. Breeding birds in the village of Exloo, situated in the rural province of Drenthe (northern Netherlands, 52°53*N, 6°52’E), were mapped in 1976-2007. The village covers 85 ha (1767 inhabitants on 1 January 2007), but sections newly built during the study period (8 ha) have been omitted in the present study (although they were included in the mapping). Exloo is a typical rural village’ with lots of gardens, trees and shrubs, an absence of high buildings and a spacious setup. It is surrounded by farmland and a large forestry with mostly coniferous trees planted in the 1940s. Over the 32 years of the breeding bird survey, 68 bird species were recorded as breeding, of which 26 spedes with less than 10 pairs in any one year. The total breeding population steadily increased from the mid-1970s through,the early 1990s, then more or less stabilised at a density of 150 pairs/10 ha. The increase was most pronounced in residents, less so (but still evident) in short-distance migrants and absent in long-distance migrants. The latter category showed many examples of declines, including Turtle Dove, Redstart, Icterine Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher and Pied Flycatcher, dominated trends, and overruled the effects of severe winters, summer weather and rainfall in the Sahel Local conditions and changes therein, such as an increasing coverage and density of trees and shrubs, provisioning of food during winter and the supply of nestboxes, are likely to have a larger impact on a bird population that mostly consists of resident bird species.