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 3 September 2018

Yellowhammer: Farmers urged to save 'iconic bird'

By Conor MacauleyBBC NI Agriculture & Environment Correspondent
21 August 2018
Declines in iconic farmland birds like the yellowhammer can be reversed by sympathetic farming, a study by a leading conservation charity has said.
And farmers can get a payment for simple measures which will enhance their numbers.
The brightly-coloured bird has been in huge decline in Northern Ireland due to the diminishing crop sector.
This means there is less suitable habitat and seed which they rely on for food.
But the RSPB says a five-year study shows the collapse in numbers can be turned around.
It surveyed five priority species - including the yellowhammer - on 33 farms in County Down which signed up to agri-environment schemes.
They give farmers a payment for measures which enhance biodiversity.
The results were compared to 22 control farms which did not participate.
Participating farmers planted wild bird cover; grew taller hedges and allowed field margins of rough vegetation to provide cover and food.
The survey results showed yellowhammer numbers increased by 78%. Linnets and tree sparrows are also up.
Cereal farmer Jack Kelly is involved in the project.

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