At the request of the Het Zeeuwse Landschap, the nesting cage was placed on the Vrouwenpolder beach in early May to protect a breeding ringed plover from birds of prey. It seemed like such a good plan, but unfortunately the nest with four eggs was washed away by the spring tide last Sunday.
“The cage protected the crows’ nest,” says forester Erwin Put. “But we didn’t take that into account. Due to the rising waters, the whole nest with the eggs was washed away. The bird could still escape.”
Disturbance of breeding grounds
Last year, the plovers only managed to hatch a few eggs. This is due to a food shortage due to drought during the breeding season, disturbance of the breeding grounds by hikers or passing cars and predators, such as crows, which run off with the eggs.
The Ringed Plover breeds on the beach and is not sheltered in the dunes. “Well, the bird chooses its own place,” said the forester. “We don’t determine that. When the nest is there, we put the fence on it. I expect the ringed plover to try again. I hope it will be successful.
In Australia, nesting cages have been a great success. The chances of successfully hatching an egg increased from 7 to 96 percent. The expectations were therefore high.
In search of the ringed plover.