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 27 January 2014

Video: Storm blows Canadian bird 3,000 miles on to Tyrone lough


Recent storms are believed to have blown a bird over 3,000 miles from Canada to a lough in Co Tyrone.

The solitary Pacific Diver bird - known as a loon - which was spotted on Lough Fea near Cookstown in recent days has attracted dozens of bird watchers from as far as Scotland.

Several images of the bird - which spends much of its time diving under water for small fish - have been captured by delighted bird watchers.

More bird watchers are expected to descend on the lough this weekend, as news of bird’s bizarre appearance spreads.

Endangered Philippine eagle killed by falling branch

MANILA, Philippines—A rare Philippine eagle, whose species is on the brink of extinction, was killed inside a conservation group’s breeding center when a branch fell on its cage, the center said Saturday.
The 15-year-old male bird, named ‘Arakan’, was one of about 250 adult Philippine eagles remaining according to the Swiss-based International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which lists the species as “critically endangered”.

Days of non-stop rain caused the huge branch of a tree to fall on Arakan’s cage at the Philippine Eagle Foundation’s center in the southern island of Mindanao, crushing the raptor on January 18, the foundation said.

Numerous large trees are planted inside the center because the conservation group is “trying to simulate the natural environment of the eagles,” said the foundation’s communications officer Beauxy Auxtero.

Rare bird at risk as farms encroach

VietNamNet Bridge – The decline of the Sarus crane, the tallest flying bird in the world, is causing concern for conservationists.

Sarus cranes at Dong Thap Province's Tam Nong
Natural Conservation
 Centre. A decline in the bird's
 population has conservationists concerned about its survival.
Less than 2,000 members of the Indochinese subspecies are left in Cambodia, extreme southern Laos, Myanmar and southern Viet Nam.

Every November, the birds migrate to Tram Chim National Park in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta's Dong Thap Province. In 1998, about 1,100 Sarus cranes arrived in the national park.

But in recent years, that number has dwindled to approximately 200, said Nguyen Van Hung, director of the national park.

Great Knots sighted at Pallikaranai marsh

Siberian migrant birds have only sporadically visited India; last sighting in city was during 1950-60

Naturalists and bird watchers celebrated this Pongal with more than usual joy, thanks to the sighting of Great Knots, Little Terns and a solitary Lesser Crested Tern at the Pallikaranai marshland.

R.J. Ranjit Daniels of Care Earth Trust, a Chennai-based biodiversity research organisation, who recorded the presence of these rare birds, said the Great Knot is a migrant bird that breeds in north-eastern Siberia.

It migrates eastwards in winter through southeast Asia, before finally getting to Australia, he said,

There are sporadic records of the species being spotted in India, while for Chennai, there is an old record in Salim Ali’s Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan, which was probably made between 1950 and 1960, judging by the date of its publication, Dr. Daniels said.

LAKE ELSINORE: Where have all the grebes gone?

January 20, 2014; 01:09 PM

Lake Elsinore apparently has lost its luster as a winter retreat for grebes and several other bird species, possibly due to drought conditions.

An annual count conducted by the local chapter of the Audubon Society in late December tallied a total of 9,388 birds, a 62 percent drop from the year before.

The receding numbers were due in large part to the exodus by the thousands of both western and Clark’s grebes – known for their diving and swimming. The birds had established Lake Elsinore as a popular nesting spot several years ago. Only 107 of the western variety and 11 of the Clark’s birds were found, according to the society’s report released this week.

“We saw hardly any western and Clark’s grebes,” said Wildomar resident Julie Szabo, who organizes the yearly count. “We had 10,000 grebes last year and they’re not here.”

Rare Bird Spotted in Odisha for First Time

By Hemant Kumar Rout - BALASORE

Published: 18th January 2014 11:09 AM

For the first time in the State, rare species of migratory waterfowl has been spotted in Balasore district during a census by the Forest department that concluded on Friday. The rare bird, Common Merganser, was sighted at Laxmipada Chada on Subarnarekha river mouth.

