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.

Monday 5 May 2014

Grasslands are crucial for cuckoos

12:29pm Thursday 1st May 2014 in OutdoorsBy Colin Williams

If we want to hear this iconic bird's special song, we must take care of our meadows, stresses the BBOWT's Colin Williams

The cuckoo, a much-vaunted herald of summer, is calling loudly across Oxfordshire’s meadows this year. But how many of these rare birds are here, and for how many more years will we hear their distinctive song?

In the last 25 years the UK has lost more than half of breeding cuckoos, and they are now on the Red List of Birds of Conservation Concern.

This is due to many factors including the long journey from Central Africa where they spend the winter in the Congo Basin and West Africa. Their flight path crosses not only the inhospitable Sahara Desert, but many countries where shooting birds is common. High numbers will be killed before they reach Europe.

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