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 31 March 2014

Farmland birds flock to Isle, says RSPB

Isle residents know that the area they live in is the best in Britain - and now so do the nation’s farmland birds.

A report from the RSPB has says the Isle of Axholme stands out as one of the best places to spot arable birds such as corn bunting, grey partridge, lapwing, tree sparrow, turtle dove and yellow wagtail.

RSPB farmland conservation advisor Kirsty Brannan said: “The reason why this area stands out as one of the best places in England for farmland birds is because it still has good numbers of bird species that are particularly dependent on arable farming and that are no longer widespread throughout most of the countryside.

“A separate project which the RSPB worked with the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology), Natural England and local bird clubs brought together all records of these particular birds, and highlighted parts of the country where most of these species could still be found.

“While many farmland birds are still a common site almost wherever you go, such as skylark and yellowhammer, these six have become more scarce, so it’s especially exciting to find an area where all of them may be doing well.

“The bird monitoring work started last year. Clearly something about the Isle of Axholme is helping these birds, and we’re keen to work with local farmers to understand why.”

Bird charity may fight massive windfarm plan

By Laura Paterson

Published: 24/03/2014

Plans to build the world’s third-biggest offshore windfarm in the Moray Firth could be under threat from a bird protection charity.

RSPB Scotland is considering mounting a legal challenge after the Scottish Government last week backed plans for two neighbouring projects off the Caithness coast.

The windfarms by Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd (Morl) and Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (Bowl) are expected to create more than 5,000 jobs and be able to power more than a million homes – while boosting the Scottish economy by £2.5billion.

For the full story, pick up a copy of today’s Press and Journal or read our digital edition now.

RSPB says to stop burning heather

By Lucy King

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Charity claims practice harms habitats

The Moorland Association has defended controlled heather burning after the RSPB called on Natural England to bring an end to the practice on protected uplands. The society claims that, along with draining to improve grazing for sheep, rotational burning, employed on many grouse moors, has led to a decline in the condition of much of Britain’s peatland. It suggests the practice damages the delicate habitats of rare plants and birds, prevents the re-growth of vegetation, releases stored carbon and contributes to increased flooding. The organisation’s chief executive, Dr. Mike Clarke, said: “For the benefit of wildlife, the environment and wider society, there is an urgent need to restore these landscapes by blocking drains, revegetating bare peat and bringing an end to burning.”

Mountain bikers spot 'lost' golden eagle in Carmarthenshire

Golden eagle on man's armA golden eagle has been spotted by a group of mountain bike enthusiasts on Llanllwni Mountain in Carmarthenshire.

Although Dyfed Powys Police said there were no reports of a missing eagle, the RSPB said it was likely to have escaped.

The giant bird of prey has bells on it feet, said Nikki Channon who was surprised to see the eagle while out on a ride on Tuesday.

"No doubt someone is very anxious to have lost this bird," she said.

She was taking guests at her mountain biking business on a guided rise when they saw what she described as the tame bird.

"It is obviously tame and lost but could cause damage or take local lambs if it gets very hungry."

Sea bird wanders to Sukhna for first time

Vikram Jit Singh, TNN | Mar 28, 2014, 04.05AM IST

CHANDIGARH: What would be a marine bird, usually seen along the coasts of Gujarat, be doing at Sukhna Lake as winter wanes? Bird lovers of the city and ornithologists across the country have been delighted to get the first and "exceptional" record of the Saunder's tern (Sternula saunderesi) at Sukhna on March 22, whose identity and differentiation from the similar-looking Little tern (Sternula albifrons) has been established following scrutiny by experts over several days.

The Saunder's tern at Sukhna, which is hundreds of miles off its known habitat, is from a "migratory flocking species that nests in small colonies on scrapes in sand/gravel. This species often hovers with rapid wing-beats before plunge-diving for fish in water".

As spring enters, the Tricity region and its wetlands are visited by many rare birds or vagrants, which have been driven off course by weather changes and storms. Birds on return migration also visit the wetlands briefly. Another very unusual record has been the sighting of the globally vulnerable species, the Indian skimmer, at Sukhna, also on March 22 by wildlife photographer, Sarabjit Lehal. However, the skimmer was first sighted at Sukhna last year on April 19 and photographed then by Alpana NP Singh.

Holyrood gets claws out for wildlife crimes

GREATER powers are to be proposed for an animal welfare charity under Scottish government plans to tackle wildlife crime more effectively.

Following a spate of crimes including bird of prey poisonings and badger killings, ministers will this week publish proposals to give more investigative powers to the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA).

It follows Friday’s publication of a birds of prey poisoning map, as it emerged that the number of reported and confirmed illegal bird of prey poisoning incidents in Scotland rose to six in 2013 from three in 2012.

