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, 30 June 2016

Urban bird species risk dying prematurely due to stress


Birds of the species Parus Major (great tit) living in an urban environment are at greater risk of dying young than great tits living outside cities. Research results from Lund University in Sweden show that urban great tits have shorter telomeres than others of their own species living in rural areas. According to the researchers, the induced stress that the urban great tits are experiencing is what results in shorter telomeres and thereby increases their risk of dying young.

Telomeres are located at the end of each DNA strand in the body's chromosomes, in both great tits and humans. The length of the telomeres can be described as a kind of age biomarker - short telomeres mean short life expectancy. According to the researchers, their study shows that the environment in which great tits grow up determines the length of their telomeres more than their genetics.

"Although there are advantages to living in cities, such as the access to food, they seem to be outweighed by the disadvantages, such as stress - at least in terms of how quickly the cells of the great tits age", says biologist Pablo Salmón who conducts research in the field of evolutionary ecology at the Faculty of Science, Lund University.

The researchers obtained the results by studying great tit groups of siblings. Half of the siblings grew up in the countryside, half in Malmö. After 13 days, blood was taken to measure the length of their red cell telomeres. Pablo Salmón and his colleagues had partly anticipated the outcome, but were still surprised when they saw how big the difference in the length of the telomeres was after only 13 days.

Reopening wharf could scare off rare shag

Since being closed to the public, Oamaru's historic Sumpter Wharf has become a breeding colony for an endangered and little-known species of shag.

Dr Chris Lalas

And with the Waitaki District Council now investigating reopening the 200m-long wharf to the public, scientists who know the birds are concerned.

Dunedin-based researcher Dr Chris Lalas, who has been studying shags for the last 40 years, first discovered Otago shag nests at the wharf in 2014.

"If it gets opened up to the public, it will totally destroy it as a shag location,'' Dr Lalas said.

Human use and an Otago shag breeding colony were "not compatible''.

Like the more common spotted shag, which are also a common sight on the wharf, it was believed Otago shags only roosted at the wharf and he was surprised to find them breeding there.

In 2015, he counted 235 nests at the wharf.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Birdwatch: Chance to see golden visitor on edge of its range


07:00Sunday 19 June 2016

For many birders the chances of seeing a golden oriole in this country are slim.

But there have been plenty of opportunities to see one at Spurn this week with an immature male both in flight and singing from bushes along the Canal Path, Beacon Lane and near the Observatory.

The adult male is among the most brilliantly coloured of our summer visitors, a combination of banana yellow and black wings and tail. Females and immature birds are a greenish yellow and, with their undulating flight and similar size, can easily be confused with green woodpeckers.

Push to bring kokako song back to Otanewainuku forest

By Ruth Keber

12:00 PM Sunday Jun 19, 2016

A rare New Zealand bird once close to extinction now has the opportunity to flourish in one of the Bay's most protected forests.

The kokako, known for its beautiful song, once thrived across the country but numbers slowly declined over the years until the population fell to 1000 to 1200 birds in the 1980s. The dark blue-greyish bird, which has bright blue wattles on either side of its beak, is slightly bigger than the tui. Nineteen of the species were first introduced to the Otanewainuku forest in 2010. By 2014, numbers had grown to 24.

The Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust has an opportunity to boost the population by 10 more birds in August, transferring them from the Kaharoa forest in Rotorua.

Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust chairman Hans Pendergrast said the kokako were not only special for their beautiful song, but the species' survival meant the survival of New Zealand's bush.

"We nearly lost them, we got down to such low numbers, they are far more endangered than kiwi.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

When it comes to evolution, testes may play a key role, studies find

Genomic differences in two bird subspecies shed new light on mechanics of testosterone-mediated evolution

Date: June 15, 2016
Source: Indiana University

A pair of studies led by Indiana University researchers provide new evidence that when it comes to evolution, the testes may play a key role.

The research, led by Kimberly Rosvall, assistant professor in the IU College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Biology, finds that the testes -- or gonads -- have a greater impact than previously thought in evolution. The research was conducted in two subspecies of dark-eyed junco, a type of American sparrow.

The white-winged junco, or Junco hyemalis aikeni, is found in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The slate-colored junco, or Junco hyemalis carolinensis, is from the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia. The first is larger and more aggressive; the other is smaller and more docile.

The studies are published in the journals of Hormones and Behavior and of Integrative and Comparative Biology.

