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In the 19th century several British bird collectors visited the Netherlands. The main area which drew their interest for birdnesting was the southeastern part of the province of NoordBrabant, around the village of Valkenswaard. Among them was a taxidermist from Cambridge, Joseph Baker (1813-1893). His collecting activities from that period are discussed, as they form one of the earliest accounts of breeding birds in a particularly bird-rich area in The Netherlands. Among the bird eggs and skins that he collected are several of rare bird species which have long disappeared as breeding birds from the area and the Netherlands at large, such as Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola and Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria, Hoopoe Upupa epops, Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator and Ortolan Bunting Emberiza hortulana.

The question whether or not Tawny Pipit has bred in the Dutch coastal dunes in historical times has been a controversial issue in recent discussions on Dutch internet bird fora. In 2005 Vlek published an overview of the historical documentation in Dutch ornithological literature and in museum collections. Documentation was presented for a 100 year period, from 1828 (two lectotypes in the C.L. Brehm collection at the American Natural History Museum, New York, USA) up to 1927 when Jac. P. Thijsse found the species still present in the sand-dunes of Western Texel (Vlek 2005). New evidence was found in the form of three separate clutches, collected in the dunes of North- and South-Holland, present in egg-collections of some small-scale private collectors, from the period 1900-1941. It is concluded that Tawny Pipit disappeared as a coastal breeding bird during the Second World War, some 15 years later than was assumed by Vlek (2005).

In the summer of 1663 the French physicist, diplomat and magistrate Balthasar de Monconys (1611-1665) toured through the southern and northern Netherlands. In The Hague he vis-tited a Monsieur de Zulcon, Lord of Zuilichem, a castle and a village near Zaltbommel at the river Waal (51.48N, 5-07E). Monsieur de Zulcon was in fact the Dutch statesman Constantin Huygens jr. (1628-1697), who bore this gentry name because his father had owned the castle at Zuilichem since 1630. Huygens jr. was the brother of famous Dutch physicist and astronomer Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695). On August 8th, Huygens showed De Monconys a nest of a bird species unknown to him. It was made of willow blos-som-fluff, "so artificially constructed that it surpassed the work of knitters of stockings in softness and thickness". The nest, which had been found at Zuilichem, hanging at the end of a willow branch, had the shape of a wooden shoe, with one opening quite small in proportion to its volume. The description by De Monconys (1666) fits only a nest of Penduline Tit, ready for use or probably having been used for breeding. Apparently Penduline Tit's nests were not rare near Zuilichem, as Huygens promised De Monconys another such nest. This is the first documentation of Penduline Tit nesting in The Netherlands, 300 years earlier than an unfinished nest found in western Noord-Brabant province in 1962. Moreover, it is only the eighth documented case of breeding of Penduline Tit in European ornithology and the third nest description after those of Magnus (c. 1275) and Aldrovandi (1600). At that time it was also the most Northwestern European nesting record of this species, the other early breeding documentation being from France, Italy, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Poland. © 2013, Nederlandse Ornithologische Unie en.

This paper presents an overview of bird collectors who were member of the Club of Dutch Ornithologists (Club van Nederlandsche Vogelkundigen CNV; founded 1911). Collecting birds was the primary reason for founding this club, because some members feared that the new bird protection law of 1912 would severely restrict their collecting activities. More than 100 members (one out of six) in the 20th century were active in bird collecting.Twenty members started collecting in the period before the foundation of the club, but most (> 40% in this overview) started new bird collections in the 1920's and 1930's. Apparently the bird protection law, still allowing for scientific collecting of birds under a license system, was no serious obstacle in forming such collections until 1940. Some of the larger private collections met scientific criteria, such as properly labeling of study skins and eggs, and series of specimens. They allowed for morphological and biometric analyses, used for avifaunistic and taxonomical research. Private collections of Snouckaert van Schauburg, Hens, Eykman, Sillem-Van Marie, De Vries and several other CNV members formed the basic reference material for the Dutch ornithological handbook De Nederlandsche Vogels (Eykman etal. 1937-1949, 3 volumes), a major publication of the Club. From the 1950s onwards almost 90% of the private collections have been donated or sold to the National Natural History Museum RMNH in Leiden and the Zoological Museum of Amsterdam ZMA. Several collections of stuffed birds were donated to regional natural history museums in Rotterdam, Enschede, Leeuwarden and Maastricht. In this way the CNV and its collectors had a major contribution in the formation of Dutch museum collections of birds. It is estimated that one fifth of the total bird collection of the recently formed Dutch Centre for Biodiversity NCB Naturalis (the merger of the natural history museums of Leiden and Amsterdam) has been collected by CNV members.

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