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.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Rare songbird fights back from brink of extinction and found to be thriving in habitat used by Navy for bomb practice

  • Numbers of the rare San Clemente Island loggerhead shrike thriving
  • The endangered songbird had been threatened with extinction
  • But a US Navy investment programme has helped it bounce back

PUBLISHED: 09:50, 12 August 2013 | UPDATED: 09:58, 12 August 2013

One of North America's rarest birds has fought back from the brink of extinction and is enjoying a renaissance - on a rocky outcrop used by the US Navy as a firing range.

The San Clemente Island loggerhead shrike is thriving on the rocky outcrop off the Californian coast, known as the 'boom box'.

In the 90s its numbers had dwindled to just seven breeding pairs, but now there are believed to be 70 on the island.

It is a remarkable success story given the black, grey and white songbird shares its home with an area that is regularly bombed by US Navy battleships.

The Navy itself has claimed credit for the shrikes survival after it launched a $3-million-a-year captive breeding programme to protect the threatened species, according to a report in the Telegraph.

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