Council plays cat and mouse game with buzzard nesting in tree

Photo: Pixabay

Councillors are deploying fake nests to try to drive away a buzzard that has been holding up tree felling work on a construction site in Zeeland.

The bird of prey is refusing to budge from its home beside the A58 in Vlissingen. All the other trees have been chopped down to make way for a new naval barracks, but because buzzards are a protected species under EU law the council has had to leave the tree standing.

Under the rules it is forbidden to kill or capture buzzards or destroy their nests. Buzzards tend to inhabit nests made by other birds of prey, so council workers have hung artificial nests nearby to try to lure the bird out of the tree.

Preparatory works on the site are well under way and so far have not caused any delay, but the tree will eventually have to be cut down to make way for new roads and a large roundabout. ‘We’re working around the tree for now,’ alderman John de Jonge said.

In exceptional circumstances the ministry of economic affairs can ask Europe for a special dispensation to remove the buzzard, but for now the council is prepared to sit and wait.

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