Sunday 30 March 2014

Nurturing the future of birds

President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared open the new Birds Breeding and Research Centre established in the Nagarawewa, in Hambantota on Thursday (27)..

The Centre which has been established to breed of rare birds and those which are threatened with extinction is located in a 38 acre area. 

The Centre has a collection of all varieties of worldwide birds. It is also equipped with all facilities necessary to undertake studies by University students, school children or whoever is interested on special varieties of birds.

Deputy Minister Sanath Jayasuriya and Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa were also present at this event.

Osprey back in Highlands for 12th year

Wednesday 26 March 2014

A FEMALE osprey has arrived back at a Scottish nature reserve for the 12th year in a row.

EJ touched down at the RSPB's Loch Garten Osprey Centre at 1.25pm on Monday, a day ahead of her usual arrival in the Cairngorms. The 18-year-old bird winters in West Africa every year and staff are now awaiting the arrival of her long-standing mate Odin.

Richard Thaxton, RSPB Scotland site manager at Loch Garten, said: "It's brilliant to see her and to have her back. She's very familiar to us and a much-loved bird. In typical fashion she arrived brandishing a freshly caught trout, picked up locally, en route back to her nest.

"Since her arrival she has been to the nest several times and begun some spring-cleaning and housekeeping, moving sticks around and generally pottering about, all the while on the lookout for an arriving male osprey, also due any day now." He added: "While we should not count our chicks before they hatch, if all goes well and a mate arrives, they lay and hatch eggs, EJ will hopefully rear the 100th chick."

RARE BIRD SPECIES: New Zealand’s rare whio population are thriving

A survey conducted by New Zealand’s Department of Conservation (DOC) has found that the population of whio, also known as blue duck, is thriving in the mountainous rivers and streams inland of Hawke’s Bay on the North Island. This rare bird is found only in New Zealand, and is at high risk of attack from stoats and rats where they nest along fast-flowing riverbanks.
The survey was conducted in January 2014, and found a total of 18 breeding pairs along 33km of waterway bordering 6,120 hectares of the Forest Lifeforce Restoration Trust’s Maungataniwha Native Forest, compared to 10 pairs along 41km of river during a 2011 survey.

Henpecked family in fear of 'holy terror' pheasant

An unpleasant pheasant is terrorising a Cambridgeshire farming family and leaving visitors and pets fearful of attack whenever they venture out of doors

By Padraic Flanagan

5:02PM GMT 24 Mar 2014

In scenes worthy of a Hitchcock film, a furious pheasant is besieging a farmhouse and leaving a terrified family too fearful to venture outside without protection.

Farmer’s wife Anne-Marie Hamilton said their feathered terrorist has also been menacing visitors to Wood Farm, attacking vehicles and chasing cats and dogs.

A delivery driver was trapped at the farm in Weston, Cambridgeshire, for 20 minutes after the male bird blocked his path, flew at the bonnet and then chased his van.

Mrs Hamilton, who described the pheasant as “a complete lunatic”, said family and visitors can only venture into the farmyard armed with “a big stick’ to deter the pheasant from attacking.

“It’s an absolute nightmare,” said Mrs Hamilton. “Even when you can’t see him, you can hear him lurking about. He’s never far away so you can’t let your guard down. He’s a holy terror.

Prince Charles calls for illegal killing of songbirds to stop

The Prince of Wales has written a letter calling for an end to what he describes as “the industrial-scale killing” of songbirds on British Army bases in Cyprus.

The practice of trapping songbirds has been illegal in Cyprus since 1974. However the trade continues and is apparently booming. More than 150 different species totalling around 1.5 million migrating birds are killed each year on their route between Britain and Africa, and an estimated one-third of them are killed on British army bases.

In his letter, Prince Charles requested that non-native acacia plants be uprooted at the British Sovereign Base of Dhekelia, as the trappers use them to attract birds as they pass by on their migratory route between Britain and Africa. He suggests that the number of songbirds killed during their autumn migration could be significantly reduced if the acacia plants were removed. "This would not only at a stroke save hundreds of thousands of birds being killed illegally on British soil,” he says, “but would also prevent significant profits from flowing into the pockets of the serious organized criminals who control this barbaric practice.”