Common Merganser is a migratory bird of duck family having a size of around 58 cm to 72 cm and weight of 1 kg to 2.1 kg. Normally, male birds are slightly larger than females. Like other species in the genus Mergus, it has a crest of longer head feathers, but these usually lie smoothly rounded behind the head, not normally forming an erect crest.

As many as 27 Common Merganger birds in a group were detected on Subarnarekha river mouth on Thursday. The birds which were found here were of 66 cm long. Balasore DFO Harsha Bardhan Udgata said this migratory bird usually resides in Ladakh, Mangolia, Pakistan and Tibet.

Reward offered in hunt for killer of rare whooping cranes in Kentucky

By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
January 16, 2014 -- Updated 1919 GMT (0319 HKT)

Wildlife officials seek the killers of two rare whooping cranes in Kentucky
The birds are thought to have been shot in the same incident in November
A reward is offered for information leading to those responsible for the crime
Whooping cranes are the most endangered of all of the world's crane species

(CNN) -- The hunt is on for the killers of two extremely rare whooping cranes, shot as they spent the winter in Kentucky.

The birds are thought to have been illegally shot in a single incident in November, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources said Thursday.

Now a reward is being offered to help track down the killers.

Whooping cranes are the most endangered of all of the world's crane species, according to the release, and are protected under two federal laws.

Fewer than 500 of the long-legged birds live in the wild in the United States. Seven of them were in Kentucky this winter.

The first bird was reported injured on November 25 in Hopkins County, the news release said. Two days later it was rescued because it had become very weak, but its upper leg was shattered and it had to be euthanized.

Fla. airport hopes fake grass will keep birds away

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — A central Florida airport want to install artificial turf to deter birds from hanging around the planes.

Sanford International Airport officials say birds cause problems for dozens of planes a year. One jet had to make an emergency landing after a bird flew into one of its engines.

In 2012, the Federal Aviation Administration spent more than $100,000 on air cannons to scare away birds. Airport officials tell WFTV ( ) that they now want to take a quieter approach.

Officials say artificial turf doesn't retain water or food, so the birds won't want to hang around the airport.

Crocodile blocks twitchers from rare bird sighting at sewerage ponds

By Mark Di Stefano

Updated Thu 23 Jan 2014, 2:26pm AEDT

Bird watchers are furious at being blocked from a Darwin sewerage facility where a lost Arctic bird has been spotted, because a crocodile is lurking in the ponds.

The grey phalarope, with its dirty white feathers, has been floating around the Leanyer sewage facility for the last few days.

Local bird watchers do not know how it got to Darwin, as it usually breeds in the Arctic tundra and there have been no sightings of it in Australia for years.

Experts speculate it broke away from pack of the migrating birds and got lost.

Old bird, New World: Did the South American hoatzins originate in Europe?

Date: January 22, 2014

Source: Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum

Summary: The oldest fossil discoveries from France show that hoatzins once existed in Europe.

The oldest fossil discoveries from France show that hoatzins once existed in Europe.

Where did hoatzins come from? These unusual birds, only one species of which exists in South America today, originated in the Old World. Studies of the oldest known fossils of Hoatzin ancestors have now shown that these birds existed around 34 million years ago in Europe. Paleornithologists at the Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Flinders University in Adelaide published their findings this week in the specialist journal Naturwissenschaften.

New Zealand's smallest kiwi bird egg will hatch in the next couple of weeks at Rotorua's Rainbow Springs.

25 January 2014 

Kiwi bird breeders are eagerly awaiting the hatching of what is believed to be New Zealand's smallest egg.

The egg, dubbed Mini, weighed just 217 grams when it arrived at Rotorua's Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park - compared to the 442.1 grams its sibling weighed at the same time.

It is expected to hatch in about two weeks and staff are hoping its small size won't result in health problems.

Rainbow Springs says its next smallest egg was the prenatal home of McMurdo, who was born in 2012 and weighed 238.5 grams.

WATCH: Bird Films Penguin Colony - After stealing camera


It turns out that striated caracaras make pretty good videographers.

