Student - November 20, 2008

COUNTING THE DEAD AT FORUM

While a whole army of Wageningen researchers are doing their best to help conserve nature, beautiful birds are crashing to their deaths at Forum.

After a couple of counts, Thomas Lameris and Stefan Sand, students of Forest and Nature Management, have a list of eight victims. Four coal tits, one song thrush, two gold crests, and even one mammal – a bat– have so far been found dead in front of the building. And Stefan and Thomas think the list will soon get longer. ‘I am especially curious how many birds are going to get killed flying into the new Plant building. It’s all glass’, says Stefan. But the campus does have some advantages for birds too, says Thomas. ‘Forum is a habitat as well as an obstacle. The robin redbreast can be found on the roof most of the year, and you also see a lot of white wagtails around the Forum.’
The students think that the birds that fly into the windows of the building are probably migrating. ‘One of the coal tits we found had a ring from the ringing centre in Arnhem. These birds were obviously migrating because around the same time a lot of coal tits were sighted at the counting station at the Blauwe Kamer’, Stefan explains. As concerned birdwatchers, the two students are pondering possible solutions. They suggest that a couple of bird stickers could be placed at the ‘accident black spots’.

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