Saturday 29 March 2014

Big Garden Birdwatch results: Devon’s top ten

Media release

Big Garden Birdwatch results: Devon’s top ten
Gardens are vital for many much-loved species
Almost eleven and a half thousand people took part in this year’s RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch in Devon. The survey, the largest of its kind in the world, involves people counting the different birds that come to their gardens in one hour any time over the last weekend of January.
The top six birds are all the same position as last year – with house sparrow again at the number one spot, blue tit at number two and chaffinch at number three. Further down the list there are a few changes, with woodpigeon moving up a place to number seven and robin dropping to number ten.
Some species continue to do well. A decade ago, goldfinches were not in the top ten in Devon, but this year occupy the number six spot. Scientists believe that the increase in people providing food like nyjer seed and sunflower hearts in gardens, may have contributed to their steady rise to number seven.

Overall numbers of species, such as blackbirds and chaffinches may appear to have dropped in our gardens since last year, but in many cases this is not because these populations are in decline but because these species don’t need to come into our gardens during mild winters due to there being plenty of natural food available in the wider countryside.

However the continuing declines of some species are of greater concern.   Numbers of starlings have dropped by an alarming 84 per cent since the Birdwatch began in 1979. This species is on the UK ‘red list’ meaning it is of the highest conservation concern.

There is slightly better news for the house sparrow in Devon, as the declines appear to have slowed, and it remains the most commonly seen bird in our gardens.  However, it remains on the red list as we have still lost 62% since 1979.
Tony Whitehead speaking for the RSPB in the south west says: “2014 was always going to be an interesting Big Garden Birdwatch as the winter has been so mild, and we wondered if it would have a significant impact on garden birds.

“They were out and about in the wider countryside finding natural food instead of taking up our hospitality. The good news is that this may mean we have more birds in our gardens in the coming breeding season because more survived the mild winter.  It is a great time to give nature a home by putting up a nesting box and supplementary feeding”

Martin Harper, RSPB Conservation Director says: “Many garden birds rely on us humans for help. During winter, birds need extra food and water, and at other times of the year, as well as sustenance, a safe place to shelter and make their home can really give them a boost.

“Two of the species that moved up the national rankings this year, blue tits and goldfinches, are adaptable, friendly garden birds and great examples of birds that can flourish with our help. If we put up a nestbox, leave out some food or let our gardens grow a bit wild they’ll be among the first to take advantage.”

This year, for the first time, participants were also asked to log some of the other wildlife they see in their gardens.

The RSPB asked whether people ever see deer, squirrels, badgers, hedgehogs frogs and toads in their gardens, to help build an overall picture of how important our gardens are for giving all types of wildlife a home.

This information will be analysed and results will be revealed next month.

The Big Schools’ Birdwatch is part of the Big Garden Birdwatch. The UK-wide survey of birds in schools has revealed that the blackbird is the most common playground visitor for the sixth year in a row.  85% of schools that took part in the survey in the Big Schools Birdwatch saw blackbirds, with an average of five birds seen per school, slightly down on 2013 figures.

Giving Nature a Home is the RSPB’s latest campaign, aimed at tackling the housing crisis facing the UK’s threatened wildlife. The charity is asking people to provide a place for wildlife in their own gardens and outside spaces – whether it by planting pollen-rich plants to attract bees and butterflies, putting up a nestbox for a house sparrow, or creating a pond that will support a number of different species.

The RSPB hopes to inspire people across the UK to create a million new homes for nature.

To find out how you can give nature a home where you live visit

For further information and to arrange an interview, please contact:
RSPB SW: Tony Whitehead 01392 453754, 07872 414365
RSPB HQ: Gemma Butlin 01767 693489/07967 818558/or Gemma Hogg 01767 693582/07738 881359
Broadcast-quality radio interviews:
To arrange an ISDN broadcast-quality radio interview please contact Gemma Butlin at the RSPB press office.
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:                              BGBW 2014
Editor’s notes:
Devon Results in 2014
Av per garden
% of gardens that recorded this species
House sparrow
Blue tit
Great tit
Long tailed tit

Local authority results available on request from Tony Whitehead
The RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch is the world’s biggest wildlife survey with around half a million people taking part every year. Now in its fourth decade, the survey has made a major contribution to tracking garden bird numbers over the winter

The RSPB is the UK’s largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with our partners, we protect threatened birds and wildlife so our towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again. We play a leading role in BirdLife International, a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations.

The RSPB offers everything to easily create a haven for wildlife in your garden. All our expertise has been used to develop the very best food and homes, using sustainable materials whenever possible. All the profits from our shop go towards helping birds and wildlife. Browse below, or view our online shop for our full

download full results: 

How to control swallows

By Katie Marks 
Posted Mar. 26, 2014 @ 2:01 am 

The swooping, graceful flight of the swallow is a beautiful thing to watch, especially on a spring evening, and there's something charming about the young birds as they fledge and start learning to fly. What's not so great, however, is the havoc these birds can wreak on your home and garden. Fortunately, you have a number of humane pest control options when it comes to discouraging swallows and helping them settle somewhere more appropriate and healthy for both them and their young families.