The first paper compares the subspecies in their expression of enzymes that make testosterone within the gonad. The second paper investigates how the subspecies' gonads differ in the expression of stress hormone receptor genes, which are known to lower testosterone.

Goose of a different colour: strange bird spotted in Vancouver's West End


Published on: June 17, 2016 | Last Updated: June 17, 2016 5:06 PM PDT

A goose sporting a strange collection of feathers is making for an odd duck in the West End.
The goose, sighted this week in the company of Canada geese at Sunset Beach, features an unusual pattern of white and darker feathers.

One theory is that it is leucistic, a term that describes a pigment abnormality falling short of albinism.

Another theory is that the bird is a hybrid love child, perhaps the result of the union of a Canada goose and a domestic goose or similar species.

“I don’t have much of a back story,” Greg Hart, urban wildlife programs coordinator for the Stanley Park Ecology Society, said Friday. “It’s just a neat bird that showed up.”

He sees reports of similar birds showing up in the region about once a year, each time sparking the leucistic-versus-hybrid debate on bird forums. “Typically, field marks are what you use to identify these birds,” he said. “This, of course, is displaying field marks that don’t fit any bird. That’s the quandary.”

George Clulow, immediate past president of B.C. Field Ornithologists, said that based on photos provided by The Vancouver Sun, the bird may even have some DNA of a swan goose (a wild species that breeds in China and Russia, but is also domesticated) or Asian domestic goose.

“Upright posture, long neck, bill colour/shape and foot colour are all suggestive of this to me,” he said. “Other parent perhaps Canada goose.”

Monday, 27 June 2016

Iconic wild birds once close to extinction make astonishing comeback in Britain

Tuesday June 21st 2016

Conservationists are witnessing record numbers of an iconic bird that has made an astonishing comeback after it was once close to extinction in Britain.

Avocets, the black and white waders that grace the emblem of the RSPB, have been having a record-breaking year at wildlife reserves across the country.

The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) has announced that it has had a record 34 birds at its Washington Wetland Centre in the North East, just a decade after they first returned.

“We’re absolutely thrilled at the number of avocets this year. For the avocets to return year after year is fantastic”

John Gowland, WWT Washington Wetland Centre

It is thanks to a huge amount of work by conservationists to improve habitats for the birds and to protect them from predators. More than £20,000 has been spent on new shingle islands for the birds at Washington.
‘Real conservation success story’

More than 170 pairs were also recorded at the RSPB’s Cliffe Pools reserve in North Kent last autumn – one of the highest concentrations ever recorded in Britain.

The RSPB said numbers have also continued to grow at its reserve at Minsmere in Suffolk after the birds returned in 1947 after an absence of more than a century.

Avocets also overwintered at Middleton Lakes in Staffordshire – the first in the county. Frampton Marsh reserve in

Lincolnshire has also recorded its best ever year with 81 pairs compared with zero in 2008. Record numbers were also recorded at the Dee Estuary in Cheshire.

John Gowland, reserve manager at WWT Washington Wedland Centre, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled at the number of avocets this year. For the avocets to return year after year is fantastic and a real conservation success story.”

Around 7,500 of the long-legged birds were thought to be in Britain in autumn. They included a huge wintering colony at Poole Harbour in Dorset, where numbers have risen from 25 to almost 2,000 in just 30 years.

Monogamous West Norfolk bird wins a second partner

07:48 17 June 2016

Staff monitoring the behaviour of the birdlife in the Fens have spotted a particularly amorous individual residing in the washes.

Black-tailed godwits are usually monogamous birds, but one particular male has surprised researchers with an unusual trait – he has managed to win the affections of two female partners.

It is the first time the behaviour has been noticed at the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust’s Welney Wetland Centre near Downham Market.

Experts claim the male in question could be trying the tactic this summer as the numbers of black-tailed godwits breeding in the UK are at precarious levels.

Read on … 

Two grey plover birds tracked leaving Adelaide and flying 13,000 km in three months

June 12, 2016 11:49am
Environment Reporter Jade Gailberger

TWO migratory birds that spent the summer in Adelaide have been tracked to a remote Russian island in the Arctic Circle, having flown 13,000km in three months.

The grey plovers’ journeys from Adelaide’s International Bird Sanctuary are the subject of a migration study and each carries a solar-powered satellite tracking device.

Both birds left Thompson Beach, west of Dublin, in March, but have chosen different paths to Wrangel Island, which is off Russia’s northeast coast.

