week Dutch student Steinar Henskes of the VU University Amsterdam, owner of the Bird Control Group, won Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year, an event held in Washington, D.C. Up against 2,000 students from 38 countries, Henskes took home a cool USD 20,000 (about € 18,500) in prize money.
Bird Control Group provides solutions to keep birds at a safe distance from commercial activities using animal-safe lasers. Founded in 2012, the company operates in 52 countries around the globe including major airports like Schiphol and London Airport. “The products are recognised by the World Wildlife Fund for their innovation, effectiveness and animal friendliness.”
Sightings of the vimba bream (in Dutch, ‘blauwneus’) in the Netherlands are rare, especially really young ones. In early April some 50 volunteers started monitoring and listing fish caught in frame nets in the New Waterway near Maassluis, and the vimba bream stood out. They jump upstream like salmon do.
The vimba bream was originally a Central European species that expanded into Germany to the Rhine Valley when the Main-Danube Canal was being dug. “The first observations of the vimba bream in the Netherlands date back to 1989, when a three-year-old fish was caught in the Lower Rhine.”
Burgers’ Zoo in Arnhem decided to fly a drone over the chimpanzee enclosure as part of films they make to show the world how the animals are doing, but Tushi the chimpanzee was not having any of it. Sitting quietly in a tree, she armed itself with a stick and swatted the sucker to the ground. The whole thing was filmed and so the world can enjoy another coffee break brought to you by the crazy world of animals living in captivity.