Nearly every country in the world has one, but The Netherlands does not yet have a National Bird. The Dutch radio program “Vroege Vogels” decided this needs to change. Therefore, a National Bird Election has been organised in collaboration with BirdLife Netherlands.
Which bird do you think symbolizes Netherlands and typifies the Dutch national character best? Over 11,000 votes since June 2015 led to a longlist of 28 birds. This resulted in 10 nominated birds that could be voted on, with celebrity ambassadors – including Dutch Royal Family Member Mr. Pieter van Vollenhoven – presenting, and promoting, their favourite bird every week.
One of the candidates is the (black-tailed) Godwit. This icon of the Dutch polders is suffering from the consequences of intensive farming.” Since the Godwit is elected as National Bird of the Netherlands, this crown on its head will provide extra protection.
Through its varied landscape the Netherlands provides a home for many bird species, while the country is an important link in bird migration routes.
The Godwit was already Holland’s unofficial national bird. This year’s breeding season was a disaster for the black-tailed Godwit. According to BirdLife Netherlands just 4,600 young were successfully reared. Estimates predict that at least 10,000 eggs need to hatch to preserve the population numbers.
Other candidates are the barn swallow, kingfisher, great tit, northern lapwing (kievit), robin, stork, heron, house sparrow and the common blackbird.
Earlier this year, the robin topped a poll of more than 200,000 people to choose the UK’s first national bird. Ornithologist and BBC Springwatch presenter David Lindo – who launched the campaign – said the robin was “entwined into the UK’s national psyche” as a “Christmas card pin-up”. The red-breasted bird received 34% of votes, followed by the barn owl (12%), and the blackbird (11%).
“Vroege Vogels” (Early Birds) is a live- radio program about nature, environment, climate and sustainability. The radio program was broadcast in 1978 for the first time and is one of the longest running and most listened-to radio programs. Every Sunday morning between 8-10AM half a million Dutch wake up with sounds of birdsongs, creaking branches, belling red deer, rustling trees, gravel crackling, demonstrating environmental people, roaring aircraft engines and classical music.
In November 2015 the National Bird of the Netherlands has be announced. The godwit was elected by the Dutch public as National Bird. Nearly a quarter of the total number of 41,669 votes went to this wader species. The blackbird finished on the second place, the house sparrow was number three.