The black-tailed godwit (grutto) has been voted the Netherlands’ national bird by bird protection group Vogelbescherming and radio show Vroege Vogels (early birds).
The blackbird took second place in the online poll and the common sparrow was third. In total, 41,699 people took part in the vote, with the godwit, a migratory wader, taking 25% of the vote.
Some 85% of the godwit population breed in the Netherlands, making it rightly the country’s national bird, Vogelbescherming spokesman Kees de Pater told the Telegraaf. ‘Within Amsterdam’s boundaries, more godwits breed than in Britain and France together.’
In October, however, the bird group said this year’s breeding season was a disaster, producing just 4,600 young. At least 10,000 eggs need to hatch to preserve the population numbers.
In the 1960s, there were over 125,000 breeding pairs of godwits in the Netherlands but their number has now slumped to below 40,000.
The godwit also took 52% of the vote in a June poll in Trouw to determine which bird should become a national symbol. The godwit has featured in work by Vermeer and Rembrandt and as is ‘Dutch as they come’, the paper said
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl
The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.
DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.