So remote is the island that it is thought to have been home to the world’s last population of woolly mammoths up until about 4000 years ago.

after it had flown northwest, over Australia’s central deserts and then east of Kununurra in Western Australia, before heading out over the Timor, Banda and Molucca Seas near Indonesia.

After flying over the islands in the Philippines, CYA clocked up 7340km on a flight to Taiwan, where the bird spent just under two weeks, before arriving at tidal flats of the Jiangsu coast of the Yellow Sea, near Dongtai city.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Great Scot, it’s a great knot! - Twitchers flock to RSPB Titchwell Marsh to see rare bird

18:54 17 June 2016

Hundreds of avid bird watchers have gathered at RSPB Titchwell Marsh over the last three days in order to catch a glimpse of a very rare avian visitor.

The bird, a great knot, should have been migrating from its wintering grounds in Australia and heading for the Arctic tundra in Eastern Siberia but somehow took a wrong turn and ended up on the Norfolk coast.

The great knot was discovered on June 15 amidst a large flock of red knot which are common visitors here during winter months and are well known for their whirling flight routines. As the name suggests, the great knot is slightly larger than the more familiar red knot and with this bird in summer plumage it stands out from its European cousins. Red knot have a circumpolar distribution and like the great knot, can also be seen in the Siberian tundra. It is possible that the newcomer feels quite at home with its smaller companions and is likely to remain with the flock for some time.

Kaikoura's endemic bird offers rare opportunity for science students

Crash-landed Hutton's shearwater birds have given a Kaikoura year 13 science class the opportunity for some hands-on learning.

The Kaikoura High School general science class spent the day last week testing DNA from feathers taken from birds which crash-landed this season.

The Hutton's Shearwater Charitable Trust collected a feather from each of the birds found on the roads around the district in order to extract the bird's DNA, and determine their gender.

Teacher Rebecca Scott said the students were thoroughly engaged for the whole day and really enjoyed the experience, which would also earn them credits towards the practical side of their course.

"It was very meaningful and worthwhile," she said.

"Genetics can be quite theoretical so for them to be able to put this into practice with a bird which is endemic to this region was a really great experience."

About 75 birds were picked up over a four-week period this year, predominantly along the Esplanade.

University of Canterbury marine ecology lecturer Dr Sharyn Goldstein spent the day with the students DNA-testing 27 of those birds.

The students had done a fantastic job, resulting in some good data, she said.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Rare Puerto Rican Bird Receives Endangered Species Act Protection With 27,125 Acres of Proposed Critical Habitat

For Immediate Release, June 21, 2016

Contact: Jaclyn Lopez, (727) 490-9190,

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— Thanks to a landmark settlement agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today gave Puerto Rico’s elfin-woods warbler Endangered Species Act protection. Most of the warbler’s habitat has been lost to urban and agricultural development.

“With the help of the Endangered Species Act, the elfin-woods warbler will recover, like other Puerto Rican birds before it,” said Jaclyn Lopez, Florida director at the Center. “The Endangered Species Act has an excellent track record at increasing or stabilizing populations of birds like the Puerto Rican parrot, yellow-shouldered blackbird and Puerto Rican plain pigeon.”

The elfin-woods warbler is a tiny, 5-inch bird that was first discovered in the dwarf forests of El Yunque National Forest in the 1970s. Today’s decision proposes protecting 27,125 acres of the bird’s habitat in the Maricao, San German, Sabana Grande, Yauco, Rio Grande, Canovanas, Las Piedras, Nagaubo, Ceiba, Cayey, San Lorenzo, Guayama and Patillas municipalities in Puerto Rico.

In 2004 the Center petitioned to protect the warbler under the Endangered Species Act. The Service had previously listed the bird as a candidate for listing from 1982-1996, and again in 1999 due to high-magnitude threats.

The decision to protect the warbler as “threatened” is the result of a historic settlement agreement between the Center and the Service that expedites decisions on protections for 757 species around the country. To date the agreement has resulted in endangered species protections for 145 species and proposed protections for another 33.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Why North Korea is a safe haven for birds

20 June 2016 

Photos from inside North Korea reveal how the ecology of the secretive Asian country is preventing the extinction of several once plentiful species of migratory birds.

Despite being closed to most foreigner visitors, North Korea may ironically be the saviour of one of the world's greatest international migration routes - the avian East Asian Australasian Flyway.

Fifty million birds, from cranes to song birds, journey along the Flyway twice a year. Eight million of those are shorebirds - or waders.

And for many thousands of those, North Korea's west coast - on the Yellow Sea - is their sole stop-off point.

