activities

Océ-Technologies / Breeding Bird Survey and Océ Weerd

The Océ Weerd was opened in 2005. The Maas (Meuse) River flows adjacent to the site of Océ-Technologies B.V.. Lands along the Maas are used as a floodplain at times of high water levels and as a nature area. The Océ Weerd provides a rough nature environment, with grassland, brushwood and willow trees. And now several species of wild birds can be seen and heard there.

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About Océ-Technologies and its biodiversity philosophy

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Océ was founded in 1877 in Venlo, the Netherlands, Océ-Technologies houses the Océ headquarters as well as research and production facilities. The current location between the Maas* River and several nature areas provides a variety of flora and fauna in the area.
At Océ we recognize the importance of biodiversity and healthy ecosystems as well as the impact that our activities can have on local ecosystems. We therefore seek to promote and enhance the biodiversity at our site with a special focus on birds.

* The Maas (Meuse) River originates in France and flows through Belgium and The Netherlands, finally draining into the North Sea. Its total length is 925 km.

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What is the Océ Weerd?

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Adjacent to the Océ-Technologies site, the Océ Weerd* was opened in 2005 as part of the “Maas-corridor project.” The “Maas-corridor project” is a cooperative initiative between several municipalities, nature conservation organizations and a few companies with the goal to combine high-water protection measures with nature development.
The Océ Weerd provides a rough nature environment, with grassland, brushwood and willow trees. And now several species of wild birds, such as the Marsh Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Common Linnet, European Goldfinch and European Stonechat, can be seen and heard there. These birds breed in heathland (scrubland) areas with rank vegetation on damp or seasonally flooded soils.

* Weerd is an old Dutch word for a flat landscape in a river area, which is often flooded at high water levels.

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Breeding bird survey 2015

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In 2015, we conducted our first breeding bird survey and a quick-scan survey of other animals at our site.
During four inventory rounds, all birds with territorial behavior (noticed by their song or otherwise) were noted on a field card. Territories were determined by laying out the field cards together. In total 49 different species of breeding birds were observed.
During the survey, several mammals, including rabbit, hare, fox, stone marten, and bats, were also observed.

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Breeding bird survey 2018

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In 2018, we conducted our second breeding bird survey. We used the same inventory method to determine the number of bird species and territories.
The total number of breeding bird species stayed almost the same, 48 in total. However, the total number of breeding territories was considerably lower than in 2015. In 2018 we could only identify 286 territories.
This decline in breeding territories is caused by the construction of the new head office at the former woodland. A large number of the trees and shrubs needed to be removed for the construction. In order to compensate for this, we will take several measures, such as replanting oak trees, collecting dead branches to form dead hedges and creating wetland areas to offer more variety for plants, insects and birds.

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Nest box project

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Eurasian Blue Tit in a nest box

At the Océ site, about 90 nest boxes for birds are installed. During our inspection in 2018, we noticed that 35 of these were occupied, mainly by Great Tits but also a few European Robins, Eurasian Blue Tits, Stock Doves and a Eurasian Nuthatch. Two nest boxes had unexpected guests; in one nest box we found a wasp nest and in another some red-tailed bumblebees!

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Eurasian Blue Tit in a nest box

Insect hotel

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The insect hotel was installed in early spring 2018 to make people aware of the decline in the number of natural nesting sites for insects.
The hotel is built from wood, bamboo, birch, brick and limestone. By offering a variety of materials and hole sizes, the hotel provides shelter not only for solitary bees but also for other useful insects such as ladybugs (ladybird beetles) and lacewings. Solitary bees are similar to honeybees in that they are excellent pollinators, helping the ecology of the area.

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For the future

“It can be destroyed in seconds but it will take many years to regrow.”

About four years ago we started with the biodiversity initiatives on our site in Venlo. The first steps were to provide shelter, plant shrubbery that will produce berries and install nest boxes. It is very inspiring to walk around and witness the effect of our initiatives.
I get a lot of positive reactions from my colleagues and other persons. We made a good start and we still have a lot of ideas that we want to realize.
In the coming years we want to improve the conditions of our ponds to stimulate the presence of amphibians such as frogs, toads and newts. Other ideas involve the use of webcams in nest boxes, and we will adapt the maintenance of our grasslands in order to get more variety in plants and insects.
We all have to remember how important it is to take care of the nature around us. It can be destroyed in seconds but it will take many years to regrow.

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Peter Geurts
Environmental Expert
Environment & Corporate Social Responsibility
Océ-Technologies B.V.

Message from the management team

“We consider ourselves fortunate to have a beautiful nature area nearby.”

The general decline of biodiversity is not only an issue on a global scale but also national and even local.
At Océ-Technologies we consider ourselves fortunate to have a beautiful nature area such as the Maas River and the Océ Weerd nearby. Lots of employees enjoy this nature during their lunch walks.
We now take the opportunity to enhance biodiversity at our own site. With this Océ not only supports the preservation of nature but also strives to contribute to it.

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Ron Notermans
Vice President
Quality & Environment
Océ-Technologies B.V.

Birds at the Océ-Technologies site

  • European Goldfinch
    © Karin de Jonge

    European Goldfinch

    Very remarkable in appearance with its red face and yellow-colored wings. A flock of European Goldfinches is an amazing and extremely colorful sight. Frequently forages on seeding thistles. In Dutch also called “Distelvink” (Thistle-finch).

  • Common Whitethroat
    © Karin de Jonge

    Common Whitethroat

    A small warbler that winters in Africa, south of the Sahara. When you hear its song, you know spring has come.

  • Common Linnet
    © Patrick Palmen

    Common Linnet

    The Linnet prefers to stay in open woodland areas such as croplands and bright forests. They make a restless and active impression.

  • Tree Pipit
    © Karin de Jonge

    Tree Pipit

    The Tree Pipit has a characteristic song flight; it rises a short distance up from a tree and then parachutes down on stiff wings to perch on a different tree.

  • Great Tit
    © Patrick Palmen

    Great Tit

    The Great Tit is widespread throughout Europe and Asia, not only in the forest but also in parks and gardens in cities and villages. A frequent visitor to bird tables and seed dispensers.

  • Marsh Warbler
    © Karin de Jonge

    Marsh Warbler

    The Marsh Warbler is a summer visitor just like the Whitethroat. Sings with a furious tempo and mimics other birds in its song.

  • European Stonechat
    © Karin de Jonge

    European Stonechat

    Insect eater. Prefers a high branch or fencepost as a lookout while foraging. It is a pleasure to watch how they catch flying insects.

  • Garden Warbler
    © Karin de Jonge

    Garden Warbler

    A bird with an “anonymous” appearance, it breeds in open areas with dense bushes, including thickets and woodland edges. Its song resembles that of a blackbird, only much quicker.