If you want to see more than just a few common birds, you can get an MP3 CD with all their songs. The renowned Blokkersdijk in Antwerpen’s left harbor is a good place to spot Mediterranean gulls. In Flanders, you can try the Kalmthoutse Heide for warblers, Hobbies, and other species. The Flanders ornithological society De Wielewaal runs an excellent collection of bird songs.
Bird song recordings on a single MP3 CD
You can now enjoy more than 1300 bird song recordings from Belgium and the Netherlands on a single MP3 CD. These recordings are made by a Dutch bird expert and are the result of hundreds of hours of traveling to various birding locations in both countries. Peter Boesman has included information about each bird species to accompany the songs. As a bonus, the CD also includes distribution maps. It’s definitely worth checking out!
Among the many Belgian recordings on this CD, there are several compilations by different birding organizations. The Bird Song International BV CD is the first such compilation. The other three compilations are made by John V. Moore and the Papua New Guinea Bird Society. Among the other Belgian bird recording sources, there are also recordings by Steve Smith, Martin Jones and Shay Peters.
Boesman began recording bird sounds while he was still a youngster. When he was twelve, he repurposed a piano recorder for the purpose of recording bird sounds. His collection of bird song recordings, including the Belgian national anthem, is extensive and is an essential part of any birder’s collection. Besides Belgium, the CD contains recordings from the Middle East and Venezuela.
Check list of the birds of Belgium
The Check list of the birds of Belgium contains information on 477 bird species in the country, of which 8 were introduced by humans. The list follows the Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 2021 edition, and its family accounts reflect this. Species counts and information on endangered species are based on the Belgian Rare Birds Committee. To ensure accurate counts and data, the list is constantly updated.
Solitary nocturnal birds, barn-owls are medium to large-sized with heart-shaped faces and stout bills. Their distinctive head patterns make them excellent predators. Barn-owls and hoopoes are both members of the same family. These nocturnal birds are characterized by long, powerful talons and large, forward-facing eyes. Kingfishers are small, short-legged birds with long pointed bills and wings.
The Common kestrel is the national bird of Belgium. This small eagle prefers open areas with a wide variety of vegetation, including grasslands, suburban zones, and meadows. Its preferred habitat is open grasslands with cultivated landscapes alternating with fallows and remnants of natural vegetation. These kestrels hunt for mice, moles, and other small animals by hovering above the ground.
The migratory activity of European Kestrels in Belgium is variable. The 1,199 recovery records distinguish migration from dispersal. Young Kestrels disperse rapidly in all directions, often covering more than 500 km. Nestlings are seldom recovered close to their places of birth. On the other hand, adult Kestrels are generally more sedentary, and their movements do not show a concentration in a southerly direction.
The Common kestrel is a small bird that nests on ledges or abandoned buildings. It weighs between 150 and 190 grams and measures between 32 and 39 inches long from head to tail. It is dark in color with a distinctive bill and toenails. If you happen to see one of these kesters in Belgium, it is likely to be a beautiful and interesting addition to your bird collection.
The IUCN Red List estimates that the total population of the Long-tailed tit is between forty-eight thousand and seventy-nine thousand mature individuals. The breeding population of this species in Europe is between eight and thirty million pairs, but it may be as high as eighty million. In Japan, China, and Korea, it is estimated that the population is between ten and one hundred thousand pairs. It is categorized as a Least Concern species on the IUCN Red List.
The Long-tailed tit is a species of bird native to most of Europe and parts of Asia. It is not migratory, but some reports have shown it to migrate in northern and eastern Europe. The subspecies europaeus are non-migratory and breed in deciduous woodlands and undergrowth. It can sometimes be found breeding in Norway. While it is a common resident of the Netherlands, it has been introduced to several other countries.
The finches of Belgium have won numerous titles at national championships, a tradition that began with a court case in 1979. The Belgian finch society, or vinkeniers, has cultivated the art of breeding thousands of these birds for competition. The vinkeniers believe that finches in the wild sing better than those raised in captivity. They consider cages to be akin to miniprisons. In the spring, finches begin singing. The aviary is lit with artificial light to mimic the spring season. This helps the birds prepare for the televised national championships in June. Approximately 2,000 birds compete in the national championships each year, a thousand of them come from the same region.
The European subfamily, the Emberizidae, is the home of many seed-eating passerine birds. Many of these birds resemble finches, with thick, slender bills and striking head patterns. This family was previously considered a subset of the genus, despite being related to Old World sparrows. But, recently, researchers have begun to separate the two families, which have very different characteristics.
Old World flycatchers
The Old World flycatchers of Belgium are a large, varied group of songbirds. They are members of the flycatcher family, Muscicapinae, and range from three to nine inches in length. Their small, stubby bills are covered in rictal bristles. Their small feet and short legs are also characteristic of the group. Old World flycatchers are distinctive in color, with dull gray or brown feathers with bright blue or vermilion patterns.
The European pied flycatcher is a member of the Old World flycatcher family. It breeds across Europe and Western Palearctic and spends its winters in tropical Africa. It breeds year-round in Belgium and breeds in southern and central Europe, and it practices polygyny. Males travel great distances to find a second mate, but then return to the primary female to help with child rearing.
Some Old World flycatchers occur in nearby countries and are considered endangered. They are also threatened by habitat loss. In southern Africa, they are the commonest species of flycatcher. The spotted morning-thrush is the second most common species, occurring in the dry forests of Ethiopia and Kenya. This species also breeds in Africa, although it is not as common as the others. It is found in southern and central Africa, and sometimes in the United Arab Emirates.
The Accentors of Belgium are small birds related to warblers and thrushes, but differing significantly from both. Accentors have small, sharp bills and feed primarily on insects in the ground during the summer and seeds in winter. The males of the species are highly vocal, and their song is often accompanied by short flight. In the winter, they remain low to the ground while breeding. They have a remarkably diverse repertoire of songs.
This small raptor lives in alpine areas, typically at about 6,500 feet. It migrates to lower altitudes for the winter. Female Alpine Accentors raise one to two broods with different males. Eggs incubated by a female Alpine Accentor take about 13 days to hatch. Both sexes are responsible for raising the chicks, and males visit all females with whom they mated and feed the young.
The Alpine Accentor is found throughout the Alpine region, with its range also extending into Lebanon and Asia. This tiny, sociable bird feeds on ground plants and insects, and nests in crevices in rocks. Its population is stable, and it is considered Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. In Belgium, the Accentor is native to the country’s high alpine regions. They are also widespread in Asia and Southern Europe.