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.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Basque Red-backed Shrike population in free fall

06/04/2018

Red-backed Shrike is undergoing a severe decline in Spain’s Basque Country, with numbers having dropped by 95 per cent over the last 40 years.

This is the conclusion reached by researcher José Luis Tellería of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, after analysing the status of two populations of the species over four decades. 

The article, published in the scientific journal of SEO/BirdLife, Ardeola: International Journal of Ornithology, also examines a series of possible causes that could be behind the plummeting numbers in these localities, as well as in the Euskadi region, where the bird has traditionally been abundant in rural areas. In fact, in the Bilbao area it is part of a group of 20 species of insectivorous birds, colloquially known as 'txinbos', hunted by the locals in former times but all protected today.

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