Historically, swallows nested in cliffs, which provided ample overhangs and shelter for building their distinctive mud nests. However, buildings offer many of the same functions, as demonstrated by the massive swallow community of San Juan Capistrano, which has become internationally famous. The birds settle in at the eaves of homes and other structures, taking advantage of ample building materials and the perfect shelter to create their homes.

On a basic level, swallows are a nuisance. Their nests can look unsightly, for starters, and they leave long streaks of you-know-what down the outside walls of your home. Swallows also tend to create messes around their nests that can be unpleasant to look at. But the problem doesn't stop there. The birds and their nests can host serious zoonotic diseases that can cross from the birds to people, including salmonella and toxoplasmosis, and their nests become attractive to insects who will settle in and create a secondary problem for you.

Bird of prey deaths continue to soar

Bird deaths continue to soar

THE number of birds of prey killed in a suspected mass poisoning is continuing to rise.

The death count has gone up to 13 - an increase of two since yesterday - and police are treating it as a wildlife crime.

Nine red kites and four buzzards have been found within a 2 square mile area to the south east of Conon Bridge, around Conon Brae, Balvail, Leanaig and Alcaig.

Seven of the recovered birds have undergone post mortems and the tests show six birds were poisoned.

Police Scotland is working with the RSPB, SSPCA, Scottish Agricultural College (SCA) and Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA).

Police have urged people not to touch a bird of prey if they find it dead.

Phone 101 with information.

Feds list lesser prairie-chicken as threatened, ruffling feathers of local lawmaker

Posted: March 27, 2014 - 2:48pm

About 3.5 million acres and $21 million pledged to help the lesser prairie-chicken after 16 years of research, planning and negotiation were not enough to keep the bird off the threatened list of the Endangered Species Act.

The Fish and Wildlife Service announced Thursday it will list the native bird that is approaching extinction, endorsing a conservation plan created by the states affected by the listing.

Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma and Kansas wildlife departments with the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies created the Range-wide Conservation Plan that allows landowners and industries like oil and gas and wind farms to make agreements to restore or improve habitat to help the challenged bird.

Migratory Bird Conservation Commission Approves $61 Million to Conserve 205,000 Acres of North American Wetlands

Funding includes Expansion of Five National Wildlife Refuges in Texas, California, Louisiana


WASHINGTON -- The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission today approved $61.3 million in funding to protect, restore and enhance more than 205,000 acres of wetlands and associated uplands in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

“Conservation of our nation’s wetlands is critical to protecting our wildlife, watersheds, coastal communities and important economic activities,” said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, chair of the commission. “Wetlands not only are home to hundreds of species of migratory birds, but they also provide us with clean water, act as buffers against storms, support our vibrant coastal fishing industries, and provide unique opportunities for outdoor recreation.”

The commission approved $54.7 million in grants through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act to protect, restore and enhance 200,069 acres of habitat for migratory birds in the United States, Mexico and Canada, leveraging an additional $92.6 million in matching funds. 

CRUELTY TO BIRDS: Five days for killing seagull



Killing a seagull led to five days in jail for Keith Watt.

On Aug. 27, 2013, Watt repeatedly bashed the bird into a brick wall and left it injured and motionless in blood, The bird died two days after the incident.

“The bird really suffered before dying form its injuries,” said Bruce Roney, executive director of the Ottawa Humane Society.

“We’re pleased the justice system has acknowledged that this act of animal cruelty is unacceptable in our community,” he said.

Watt was also sentenced to two years of probation, to pay restitution to the Ottawa Human Society, and won’t be allowed to own an animal for the next five years.

This is the second sentence related to animal cruelty this year in Ottawa. In February, Gregory Armstrong was sentenced to 60 days in jail for having tortured a mother raccoon and her kit.

Courts recognized the seriousness of the crime and punished accordingly, said Roney.

Friday 28 March 2014

Save our sparrows - your help neded to help vanishing species

RSPB Scotland and researchers at the University of Glasgow are looking for volunteers to help solve the mystery of the vanishing speuggies.

House sparrows were once a common sight throughout the greater Glasgow area, including Milngavie, Bearsden, Kirkintilloch and Bishopbriggs, but numbers are estimated to have dropped by a staggering 90 per cent since the 1970s.

Now, volunteers are needed to help track down the remaining birds, and discover more about where they’re living.

RSPB Scotland’s Toby Wilson said: “House sparrow numbers have been nose-diving across the UK in recent years, and Glasgow is following the trend.

