Birds in The Hague

The Hague’s nature plays home to a number of bird species including waterbirds and several endangered species such as the stork and common swift. However, not all birds are welcome city dwellers.

Birdwatchers will delight in trying to spot the birds commonly found in The Hague’s parks, forests and dunes, including the blackbird, thrush, starling, tit, sparrow, greenfinch, wren, robin, woodpecker, nuthatch, canary, chaffinch, chiffchaff, woodlark and dunnock. If you walk along any of The Hague’s waterways, you may also catch of glimpse of ducks, swans and herons as well as a variety of other waterbirds.

A large colony of ringnecked parakeets, which escaped from captivity in 1968, can be found nesting in the trees in the city centre, especially near the Hofvijver.

Bird protection

The Haagse Vogelbescherming (The Hague Bird Protection Society) aims to protect birds living in the wild and their natural habitats in The Hague and surroundings. The Society manages 16 bird reserves in the green areas in and around The Hague. These areas are closed to the public, and fences and waterways seal off the areas from dogs and cats. The Society organises lectures and excursions.

Haagse Vogelbescherming
Telephone: 0174 21 38 25
Email: info@haagsevogels.nl
Website: www.haagsevogels.nl

Bird sanctuary

Vogelasiel De Wulp cares for wild birds threatened by traffic, cats and dogs, fishing tackle, windows, poison and cruelty. Because the sanctuary is located on the coast, it also treats dozens of victims of oil spills each year.

Vogelasiel De Wulp
Heliotrooplaan 15 (in the Meer en Bos park)
2555 MA The Hague
Telephone: (070) 323 15 68
Website: vogelopvangdewulp.nl/ and www.haagsevogels.nl

Nuisance birds

Unfortunately not all birds make welcome city dwellers. Seagulls can be a big nuisance when they rip open garbage bags in search of food and their squawking can drive people batty. And pigeon droppings are not only sometimes nearly impossible to clean off, but they also carry dangerous bacteria and can pose a health risk. The Municipality of The Hague is trying to cut down on this.

City pigeons and seagulls often live in groups and their behaviour can be a nuisance:

  • noise:
    groups of pigeons and seagulls can cause a lot of noise. If this goes on day and night, it can drive people batty. Seagulls tend to squawk even more during breeding season from April to the end of August. Both the screeching of adult birds and the noises made by hungry chicks can be quite loud and keep people awake at night.
  • aggressive behaviour:
    seagulls can exhibit aggressive behaviour towards people who get too close to them during breeding season or when chicks have hatched.
  • litter:
    birds are crazy about garbage and garbage bags. If garbage containers aren’t properly sealed, birds will scavenge for leftovers in the container. Or they’ll tear garbage bags open. The result is a mess on the street which gets spread around by the wind.
  • droppings and nest materials:
    bird droppings can damage paint and other materials and cause damage to buildings, statues and cars. Large amounts of bird poop and nest materials can cause blockages in roof gutters and drainpipes, resulting in leaks and a foul odour.

Also see

Published: 7 February 2011Modified: 8 April 2021