A 17-year-old buzzard that for years has attacked cyclists, joggers and sometimes cars on a country road near Dronten has been found dead.
Experts have said the bird appeared to have been hit by a car. “He was probably attacking it and it killed him,“ birdwatcher Lykele Zwanenburg told local broadcaster Omroep Flevoland.
The bird of prey nested near the Rietweg, where it scared off cyclists and joggers that came too near by going on the attack, leaving bloodied heads in its wake. Local farmers put up warning signs for unwary cyclists and joggers, saying “Careful! Breeding buzzards. Danger of attack”.
“I even took a picture of the sign,” a cyclist who fell victim to the buzzard’s claws told the broadcaster. “But it still took me by surprise. First there was a shadow, then it got hold of my cycling helmet and began to pull. I almost fell off my bike,” he said.
Zwanenburg also had meetings with the bird when he went out in his car. On a recent trip, he found the bird dead and noticed it was ringed. It turned out this buzzard was 17 years old. “Buzzards normally reach the age of four so this is pretty unprecedented,” he said.
The Dronten buzzard is not the only one to have attacked passers-by who venture too close to a nest. Over-protective buzzards sprang into action most recently in Emmen in Drenthe in 2021, and in the Keukenhofbosch in Zuid Holland in 2017.
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