Autobiographical note:
In the "Who's Who" of Dutch Ornithology (1995), Nico de Haan is described as follows:

de HAAN, Nico, born 22 July 1947, protector of birds.
Nico de Haan was born at Aarlanderveen, a village half way between Utrecht and Leiden. His father was appointed a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church in the East of the Netherlands when Nico was about 10, and he first got to love birds in the garden of the vicarage and in the fields and river banks in this region. He was so keen on nature that his schoolwork suffered, but he finished his studies at the Agricultural School and went on to study forestry at Arnhem, graduating in 1970. During the next couple of years he tried his hand at labouring, furniture making and even as a miner in Canada. In 1972 he joined the Dutch equivalent of the National Trust, ending up as the manager of a wetlands area in the west of the country. He joined the Dutch Society for the Protection of Birds in 1974, becoming its Assistant Director in 1984. He was extremely active in the movement, editing its magazines and presenting its radio and television programmes for many years. He was responsible for a considerable number of educational and informative publications and also organised the building of bird-watching shelters throughout the Netherlands. De Haan also helped to organise a number of annual counts of resident or migratory birds, which contributed greatly to scientific knowledge in North-West Europe. His presentations on the subject of birds on radio and television have empowered members of the public and encouraged politicians and others to take the subject of bird protection seriously. Nico de Haan may not be an academic ornithologist, but his publications and media presentations have led to an ever widening understanding of and love for birds and for nature in general. In the past five years or so, he has concentrated on the use of public media to increase awareness about the protection of birds and the preservation of our environment. .