One of them, intrigued by an egg-cam, captured this amazing video from the Falkland Islands—the first-ever aerial footage of a rockhopper penguin colony shot by a flying bird.

The wild bird stole a camera planted by a team from John Dower Productions, a company that specializes in making wildlife films. The clip is part of the company’s new series,Penguins—Spy in the Huddle. 

Nine near-threatened bird species sighted in Chilika Lake

IANS | January 13, 2014 | Nation | 0 Comments

Bhubaneswar: Nine near-threatened bird species were sighted this winter at Chilika Lake, Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon, in Odisha, an official said Monday.

“During the annual bird census that ended Sunday, a total 7,19,262 birds were sighted by enumerators in the Lake, against last year’s 8,77,322.

“One of the important highlights of the census was that we sighted nine near-threatened bird species,” Divisional Forest Officer (wildlife) B.P Acharya told IANS.

“They are river tern, Asian dowitcher, spot-billed pelican, oriental darter, Eurasian curlew, Eurasian spoonbill, Pallas’s fish eagle, painted stork, and black-tailed godwit”, he said.

Teenaged pigeon-racer in tears after Gravesham Council bird shed ruling

Tuesday 14th January 2014 in News By Heloise Wood
A 13-YEAR-OLD pigeon enthusiast was reduced to tears after Gravesham Council told him he must tear down his bird shed.

Reece Stone, of Bourne Road, Gravesend, has learning difficulties but became passionate about pigeons four years ago, a hobby which has also helped boost his grades at school.

However the heartbroken teenager has been forced to keep his birds in baskets after the council said his family didn’t have permission for the 24-foot garden shed they built last December.

Dad Keith Stone, 51, told News Shopper: "He doesn’t know what to do with himself.

Desire to reproduce drives active nightlife of birds

Date: January 21, 2014

Source: University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

Summary: For a non-nocturnal bird, the yellow-breasted chat spends a significant amount of time visiting other birds’ territories during the night. After studying the birds’ movement, it was noted that males were active almost every night, while the females were also active at night, but particularly so during the window of time when they were fertile.

Sunday 26 January 2014

One good tern deserves another: Low-power, remote monitoring of island birds cuts bills

Date: January 24, 2014

Source: Inderscience Publishers

Summary: A new report reveals details of an energy-efficient system for monitoring wild birds that reduces power consumption without significantly compromising image quality.

Ostrich causes chaos in Tunbridge Wells as it races traffic at 40mph Motorists slammed on the brakes after spotting the flightless bird speeding up and down the busy main road

By News agencies

The escaped bird was spotted running along more than 20 cars on the main road between the villages of Rusthall and Speldhurst in Tunbridge10:51AM GMT 14 Jan 2014

An ostrich caused traffic chaos in Tunbridge Wells after running beside cars at more than 40mph.
The escaped bird was spotted running past 20 cars on the main road between the villages of Rusthall and Speldhurst in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

Adult ostriches can run up to 60mph and grow to more than 9ft-tall, but this youngster is just over 2ft-tall, but can still run at more than 40mph, according to locals.

Parakeets have arrived in Harringay by Matt Salusbury

I saw a pair of parakeets - distinctive by their calls, their green coluring and the fact they they were flying in a pair - flying over the houses on the St Ann's Road side of Green Lanes, in the direction of Duckett's Common.

Parakeets are known to have gone wild in the South East of England in the mid-1960s, possibly earlier.

Until a few years ago, London's parakeets had been confined to West London (Richmond Park and the suburban Grand Union Canal), North West London (Hampstead Heath) and South East London (Gypsy Hill, Burgess Park, etc.) In late summer/early autumn last year, I started seeing them in Clissold Park, Stoke Newington, and along the Hackney Central stretch of the Regent's Canal, and heard parakeets in the skies above Alexandra Palace. I finally caught sight of parakeets above Ally Pally last week.

