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 18 January 2018

Concern Over Bird Netting in Scarborough

6:03am 3rd January 2018

Concerns about about anti-bird netting in Scarborough have been raised after a number of endangered Kittiwakes were spotted dead in netting on the Grand Hotel.

Photos on social media show the birds trapped in the netting.
Shame to see dead Kittiwakes caught in anti-bird netting on @BritanniaLtd's Grand Hotel, Scarborough. @northyorkscc@TheScarboroNews @RSPBNews @Bempton_Cliffs

The Kittiwake is described on the RSPB website as gentle looking, medium-sized gulls with a small yellow bill and a dark eye. They have a grey back with white underneath. Their legs are short and black. In flight the black wing-tips show no white, unlike other gulls, and look as if they have been 'dipped in ink'. The population is declining in some areas, perhaps due to a shortage of sandeels. After breeding birds move out into the Atlantic where they spend the winter.

The birds are on the  red list of endangered species with populations though to have declined by 40% since 1970 leaving just 300,000 breading pairs.

In a statement the  RSPB said.

We understand that netting is sometimes used to prevent kittiwakes from nesting on buildings. However, it vital that this is installed correctly and maintained regularly to ensure that it acts as a bird deterrent rather than a death trap.

It is upsetting to see kittiwakes have died in this way especially as they are a nationally declining bird and are of serious conservation concern. We will be contacting The Grand Hotel to request that the netting is repaired immediately so no more birds will
die needlessly.

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