Student thesis Mees van Laanen

Mees van Laanen
Experiences of volunteers from Sovon participating in a blackbird nest monitoring project
Mees van Laanen
Current role
Student Science in Society

The blackbird is one of the most common birds in the Netherlands, but in recent years the population has been declining. That is why Sovon and Vogelbescherming declared 2022 the year of the blackbird, in which the breeding success of the bird was determined.

This was done by volunteers of Sovon in the Nestkaartenproject. A large concern in nest monitoring is disturbance. Either directly by damaging the nest or scaring away the parent bird, or indirectly by unknowingly luring predators to the nest. This chance of disturbance might influence the volunteers that monitor the blackbird nests.

One of the goals of my thesis is therefore to give insight in how volunteers of Sovon experience the risk of disturbance. Moreover, participating in a nest monitoring project might play a role in people’s perception of their (green) environment, which in turn might influence the care they take of nature. This is important because how volunteers see their (green) environment gives insight into how people can be motivated to take action for nature. I will investigate this by doing a document analysis, conducting interviews with volunteers from Sovon, and observing this year’s nest monitoring course. This project is a collaboration with Sovon.