I'd heard what I thought were parakeets above my garden a week ago, and know I've finally seen them in the neighbourhood. They have arrived in Harringay. With so many green spaces around - Duckett's Common, Lordship Rec, Downhill's Park, Railway Fields, I'm sure they will make themselves at home. 

The West London parakeets are Indian parakeets, and the North London parakeets are Monk's parakeets. This raises the possibility of a distinctive London hybrid parakeet emerging in the near future.

Saturday 25 January 2014

Barn Owls - via Ghostman Raines - heard about on Radio Devon

Out of 145 Barn Owls found dead through accidents (66%), starvation (32%), shooting (2%) and poisoning (<1%), 10% contained residues of rodenticides, difenacoum or brodifacoum, in their livers. Difenacoum was in the range 0.005-0.106 microg g(-1) fresh weight, and brodifacoum was in the range 0.019-0.515 microg g(-1). Minimum levels of detection were about 0.005 microg g(-1) for both chemicals. Mice fed for 1 day on food containing difenacoum and brodifacoum died after 2-11 days. Within these mice residues were present at greater concentration in the liver than in the rest of the carcass. The mean mass of residue in a whole 35g mouse was estimated at 10.17 microg (range 4.73-20.65 microg) for difenacoum and 15.36 microg (range 8.07-26.55) for brodifacoum. Such poisoned mice were fed to Barn Owls for successive periods of 1, 3 and 6 days. All six owls fed on difenacoum-dosed mice survived all three treatments, in which up to an estimated 101.7 microg of difenacoum was consumed, and the coagulation times of their blood returned to near normal in less than 5-23 days. Four of the six owls fed on brodifacoum-dosed mice died 6-17 days after the 1-day treatment, but the survivors also survived the 3-day and 6-day treatments. Those that died had each eaten 3 mice, with a combined weight of about 105g and a total brodifacoum content of about 46.07 microg, which was equivalent to a dose of 0.150-0.182 mg kg(-1) of owl body weight. After death these owls had 0.63-1.25 micro g(-1) of brodifacoum in their livers. Blood from the survivors would not coagulate at 9 days post-treatment, but did so at 16 days in one bird and between 38 and 78 days in the other. It is concluded that: (1) Barn Owls in Britain are now widely exposed to second-generation rodenticides; (2) not all owls exposed to these chemicals are likely to receive a lethal dose; (3) brodifacoum is more toxic to owls than difenacoum; and (4) while there is yet no evidence that rodenticides have had any appreciable effect on Barn Owl populations in Britain, further monitoring of residue levels and population trends in desirable.

Starling murmuration film

Migrating starlings are known as a visual spectacle but the incredible acrobatic aerial display from the starlings that soared above two women on a canoe ride was something else. Watch it here

No-Till Soybean Fields Give (Even Some Rare) Birds Foothold in Illinois

Jan. 22, 2014 — Researchers report in a new study that several bird species -- some of them relatively rare -- are making extensive use of soybean fields in Illinois. The team found significantly more birds and a greater diversity of bird species nesting, roosting and feeding in no-till soybean fields than in tilled fields.

The team spent about 13 weeks each spring and summer in 2011 and 2012 scouring a total of 24 fields (12 per year) in two counties in Central Illinois. The fields were 18 to 20 hectares (44-49 acres) on average, and the researchers walked roughly 3,200 kilometers (1,988 miles) in the course of the study.

The team found more bird nests and greater species diversity in the no-till fields than in the tilled soybeans. Nest losses were high, however. About 80 percent of nests in the no-till fields and more than 90 percent in tilled fields failed as a result of predation or the onset of farm operations before eggs hatched or young birds were ready to fly.

Tooth-billed pigeon sighted for first time in 10 years

January 2014: One of the world’s least-known and rarest birds, the Tooth-billed Pigeon has been sighted on the Samoan island of Savai’i by researchers.The young Tooth-billed Pigeon Didunculus strigirostris, was photographed by a team from the Samoan Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE), and is the first confirmed sighting in almost a decade.The odd-looking tooth-billed pigeon or manumea, as it is locally known, is endemic to Samoa and is the country’s national bird. BirdLife lists it as Endangered due to its small, fragmented range and population. It has declined rapidly over the last 20 years as a result of hunting and habitat loss.

