Birds of the
Bluethroat, Luscinia svecica
The numbers of the
Bluethroat are rising in the Netherlands. The Oostvaardersplassen is the
hotspot for this bird. It is one of the earliest birds that return to
their breeding grounds. From late march this bird can be seen. You
will have the best chances in april and early may to see this beautiful
bird. The males are singing their song and show themselves better than
in other months of the year. On april trips we see Bluethroats 9 out of
There are three subspecies of the Bluethroat. L.S. Svecica, a Bluethroat with a red spot, L.S. Cyancecula, a Bluethroat with a white spotand L.S. Magna. The last bird is living in Turkey and does not have a spot. The Bluethroat with the red spot is a rare vagrant in the Netherlands. Normally this birds lives in scandinavia and Russia. In the Netherlands you will found the Bluethroat with the White Spot.
The are between 15.000 and 20.000 breeding pairs in the Netherlands. In 1995 there were only 6.500 breeding pairs, in 2000 11.000 breeding pairs. From their hot spot in the Oostvaardersplassen they expand to other parts of the Netherlands and Belgium.
The song of the Bluethroat is loud and varied, and can be best recognised by the typecal start of the song. This sounds a bit like a kids tricycle.
All pictures by Bas Meelker
(www.basmeelker.nl), taken in
the Oostvaardersplassen during a guided field trip