One of the most widely distributed breeding birds. Favours small-scale farmland, but also exploits a wide array of other habitats, including urban areas. However, inner cities, coastal habitats, open arable land and interior parts of extensive woodland are generally avoided or have low densities. Since the 1970s, the species has expanded its range in Zuidelijk Flevoland and the Delta area, enhanced by lower persecution and increase of nesting opportunities. Numbers in farmland have increased threefold in the past decades, coinciding with losses in extensive woodlands (where the species faced increased predation by Northern Goshawk and Common Buzzard). The population is estimated at 70,000-100,000 bp in 1998-2000 (30,000-40,000 in 1973-77).
- SOVON Vogelonderzoek Nederland 2002. Atlas van de Nederlandse broedvogels 1998-2000. Nederlandse Fauna 5: 1-584. Nationaal Natuurhistorisch Museum Naturalis, KNNV Uitgeverij & European Invertebrate Survey-Nederland, Leiden.