Friday 24 January 2014

RSPB Media Release: Count the birds that are counting on you

Count the birds that are counting on you
The RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch (25-26 January)

More than half a million people are expected to be watching their garden birds at the weekend (25-26 January), for the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch.
And with many of the UK's most common garden birds and other creatures in steep decline, the charity needs participation more than ever.
The weather plays an important role in the number of birds in gardens each winter and experts are interested to see if the helter-skelter conditions around the UK so far this year mean birds seem scarce, or they appear in their droves.
Whatever happens with the weather this weekend, the results will be compared with those from winters in the past, stretching back to the first Big Garden Birdwatch in 1979. Any changes alert experts to track the winners and losers in the garden bird world and long-term trends stand out even when year-to-year differences in the weather are taken into account.
And this year, for the first time in over thirty years, participants are being asked to log some of the other wildlife they see in their gardens too.
The RSPB also wants to know whether people ever see deer, squirrels, badgers, hedgehogs, frogs and toads in their gardens.
With the charity’s new Giving Nature a Home campaign meaning even more people than ever before are providing their wild creatures with new habitats, the RSPB will be able to help build an overall picture of how important our gardens are for giving all types of nature a home.
Also new for 2014, is the RSPB’s LIVE bird counter, making it even easier to take part. The counter can be accessed from the RSPB website and doesn't even need to be downloaded - simply take your laptop, tablet or smartphone to the window, enter the birds you see as you see them, while the clock counts down your hour.
Martin Harper, RSPB Conservation Director says: ”Winter has felt more like autumn for many of us and this could have a significant impact on the number of birds in our gardens.
“Birds come into gardens for food when they can’t find it in the wider countryside but if insects and berries continue to be available long into winter, numbers visiting gardens may be down. The Big Garden Birdwatch will be really interesting this year and will be a good indication of just how much the weather affects their behaviour.
“The key thing for the RSPB is that even if you feel you don’t have as many birds in your garden compared to normal, we still desperately need your results. We will be able to compare results to other mild winter years and compare regional trends, so if you don’t see many birds, we still need to know, it’s really useful information.
"The more people that take part, the greater our understanding of the threats and the solutions will be."
Starlings hit an all time low in the 2013 Birdwatch with their numbers sinking by a further 16 per cent from 2012. Numbers of house sparrows, which are of high conservation concern, dropped by 17 percent in gardens compared to 2012, whilst numbers of bullfinches and dunnocks were down by 20 per cent and 13 per cent respectively.
These worrying declines mirror the findings of the State of Nature report which was launched earlier this year by 25 UK wildlife groups with the backing of Sir David Attenborough. The report revealed that 60 per cent of the wildlife species included are in decline, and one in ten of these could be the road to extinction in the UK unless something is done to save them (See note 1).
The data gathered on the mammal and amphibian species will be shared with conservation partners so they can add it to their own records and will be used to help the RSPB tailor its advice on giving nature a home so people can help their wild visitors nest, feed and breed successfully.
To take part, people are asked to spend just one hour at any time of the Big Garden Birdwatch weekend noting the highest number of each bird species seen in their gardens or local outside space at any one time. They then have three weeks to submit their results to the RSPB, either online at or in the post.
Participants don’t have to actually count the other species like hedgehogs and frogs during the birdwatch hour; just tell the RSPB whether they have ever seen them in their gardens, at any time of year.
Miranda Krestovnikoff, RSPB President and West Country resident, says: “So many of us spend time giving our nature a home, whether that's feeding garden birds, putting up nestboxes or planting the right things.
"And this is the perfect opportunity to reap the benefits  - it's so rewarding seeing creatures taking up your hospitality.
“It’s easy to take part and great fun; I can't wait to settle down with my children and a cup of tea and we'll eagerly await some of our regular visitors. We're all hoping that our nuthatch and bullfinch pay a visit during our hour.
"The RSPB urgently needs as many people to take part as possible. The more people that get involved, the more we'll be able to understand which of our wildlife is most under threat and take action."
Schools can also get involved in the Big Schools’ Birdwatch. Around 75,000 children and teachers take part each year, and is a brilliant way of helping young people connect with nature in their school grounds or local green space. This year’s schools’ birdwatch will take place from 20 January - 14 February, and schools can pick any hour within these four weeks to join in. Find out more at:
For further information and to arrange an interview, please contact:
Tony Whitehead, 01392 453754, 07872 414365
Gemma Butlin 01767 693489/07967 818558
Heather Griffiths 01767 693428
Images to support this story are available from RSPB Images.
To access an image, please click on the hyperlink below and then enter the user name and password when prompted.
User Name:                RSPB
Password:                   BGBW14
Editor’s notes:
1. To read the State of Nature and watch Sir David Attenborough speaking about the groundbreaking report visit –
2.  For bird food, bird feeders and accessories visit