Rare spoon-billed sandpipers lay for first time in captivity

14 June 2016

One of the world's rarest birds - the spoon-billed sandpiper - has laid eggs in captivity for the first time.

Two females laid seven eggs at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT), Slimbridge, Gloucestershire.

There are only about 200 breeding pairs of the critically endangered species left in the wild.
Nigel Jarrett, from the trust, said when staff discovered the first egg last week they "almost couldn't believe it".

Mr Jarrett, WWT head of conservation, said staff had "done their best" to enhance breeding conditions, with special lightbulbs, timer switches and lots of sand and netting to recreate the experience of migrating from tropical Asia to Arctic Russia.

'Scratching our heads'
"For the last two years - ever since all the spoonies came into maturity - we've been doing everything to get these birds in the mood for love," he said.

"And for two years we've come up scratching our heads and feeling a bit deflated. Now, we've had two mums busy laying and the significance of it is only just starting to hit home."

The WWT began trying to establish a flock at Slimbridge in 2011, as a back-up to the wild population which was declining by up to 25% a year.

But with its extreme lifestyle - including making an annual 10,000-mile round-trip between Russian Arctic breeding grounds and wintering grounds in South East Asia - the bird has never been bred in captivity.

Rare, unusual bird spotted in Seychelles by local university student

Victoria, Seychelles | June 11, 2016, Saturday @ 13:04 By: Sharon Meriton-Jean and Betymie Bonnelame

 (Seychelles News Agency) - A student of the University of Seychelles has spotted for first time in the island nation a greater painted-snipe, a rare and unusual bird. 

Catherina Onezia first saw the greater painted-snipe at Perseverance, a reclaimed island close to the centre of Mahe, the most populated island of the archipelago.

The species is a rarity among birds as the female is larger and has brighter coloured feathers than the male. Usually in the bird family, it is the opposite -- males are larger and more colourful than females.

“To spot a rarity I think it is up to chance, but if you have some special skills to spot elusive birds, then when you are on the field, you know what you are looking for,” Onezia told SNA.

It took the second sighting for Onezia to snap a photo of the species. 

“When I spotted the bird, I knew straight away that it was a snipe and one that I hadn't spotted before. So, with camera in hand, we became the paparazzi and it (the bird) the unique superstar,” said Onezia.

This is the first time the greater painted-snipe has been seen in Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.  The species is characterised by its slightly downward curving bill used for probing preys in water and mud with long partly webbed feet adapted for walking in muddy areas.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Endangered Birds Take Flight

Seven critically endangered birds, including one of the most threatened in Southeast Asia, the White-shouldered Ibis, were released into the Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary’s Tmatboey Community Protected Area yesterday after being reared in captivity. 

According to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the society, in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, the Angkor Center for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB) and the Tmatboey Community Eco-tourism Center, released an endangered White-shouldered Ibis along with three Spotted Wood-owls, two Crested Serpent-eagles and one Brown Fish-owl.

Michael Meyerhoff, the ACCB curator, said the White-shouldered Ibis was underweight when it arrived at the ACCB, forcing staff at the center to rear the bird with minimal human interaction behind closed doors. 

After regular meals of insects, fish and frogs, the bird gained enough weight to feed itself, Mr. Meyerhoff added.

“As soon as the ibis had gained sufficient weight and was flying strongly we coordinated closely with WCS to find a suitable location for its release, near to where it was originally found. We released it near a pond in an area of forest that would provide the bird with food and shelter,” said Mr. Meyerhoff.

In May this year, the ibis was found by local community members of the Tmatboey Community Protected Area.

Rare bird of prey found at airbase six days after being blown away

A RARE bird of prey has been found at an airbase - six days after he was blown away by a gust of wind.

PUBLISHED: 16:59, Tue, Jun 7, 2016 | UPDATED: 17:01, Tue, Jun 7, 2016

Arthur the white-headed vulture had last been seen during the last week's Royal Bath and West Show in Somerset, where he was part of a display.

Today the vulture has been reunited with his owner Ben Potter after he appeared at the Fleet Air Arm base RNAS Yeovilton, perching on a tree outside the station's perimeter.

Before that Arthur was seen on numerous occasions, but he had finally stood long enough to be caught by the Bird Control Unit's experts, who were alarmed by Air Traffic Control.

Mr Potter, who is Head Falconer from the Birds of Prey Display Team in Scotch Corner, Yorkshire, said he was glad to have Arthur back.

