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, 5 February 2020

Majorca's world champion birds

2020-02-02 04:01:01 Palma By Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter

Majorcan Àngel Rosselló was the winner of the category for hybrid birds at last month's Ornithology World Championship, which was held in Matosinhos in Portugal. The award was for a group of four birds, all a mix of a chaffinch and a canary. The birds exceeded the jury's expectations because they were identical, despite three having been born in 2018 and the fourth in 2019.

Rosselló, who is a carpenter by trade, has "fathered" more than ninety species. The birds are in cages in his courtyard. He gets up at half six each morning in order to inspect them. "It's a tough hobby, especially because you are dealing with such delicate birds, for which it is difficult to achieve a perfect result." The hybrid category, he adds, "is the most difficult because of all that is entailed in producing and raising these species of bird". The birds can fetch between 500 and 600 euros.

There were over 20,000 species at the championship. Rosselló's birds were in Portugal for fifteen days. He says that hybrids can get particularly "nervous", but the trip didn't affect them. They passed various tests for colour, design, size and shape. They obtained the highest marks for their song. In all, they won with 370 points, the highest ever score for a hybrid at an ornithology contest.

His prizes were a diploma and a medal, but he had to pay to take part. "It's quite expensive, but it is a world championship and the facilities have to be maintained for two weeks." He can't imagine a life without his birds, and his goal is to keep on improving and gaining more world medals.

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