Hundreds of geese spotted in grasslands around roads in east Netherlands, with some birds swooping into paths of vehicles
Daniel Boffey in Brussels
Wed 18 Apr 2018 15.09 BSTLast modified on Wed 18 Apr 2018 17.57 BST
The emergence of the Netherlands as the most popular place in Europe for geese has prompted an urgent call for Dutch drivers to watch out for hundreds of birds breeding on the grassy junctions and motorways verges.
More than 500,000 geese are in the country in the warmer months, and 2.5 million overwinter there, amounting to a 95% increase on the numbers counted in the 1960s.
The Netherlands’ intensive farming and temperate climate make it the best country for geese in Europe, according to the Sovon Dutch centre for field ornithology, the organisation responsible for surveying bird populations.
The population boom, however, is not without problems. Roadside grasslands are particularly attractive to breeding birds because of their the abundance of clover leaves and protection from predators.
Hundreds of geese have been spotted off roads in Gelderland in the east of the country and elsewhere. Others have been swooping down into the paths of cars and lorries, presumably seeking to protect their offspring. A stretch of road in the town of Opheusden, in Gelderland, reported four collisions in a week.