He said: "I have had Arthur for 12 tears and he is a really important part of the team. He is a white headed vulture and red list endangered which is just about scarce as you can get.

"Our display team allows us to raise funds and maintain a breeding programme the keep endangered birds of prey like Arthur with us for future generations."

Birdwatch: Rare visitor makes exciting return but patience is required

07:00Saturday 11 June 2016

For those who missed it last year there is another chance to see a rare visitor.

A male little bittern is back at the RSPB’s Old Moor reserve near Barnsley. It was first seen early on Saturday morning and since then, true to form, in brief flights across the reedbeds. It has also been making its spring call, a muted dog-like barking.

Little bitterns, the smallest of Europe’s herons, are summer visitors to Europe from Africa including wetlands along the coasts of France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Last year the first sighting was on June 30 and the fact that this year the male is back about a month earlier raises hopes that he might be joined by a female. A pair has bred in South Yorkshire before, at the Potteric Carr reserve, Doncaster in 1984 and successfully reared three young.

Good numbers of birders are arriving at Old Moor in the hopes of seeing the little bittern from the Bittern Hide or the Bus Stop, with varied success and often after a lengthy wait.
There are more sightings and booming calls from its larger relative the Eurasian bittern with two nests located on the reserve this year.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Tropical birds blown off course to sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island after east coast storms

Two tropical birds have been found on Tasmania's sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island, despite rarely being seen south of New South Wales.

It is believed the sooty terns were blown far off course during large storms that battered Australia's east coast in early June.

Staff at the Macquarie Island research station first noticed two terns flying over the station on June 6, but misty conditions made it impossible to identify the species.

Shortly after, staff found the first bird on a road near weather observation buildings.

Wildlife ranger Marcus Salton was called in to identify the species and give it shelter.

It appeared exhausted but healthy, however it died the next day.

Breeding Little Gulls confirmed for the first time in Scotland

Posted on: 15 Jun 2016

Loch of Strathbeg RSPB is hosting the first pair of Little Gulls to breed in Scotland, and just the sixth for Britain.

The world’s smallest species of gull has been confirmed to be nesting in Scotland for the first time, the RSPB announced today. Photos of the birds’ nest containing an egg have confirmed the record; the most recent British breeding attempt was in Norfolk in 2007.

There’s no confirmed record of Little Gulls successfully raising chicks in Britain, so all eyes will be on this pair. It’s hoped that their choice of nesting area at RSPB Scotland’s Loch of Strathbeg reserve will help the attempt, as the pair have set up home on the tern nesting island. Along with the protection provided by the island being inside a fence, RSPB Scotland staff will mount a 24-hour watch and use cameras to protect these rare birds.

The nest was discovered late last week, and the reserve's drone – usually used for monitoring the establishing vegetation on the recent renovation work – caught images of the nest including a single egg on its video camera. RSPB staff say they expect the birds to hatch their first chick any day now.

Has bird watcher finally captured rare albino blackbirds on camera?

17:40, 13 JUN 2016
UPDATED 17:40, 13 JUN 2016

Paul Gartley has spent a month trying to get footage of the birds

A bird watcher who spent a month trying to film an elusive species believes he has finally captured them on camera.

Paul Gartley says he repeatedly saw a group of albino blackbirds in the early morning as he walked his dog in Irlams o’ th’ Height, Salford , but wanted to gather some hard evidence.
Paul, 42, thinks he finally caught the birds on his mobile phone as he walked on Bolton Road playing fields.

He told M.E.N: “I only saw them very early, between 4am and 7am in the morning. They hang around with others and I read online that they only last about a month in the wild because they stick out to predators.

"They bounce off as soon as you get within 50 yards of them but two weeks ago I managed to get close in my car and watch them for a couple hours.”

Albinism is often genetically inherited, and is a recessive characteristic, leading to rare numbers and very few of them surviving in the wild.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Rare Irish bird spotted again in Donegal - Be on the lookout!

By Michael McHugh 13:57 Thursday 16th of June 2016

The first corncrake recorded in Donegal this year was confirmed in Ballyliffin on the 24th of April. Corncrakes begin to arrive in Donegal in April from their wintering grounds in south-eastern Africa, a journey of 10,000 km. The birds seek out tall vegetation such as nettles or flag iris early in the season to conceal themselves until there is enough growth to move in to the meadows.

