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Recent breeding of western jackdaw in rabbit burrows Kauwen Corvus monedula in konijnenholen in 2002

, : Recent breeding of western jackdaw in rabbit burrows Kauwen Corvus monedula in konijnenholen in 2002. Limosa. November; 752: 53-56

Recent breeding of Western Jackdaw in Rabbit burrows hardly occurs anymore. In the Velluwe area, where Wigman made his observations in the 1930s, this habit was already abandoned in the 1960s. However, elsewhere ground-breeding Western Jackdaw have been reported until recently, At Balloerveld, in the province of Drenthe, a large colony of c. 200 breeding pairs occurred in former Rabbit burrows in the 1980s, and is -though in much smaller numbers- still breeding there. Besides, similar but much smaller colonies have been documented for two other sites in Drenthe and for two sites in Noord-Brabant. Regular breeding in Rabbit burrows has also been reported for various sites in the coastal dunes, especially in Noord-Holland, but is nowadays rare. Most ground-based colonies on the mainland have been abandoned due to increased predation by Red Foxes. Moreover, breeding opportunities in trees have increased, both as a result of the expansion of woodland and an increase of Black Woodpecker. Moreover, Rabbit populations have suffered increasingly VHS (Viral Haemorrhagic Syndrome) at many sites (Fig. 1), and therefore the number of Rabbit burrows on offer has declined in the past decades. Contrary to the mainland, larger colonies of ground-breeding Western Jackdaw may still be found at the Wadden Sea islands. Here, absence of Red Foxes and decreased levels of human persecution still provide Western Jackdaw with Rabbit burrows as suitable nesting sites.


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