3.  County by County results for Big Garden Birdwatch 2013 are attached.

Bird Count: 14 New Species Sighted in Kaiga

Members of North Karnataka Birders Network (NKBN) have sighted 14 species of birds new to the area in the forests around Kaiga Nuclear Plant during the Kaiga Bird Marathon -2014 organised by the Nuclear Power Corporation (NPC).

The marathon is an yearly event conducted to examine the impact of the nuclear plant on the environment. Apart from birds, a black panther was sighted in the Kaiga area for the first time.

According to NKBN secretary Pavan Miskin, black panthers are usually sighted in Dandeli forests and it is rare to get them to see in this part of the Western Ghats.

Around 112 bird watchers of NK region in eight groups wandered roughly 6-7 kms around the Kaiga plant to check the impact of nuclear radiation on birds and animals. “If there is any leakage of nuclear radiations, it will first affect the birds,” Miskin said.

Indian man nabbed for smuggling rare pheasants

ITAHARI: An Indian national has been arrested on charge of smuggling rare species of birds from the Thandi customs office here in Siraha.

According to Siraha Police, the suspect is identified as Ajim Khan of Madhuwani. He was arrested three days ago while he was illegally transporting 26 pheasants to India for sale. 

Preliminary investigation revealed that Khan had bought the birds in Kathmandu.

According to Khan’s preliminary statement, smugglers in the Capital are rearing the rare birds by operating hatchery and they supply them to foreign countries. 

Thursday 23 January 2014

Fossil discovery sheds light on unknown bird


Canterbury was home to one of the oldest flying seabirds, as discovered by fossil hunters from Canterbury Museum.

Dr Paul Scofield, from the Canterbury Museum, and Dr Gerald Mayr, from the Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum in Frankfurt, published their findings this week in the Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Bones of the previously unknown species were found in 2009 in Waipara by Leigh Love, an amateur fossil collector from the region.

He heads out most weekends to look for fossils, and anything he cannot identify he turns over to museum staff.

Though Scofield had the fossil early on, it sat unexamined for several years while work was disrupted by earthquakes.

Once he had a chance to come back to it, Scofield said it was obvious the fossil was something extraordinary.

Afghanistan to probe the alleged hunt of rare birds by foreigners

By GHANIZADA - Sun Jan 12 2014, 9:28 pm

The foreign affairs ministry of Afghanistan announced Sunday that the government of Afghanistan will launch a probe regarding the alleged hunting of rare birds by foreigners in western Afghanistan.

Foreign affairs ministry spokesman Janan Mosazai told reporters in Kabul that the government of Afghanistan is aware of media reports in this regard.

Mosazai said, the foreign ministry of Afghanistan has launched an investigation regarding the alleged hunt of rare birds and species in the country by foreigners.

Rare harriers arrive in record numbers to spend winter at Lakenheath Fen

Record numbers of two of the rarest British birds of prey have been baffling bird watchers at Lakenheath Fen.

On Sunday 29 marsh harriers and seven hen harriers (pictured here by Andy Hay, RSPB images)were seen at the RSPB reserve on the edge of Lakenheath but nobody is sure why they have turned up in such numbers.

