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VAN DER SPEK V, GROENENDIJK D, BOELE A, BUCKX H, RENSEN N, DE NOBEL P & VAN SPANJE T (2022) Breeding ecology of a successfully nesting Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops in Noord-Holland in 2020. LIMOSA 95 (2): 57-66.

In 2020, a pair of Eurasian Hoopoes successfully bred in a Grey Poplar Populus x canescens in the Natura 2000 dune reserve Amsterdam Water Supply Dunes (Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen; AWD), Noord-Holland. Eurasian hoopoes formerly bred in the Netherlands but became extinct after the mid-1970s due to agricultural intensification and - consequently - the disappearance of mosaic landscapes in rural areas. Prior to this record, the only other documented breeding attempts since 1974 were in 1995 and 2012. Five juveniles fledged between 9 and 15 June (Tab. 1).
Forest Cockchafer Melolontha hippocastani and European Mole Cricket were identified as main prey sources. It was a peak year for the former species, the latter is a well-known staple food source for Eurasian Hoopoes in Europe. The calcareous dunes of AWD are among the few sandy areas in the Netherlands where Mole Crickets occur in good numbers. The calls given by both the juvenile and the adult Eurasian Hoopoes were analysed (Figs. 1-3). After the juveniles of the first nest fledged, a second breeding attempt in the same nest failed after the male disappeared. In recent years, the number of reported territories (mostly of calling males) in the Netherlands has increased significantly. Another pair (unsuccessfully) bred in the province of Limburg in 2021 (Fig. 4). In recent years, an increase of breeding pairs has been noted in Germany, and in Belgium the first breeding records in years were reported. Only time will tell whether we currently observe a northward expansion of the European breeding range, which is expected in the light of climate change. Protected areas like dune or heathland reserves seem to form suitable mosaic habitats that hold sufficiently large populations of larger insects that serve as a food source.

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limosa 95.2 2022
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