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.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Endangered Bird Comeback: Invasive food source has snail kite population soaring

Fort Myers, Florida (News-Press) -- One of Florida's most endangered birds is making a comeback in the most exotic of ways, feeding off an invasive critter that feeds mostly off an invasive plant.

Snail kite numbers have jumped statewide from 650 in 2007 to about 1,200 today. While that's only a fraction of the 3,400 birds found here in 1999, the rebound rate has shocked the science world. The next breeding season starts in January, and scientists aren't sure what to expect.

"We have a bird that was in dire straits that is now taking advantage of this proliferation of an exotic species that exploded," said Wiley Kitchens, a biologist and bird expert who conducts research for the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Florida.

"We were looking at almost an eminent extinction," Wiley continued. "That's where we were about four years ago - really, really concerned."

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