Spring is here! First peewit egg found

The first peewit egg of the year was found in the Friesland village of Vegelinsoord on Thursday. This is the first time in Dutch history that the first egg of the peewit, or Northern Lapwing, of the plover family, is found so early in the year, the Bond Friese Vogelwachten said to NU.nl reports.

Finding the first peewit egg heralds spring in the Netherlands. Looking for the first egg is a deeply rooted Dutch tradition. Historically, whoever found the first egg could present it to the King or Queen. 

This year 34-year-old Eduard van der Hoek found the egg in a cornfield on February 28th. This is the first time ever that the first peewit egg was found earlier than March. 

It used to be tradition to pick up the first peewit egg and present it to the Commissioner of the King or Queen. But this has been banned for a long time, as the populations of meadow birds like the peewit and black-tailed godwit have been declining for years. An exception can be mande for aaisykers - a Frisian colloquial term for egg seekers - but that hasn't happened since 2015, according to the newspaper.