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
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.
What is the Océ Weerd?
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.
Breeding bird survey 2015
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
Breeding bird survey 2018
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
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.
Nest box project
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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).