As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Where do House martins go for winter? And what route do they take?

Where on earth do British House martins go?
June 2013. It is one of ornithology's greatest mysteries but also one that the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) hopes to answer using the very latest that technology has to offer.

Amber listed - UK breeding population down by 66%
The House Martin is well known to many people; from April to September it lives cheek by jowl with those lucky enough to have this energetic little bird nest under their eaves. In recent years, however, the number breeding here in the UK has fallen by two-thirds, leading to the species being amber listed as a bird of conservation concern and in need of some help.

Where in Africa?
Whilst we know a lot about the breeding ecology of the House Martin in the UK, once September comes and this enigmatic bird heads off for the winter it virtually disappears from our radar. It is not known where in Africa House Martins winter, or how precisely they get there. If we are to start to understand what is driving the decline of this wonderful species, then it is these questions that we will need to answer

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