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, 23 March 2017

Slender-billed Curlew: have we been looking in the wrong places?

Scientists from the RSPB have carried out stable isotope analysis on feathers from juvenile Slender-billed Curlews Numenius tenuirostris to identify potential breeding areas, and found that these areas may be significantly further south than previously thought.

Previously the only known breeding area of Slender-billed Curlew was from the Omsk province, western Siberia. 

This has led some to hope that new searches could lead to its ‘rediscovery’.

Bahrain returns over 1,000 rare birds smuggled from Pakistan

Tariq Abul Hasan
March 10, 2017
ISLAMABAD: Over a thousand rare birds, including baby parrots and nightingales, were smuggled on March 5 to Bahrain in the guise of lovebirds and Australian parrots by collusion of government departments.

Pakistan bars export of parrots and nightingales.

Bahrain authorities on finding about the scam stopped the smuggler from carrying the birds to the country and sent the shipment back to Pakistan on March 8. Dozens of birds died due to starvation.

Officials of the customs and wildlife department as well as a veterinary doctor of a government department were involved in the scam. The individuals, instead of returning the shipment back to the wildlife department, declared the birds as imports and gave the birds back to the importer. No inquiry was conducted against the importer either.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Songster provides hope for rarest bird in Galapagos

Published by surfbirds on March 10, 2017 

With an estimated population of 100 individuals, saving the mangrove finch from extinction is not an easy task. However, thanks to funding by the Galapagos Conservation Trust and three years of intensive conservation management of the species in the Galapagos Islands by the Charles Darwin Foundation, the Galapagos National Park Directorate and San Diego Zoo Global, an individual singing male could be the evidence that it has all been worth it.

The Mangrove Finch Project is working in the Galapagos Islands to save the Critically Endangered mangrove finch, whose global population consists of only around 100 individuals. The tiny population is still at risk, as it is affected by low nesting success due to the parasitism of nestlings by the introduced parasitic fly, Philornis downsi and predation by invasive rats. To try and counteract these effects, in 2014 a multi-institutional project led by the Charles Darwin Foundation and Galapagos National Park began to head-start mangrove finches by collecting eggs from the wild, captive-rearing the chicks and releasing the fledglings back to their natural habitat. The wild parents are able to lay again, so this can double the chance of breeding success.