Jos and Jozien have been tagged with specialised solar satellite tags, which can be followed online from anywhere in the world. They mark the start of a new Turtle Dove project: "A Journey Fraught with Dangers".

The research is focussed on gaining insight into the migration route of Turtle Doves that spend the summer in the Netherlands. This is then communicated with the public via an online map, showing each dove's 'near-live' location.

We expect them to follow the "Western Flyway" - a Turtle Dove migration route crossing France, Spain, and Morocco. What we hope to learn more about are their essential pit stops, their wintering areas, and the exact dates that they cross known hunting areas in Southern Europe/North Africa.

To read more about this project, click here.

Over the coming months and years you'll be able to follow Jos and Jozien using our 'near-live' map (coming soon).

This project is a partnership between Birdlife the Netherlands (Vogelbescherming Nederland), SOVON and Jennifer Vreugdenhil, and is financially supported by BirdLife the Netherlands, BirdLife International, Het Zeeuwse Landschap and a private donor.

Updated: Jun 30

It's been a few weeks since we were able to tag Bram at the 'Schaapskooi' - a sheep farm and smallholding in Nisse... let's see how he's been getting on.

While we were unable to get him on camera, Bram continued foraging around the farm on a daily basis for the first week after tagging. The bulk of his points were located in the trees along the dike, and he was sleeping and singing in this area. This confirmed our suspicion: he'd set up a territory here.

Despite his commitment to the Schaapskooi, he has also been visiting a number of other sites in the Zak van Zuid-Beveland, presumably to forrage. These include orchards, gardens and crop fields.

Since mid-June, Bram has been loosing interest in his territory at the Schaapskooi - singing less, sleeping elsewhere and generally spending less time here. Sadly this suggests that he's been unable to find a female and settle down to nest. He still visits the Schaapskooi almost daily, allowing us to keep in touch with him, but his dedication to his territory has clearly waned.

He has instead turned his attention to other areas of the Zak van Zuid-Beveland, and we have records of him visiting nature areas (including some privately owned fields), a dairy/beef farm, and a tiny children's/village farm in Driewegen (more than 3km south of his territory).

It will be interesting to see where he goes next!

After eluding us for 3 days we were finally able to catch our first Turtle Dove for 2020 at a farm near Nisse this weekend.

Meet Bram: a healthy, adult, male Turtle Dove weighing an excellent 166g.

While we are still waiting patiently to see if our 2019 Turtle Doves will return from Africa, Bram is settling in to his new GPS tag. His data over the last few days alone already indicates a strong territory and a nearby foraging site. Bram is the final bird to be tagged on the 2019/2020 habitat research project "Turtle Doves in a Changing Landscape".

We hope he has a successful breeding season here in the Zak van Zuid-Beveland this year.

© 2019 Les Deux Touradiens

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