The male does all the calling to advertise his presence to females and warn off intruding males from his patch. He has a distinctive ‘’Krek Krek’’ call which can be heard around dusk and will continue throughout the night until dawn. The corncrake is a shy little bird which nests in tall vegetation on the ground. They have two broods with the first hatching in June and the second in July/August. 8-12 brownish cream eggs with brown spots hatch in 19 dyas and chicks are unable to fly until 5 weeks old.

The NPWS corncrake conservation project will continue this year with a census carried out between 20 May and 10 July to count all the calling males. The project also offers grants to farmers to delay cutting and corncrake friendly mowing through its Corncrake grant scheme.

Read on …  

MP flying to aid of threatened species of bird

13:57Tuesday 07 June 2016

Boston’s MP has been lending his support to a constituent of a different ‘feather’, the iconic and threatened species of bird the redshank.

Matt Warman visited RSPB Frampton Marsh on Friday in his role as ‘species champion’ for the animal .

Mr Warman took on the position as part of a scheme launched earlier this year by a coalition of non-governmental organisations, including the RSPB, to help improve the future of certain at-risk species.

In all, 20 English species currently facing significant threats were identified and put up for ‘adoption’ by MPs.

Mr Warman’s visit to RSPB Frampton Marsh saw him survey the site’s nesting population of redshanks – a species also known as the wardens of the Marsh on account of them giving loud alarm calls at the slightest provocation.

He said: “I have visited Frampton Marsh several times, both before and since being elected, so I was delighted to be asked to become a special champion for the redshank.

“We are very lucky to have the birds in our local area and I enjoyed spotting them during my most recent visit.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Four chicks born on the Lizard as iconic choughs defy extinction in Cornwall

By WMN_PGoodwin  |  Posted: June 09, 2016

The small but growing population of wild Cornish choughs continues to defy extinction, conservationists have revealed.

Twelve new chicks already on the wing in Cornwall and more are still waiting in nests getting ready to fledge later this month.

A team of conservation volunteers have been carefully monitoring 12 pairs of this iconic bird, which is featured on the Cornish coat of arms.

The latest pair to breed was a bonus for bird watchers after a sad start on The Lizard when the breeding male disappeared in March.

Things brightened up with the arrival of a new unringed bird who paired up with the resident female.

Catherine Lee, who works for National Trust within the Chough Conservation Network in Cornwall, said "We didn't know if the male would stay.

Bird of prey persecution "nothing short of disgraceful"

5:30pm 15th June 2016
(Updated 1:32pm 16th June 2016)

Police are describing the shooting of red kites as "totally unacceptable", after another bird was killed in North Yorkshire.

A member of the public found a dead adult red kite at Timble Ings, between Harrogate and Skipton, on Monday.

It was taken to a vet to be examined and X-rayed.

A number of shotgun pellets were found in it, and this appears to have been the cause of death.

In the last two months, six red kites in North Yorkshire have been shot or died in circumstances which suggest poisoning.

The red kite found at Timble Ings will have been killed sometime before it was found, and police are appealing for information to help bring those responsible to justice.

Uruguay's Blind 'Bird Man' Can Identify 3,000 Bird Sounds

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay — Jun 10, 2016, 9:33 AM ET

 The Associated Press
Born blind, Juan Pablo Culasso has never seen a bird. But through his gifted sense of hearing, he can identify more than 3,000 different bird sounds and differentiate more than 720 species.

The 29-year-old said he realized he had perfect, or absolute pitch, when he was a boy. Tossing stones in a river, he was able to tell his father exactly the note each one made when it hit the water.

Absolute pitch, the rare ability to hear a tone and immediately know it's a C-sharp, for example, is so unusual that only one of every 10,000 people has it, Culasso said, adding that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was among them.

Culasso said his dad later read to him about birds from an encyclopedia that came with an audio cassette of their calls.

"That's when I realized that I could memorize birds by their sounds," he said.

He said he discovered his calling as a teenager, when he joined an ornithologist on a 2003 field visit, inspired by his love of birds. The bird expert gave him a recorder, and he was hooked.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Pink flamingo lands at Salini reserve; bird under constant surveillance by BirdLife Malta

Thursday, 9 June 2016, 18:09Last update: about 8 days ago

A flamingo was today spotted at Salina where it is under constant observation by BirdLife Malta. This beautiful bird displays the unmistakable pink plumage and is also ringed, withBirdLife Malta currently tracing the bird's origin. Flamingos are scarce and irregular in Malta, so this is a particularly exciting sighting. Notwithstanding this, in previous occasions there were occasional sightings of flamingos in this same site, salt pans being their natural habitat.