Radio Oostvaart

Today's conversation
between people and animals
in the town' the country
and at the farmer's


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The Flying Bird Counters

Esther doesn't accompany people on foot in this film. Instead she seeks a higher plain and flies with the bird counters Mervyn Roos en Jacques Ruinnaard. 

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Foreign Correspondents


Diny Frauenknecht

Each day we see lots of birds in the garden here. And sometimes
even a kingfisher.

Two weeks ago we found a young swift that couldnít fly. Probably
heíd fallen out of the nest or had tried to fly too soon. We tried to keep the bird alive here in Nigeria with the help of a couple of Dutch bird sanctuaries. I had emailed various centres and received a number of interesting replies: one centre told me to soak dry puppy or cat food for the swallow. Not that thatís easy to come by here; we cook our dog food ourselves. Fortunately beef or lambís heart was also good, which we fetched from the abattoir.

A swift can never take off from the ground; he can only fly after a free fall of at least two metres. He will then spend years in the air. Eating, sleeping Ė everything takes place in the air. Sadly the swift died after a couple of failed attempts to fly. But Iíve learned a lot about this bird by having to look after him, and for the rest of my life I will always recognise a swift!

Greetings from Jos,
Diny Frauenknecht (Nigeria)

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