Mission completed! This weekend the young hawks stretched their wings and made their first flight.
For almost two months the rangers in the Southern Netherlands have been on the alert for poachers, as the nest has been robbed for several successive years. Local bird lovers complained, but the problem was difficult to tackle. Attempts to catch the poachers through camera traps failed, as the cameras were stolen.
This year a Trespasser was hidden near the birds-nest to notify the rangers when people would come near. The sensor triggered 16 times. Based on a smart algorithm we are able to determine whether a detected person is bypassing or lingering at the scene. We were especially interested in the latter, which happened twice. The first time was on the first of June, when the young were still very small. Great was our relieve when it proved to be one of our rangers checking whether the birds were still safe. The second time foresters were busy marking trees near the nest.
Now the birds have left their nest on their own – the first time since years. We are so happy about it! A pity that we didn’t catch a poacher, but so be it. The sensor operated well and unattendedly for over 6 weeks. The rangers are enthusiastic about them as the sensors can distinguish between people and other moving targets and can be placed completely out of sight (see photo below – just try to find it 😉
Time to celebrate and move on to the next project!