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.

Sunday 19 May 2019

Highly endangered Florida grasshopper sparrows reared in captivity are released

MAY 13, 2019

by Kevin Spear, Orlando Sentinel
Three of the rarest birds in Florida took an extraordinary adventure this week, slipping out of a large pen into the freedom of an expansive, treeless prairie south of Orlando.
The year-old Florida grasshopper sparrows were hatched and raised in captivity, and designated as pioneers in a perilous bid to save their kind from oblivion.
Staffers of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other organizations lined a dirt road Monday, observing the pen in the far distance as a pair of biologists removed panels from the enclosure.
Then, with a light breeze, clouds of love bugs and an air of worry and optimism, the group waited quietly for an hour for the secretive birds to make their move.
"One flew out," came a text message, followed a short while later by a text suggesting the other two had fled, as they are programmed to do, by running unseen through shrubs and grass.

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