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Schoffies

Short documentary, 2006, 59 min.

Nowadays, some seven thousands herons inhabit the capital and in winter their numbers increase to at least ten thousand. They live in three large colonies spread across the city: Frankendael in East, Beatrix Park in South and above the flamingo pond of Artis Zoo. With deadpan comments by actor Peer Mascini, director Marc van Fucht charts the habitat of this urbanised group of animals. They come to the snack bar right on time, for the aged woman who had rather spend her money on chicken wings for the herons than on her own heater. Despite lawsuits against her feeding practices, she remains loyal to the birds. The maintenance man at the zoo, on the other hand, removes the nests from the trees to contain their numbers. The man that has rare fish in his pond would also rather see the herons dead than alive. As early as the year 1285, herons were observed in Amsterdam, Vondel claims. Is it possible to imagine life in the Amsterdam streets today without the grey heron?

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