Bearded reedlings, Flevoland, Netherlands
© Gert-Jan IJzerman/Minden Picture
Flevoland, the youngest province in the Netherlands, has only existed since 1986. Before the mid-20th century, much of the land here simply didn’t exist. Flevoland was created through vast land reclamation projects in the 1950s and ‘60s. While the Dutch had been reforming their landscape to meet their changing needs for hundreds of years, it was in the 20th century that their most dramatic and ambitious projects were completed.
With its landscape of bogs, marshes and swamps, Flevoland is a perfect nesting ground for these bearded reedlings. The reedlings are sometimes referred to as bearded tits, due to their passing resemblance to long-tailed tits, but not only are they not tits, they don’t really have beards either (though the males have something closer to a moustache). They are considered a unique songbird – the only member of the family Panuridae – and can be found across Eurasia.