Reserve information officer David White said: “Marsh harriers used to be summer visitors only and though more and more spend the winter here, 29 is unprecedented.

“Hen harriers breed on moorland, mainly in Scotland. In England they’re hanging on by a thread. The highest official record for them here is seven birds.”

Bay Area pond drained after avian cholera outbreak

Published 9:00 am, Saturday, January 11, 2014

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. (AP) — Authorities are draining a pond in Redwood Shores after an avian cholera outbreak killed 185 ducks in one week.

The San Jose Mercury News reports ( ) that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials said Friday that the disease is not a threat to humans.

Officials say the cholera outbreak likely came from birds in the east San Francisco Bay area, where an outbreak was reported at a park in Hayward.

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Flamingo population increases in Rajasthan: Report

TNN | Jan 20, 2014, 02.01 AM IST

The main highlight of the survey is sighting of winter migratory species northern shoveler, pied avocet, Common Redshank and black-winged stilt which is local species.

JAIPUR: It's good news for environmentalists and bird lovers, particularly in the state and the general as a whole. The Asian Waterbird Census(AWC) has counted 1,300 greater flamingos and 1,800 lesser flamingos so far in the wetlands ofGudha Jhapong and Devyani area in Sambhar Lake area. The census was completed on January 16. These birds are registered as endangered species and need protection in their sustainable habitat.

Migration hard on some birds

By Gale Rose 
Posted Jan. 11, 2014 @ 12:01 am 

Pratt, Kan.
During migration season, tens of thousands of geese, mostly snow geese and Canada geese, can be seen in the skies over Pratt and at the Pratt County Veterans Memorial Lake.

Recently, however, a couple of Canada geese were seen frozen in the lake and dead. With multiple thousands of geese traveling through the area, finding a dead goose is not unusual, said Tom Bidrowski, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism migratory game bird program manager.

The geese could have died from several causes including injury, old age and stress from migration. The recent extreme cold could also be a factor.

No effort will be made to determine why these particular birds died. But if from three to five birds are found dead in one area, the bodies are gathered and sent to a lab for testing.

Another possible cause of death is bad grain. Some people might feed birds grain that can cause a fungal infection and kill the bird. For that reason,

“We don’t encourage people to feed water fowl,” Bidrowski said.

Because some birds will die during migration, eagles will follow the flocks and pick off prey. It is not unusual to see eagles hunting at Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivera.

Read more: 

This phalarope must be one of the most photographed birds in the UK this week

Hove Lagoon, West Sussex: Blown off-course by storms, this small, slender, white and grey water bird has found shelter among the blue mosaic tiles
The traffic splashes along the glistening sea front at Hove. The black rain clouds move east, and the sun rises up into the sky. Light reaches around the walls surrounding the children's paddling pool, where the grey phalarope is already feeding when I arrive. Blown off-course by recent storms, this small, slender, white and grey water bird, about the size of a starling, has found shelter among the blue mosaic tiles.

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Birds' migration secrets to be revealed by space tracker

Icarus, a wildlife receiver circling above Earth, will monitor the epic journeys of tiny birds and insects, helping to warn us of volcanic eruptions and to protect us from diseases

Small birds, butterflies, bees and fruitbats will be fitted with tiny radio transmitters and tracked throughout their lifetimes from space when a dedicated wildlife radio receiver is fitted to the International Space Station next year.

The ability to follow the movements of very small organisms hour by hour from space will revolutionise our understanding of long-distance bird migrations, and give advance warnings of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. And it should also help protect human populations from animal-borne diseases like Sars, bird flu and West Nile Virus, say conservationists.

Waterfowl Poisoning Halved by Lead Shot Prohibition in Spain

Jan. 16, 2014 — The pollution of waterfowl meat and their poisoning by lead shot has dropped by 50% since this type of munitions was prohibited in wetlands in 2001. This is one of the data in a report from the Hunting Resources Research Institute, which also states that the hunters' compliance with this mandate has been very high.

