Success story

We hear a lot about things that don’t go well in nature. Habitat loss, red lists, poisoning, acidification, just to name a few. However, it’s also good to look at things that do go well. In the beginning of the previous century, Raven were almost extinct in the Netherlands. Featuring in several fairy tales as one of the bad guys, they had a bad reputation. Because of this, they were hunted down, almost to extinction. In the late 1960’s a reintroduction program was started on the Veluwe. After a few initial hiccups the program is a great success. The breeding population is well over a hundred pairs and the birds have spread out from the Veluwe to Utrecht and Drenthe as well.

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Raven in flight

For me, they are a bit a mysterious bird, with their characteristic tail (see the photo above) and call. I’m quite used to hearing them, as my dad lives in the Veluwe and I’ve seen and heard them many times flying over their house. But seeing them this good in Drenthe is still something special. Last Sunday in the Dwingelderveld I saw a group of five birds calling and playing in the air. They accompanied a Common Buzzard for a while, which gave me the opportunity to compare their sizes. They really are huge birds, having more or less the same size as the Buzzard. It’s great to have them back, a true success story.

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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