The pollution of waterfowl meat and their poisoning by lead shot has dropped by 50% since this type of munitions was prohibited in wetlands in 2001. This is one of the data in a report from the Hunting Resources Research Institute, which also states that the hunters' compliance with this mandate has been very high.

Rare birds make a winter appearance in Dunfanaghy

While the storms that battered the Donegal coast are not a rare sight in the depths of winter, some feathered visitors to our shores, believed to have been blown off course, certainly were.

Over the Christmas holidays an eagle-eyed father and son duo from Marble Hill, near Dunfanaghy, spotted a the very rare sight of two “Glossy Ibis” birds as they travelled along the road.

Malcom Parke and his son Ian captured images when they spotted the striking birds taking shelter in fields near Dunfanaghy golf course and the local soccer field.

As they observed the birds they soon came to the conclusion they were not the more familiar sight of the Curlew.

Monday 20 January 2014

Caltrans Agrees to Stop Using Bird-Killing Nets

on January 16, 2014 5:09 PM

California's transportation agency has agreed to stop using bird netting at its construction sites that ended up killing what may be hundreds of protected cliff swallows at a bridge construction project site in Sonoma County, and the agreement will influence how it conducts its projects elsewhere in the state.

According to an announcement released Thursday, Caltrans will remove netting that was intended to keep swallows from nesting on the Petaluma River Bridge and Lakeville Highway Overpass as the two adjacent Route 101 viaducts are being upgraded.

Tagged osprey chick found dead in Spain

AN osprey chick being monitored by the RSPB has died after flying into cables in Spain.

The bird had been expected to fly home to Loch Garten, near Strathspey, in the Highlands, after wintering in the sun.

However, the chick, named Caledonia by local schoolchildren, was found dead in the grounds of a convent in Seville. She flew into cables supporting a lightning rod at the Monasterio de San Clemente during fog and her body was found in the cloisters.

Rare Mandarin duck sighted on the first day of water-bird census

January 18, 2014 by Imphal Free Press 

IMPHAL, January 18: A rare migratory bird Mandarin duck was seen around the Loktak Lake this year after a gap of 34-35 years.

The migratory birds were sighted during the first day of the water bird census 2014, which kicked off today.

After the two-day long Loktak Water-bird census held at Toubul High School on January 13-14, the Water Bird Census, 2014 commenced from today under the aegis of the Department of Forest, Wildlife Wing.

Sunday 19 January 2014

300 Egyptian vultures spotted in Banaskantha

PALANPUR: There is good news for bird lovers of Banaskantha as more than 300 Egyptian vultures were spotted in the district on Tuesday. These birds were rarely spotted in the last several years in the area.

"Even the Birds Conservation Society of Gujarat (BCSG) has not mentioned such a big colony of vultures in the last several editions of their journal 'Vihangam," an executive member of BCSG and a teacher at RR Mehta Science College Suresh Prajapati said.

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Chester Zoo sends an expedition to search for a rare parrot in Ecuador

January 2014: A team of 10 experienced conservationists, bird and horticultural experts, depart this month to survey the remote Cerro Blanco Forest in South West Ecuador, with the aim of tracking down and collecting vital data on the Ecuador Amazon parrot.

Until recently, the Ecuador Amazon parrot was considered to be part of a group and therefore not seen as a conservation priority, but it has been newly recognised as a species in its own right.

Years of research by the zoo’s director general, Dr Mark Pilgrim, has led to its reclassification, and a conservation action-plan is now being put in place.

Attack! How Falcons Stalk Their Prey in Flight

By Denise Chow, Staff Writer | January 15, 2014 06:02pm ET

When a falcon swoops through the air and spots a flock of birds, these crafty predators use a special aerial attack strategy to capture prey in midflight, according to a new study.

To gain insight into the hunting practices of falcons, researchers at Haverford College in Haverford, Pa., outfitted falcons across the United States and Europe with miniature helmet- and backpack-mounted video cameras to record footage of raptor attacks in action.