“But parts of the city are still strongholds for these boisterous little birds, and we need help from the public to find them.

Bird-X Examines What’s Making Seagulls Angry

Whether it's hype or not, the public will likely be more fearful of these common birds due to recent publicity, Bird-X reports.
| March 26, 2014

Laridaphobia (the intense fear of seagulls) may become a common term soon enough, as the number of seagull attacks reported in the news rises worldwide. But has anything really changed? Bird-X, Inc. investigates. 

In mid-March 2014, a woman in the UK reports a seagull attack that occurred during her lunch break. After falling down as the result of being spooked by a large aggressive seagull (source), she’s turned to suing her company’s landlord for not controlling the building’s bird population. In Mrs. Kelly’s case, the birds were nesting on the roof of her office building – a situation that could have been prevented with proper bird control.

Also in March 2014, a beach in Orange County, California announced its plans to use a live hawk to chase away seagulls and pigeons, and in February 2014, a beach on the Coast of East Devon, UK made the same announcement – citing that a trained falconer will simultaneously entertain tourists (source). 

In January 2014, the Pope famously released peace doves at the Vatican – we will spare the gritty images, but a seagull immediately attacked one of the helpless doves once it was released (source). This seagull was only acting on natural instinct, but it certainly didn’t do its species any good in the eyes of the public worldwide.

GOP: Administration stonewalling on bird deaths

Posted: Mar 26, 2014 5:42 PM GSTUpdated: Mar 26, 2014 9:25 PM GST

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration is refusing to turn over documents related to enforcement of environmental laws at wind farms where dozens of eagles and other protected birds have been killed, House Republicans charged Wednesday.

Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., said the Fish and Wildlife Service has engaged in a "deliberate slow rolling of documents and answers" for nearly a year. Hastings is chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, which has been seeking to compel the wildlife agency turn over internal documents related to its enforcement of laws protecting eagles and other birds.

An Associated Press investigation last year revealed that the administration was not prosecuting wind energy companies for killing eagles and other protected birds.

Only one wind energy company has been prosecuted for killing eagles and other birds in violation of federal law. Duke Energy pleaded guilty in November to killing eagles and other birds at two Wyoming wind farms and will pay $1 million.

The government estimates that at least 85 eagles are killed each year by wind turbines.

The wildlife agency "dragged its feet for six months" before providing a two-page memo written the year before, Hastings said, and many of the documents that have been turned over so far are incomplete or have largely been blacked out.

"This is not compliance. This is deliberate slow rolling of documents and answers, and we've had enough," Hastings said.

Committee members asked the agency's director, Dan Ashe, at a hearing Wednesday about a new agency rule allowing energy companies to kill or injure eagles without fear of prosecution for up to 30 years.

RARE BIRD SPECIES: Naturalist keeps rare bird location a secret

By Chrissy Arthur

A Queensland naturalist says work is continuing in the state's outback to find out more about one of the world's rarest birds.

John Young last year revealed he had captured images of a pair of night parrots on a private property in western Queensland.

Mr Young says he is working with ecologist Dr Steve Murphy but so far camera traps and recording equipment have failed to find evidence of birds in any other location.

He says it would be too risky to reveal details of the site.

"The most important thing that Steve and I are trying to do at the moment is to try and work out a detection method and learn enough about this bird to be able to go into another place, to be able to pull a habitat up on satellite and say that looks similar, and to be able to go there and detect another pair [of birds]," he said.

"Now that is what this whole research is about.

"We are playing with one of the rarest birds on the planet, there is no question about that."

RARE BIRD SPECIES: East Lancs grouse moorland giving boost to rare bird of prey

1:00pm Monday 24th March 2014 in News

Britiain’s smallest bird of prey the merlin is thriving in E Lancs

EAST Lancashire’s grouse moors are helping to keep the threat to Britain’s smallest birds of prey at bay.

Merlins are flying in to nest on heather moorland managed by gamekeepers for wild red grouse like those in the Trough of Bowland.

A new study for the Moorland Association (MA) has found dramatic gains in merlin populations on such land.

There are only around 900 to 1,500 breeding pairs of merlin in the UK but experts say the tiny birds of prey are recovering from a population crash in the 20th Century.

This latest study assessed the distribution of breeding merlin in England and found 78 per cent of records were on protected and conserved iconic heather landscapes kept for red grouse.

Thursday 27 March 2014

Two Durham bird watchers among quartet embarking on 300-mile walk in name of the turtle dove

5:06pm Wednesday 26th March 2014 in News

IT'S called Dove Step and it will involve four bird watchers walking 300 miles to the North-East.

The idea of Jonny Rankin, originally from High Shincliffe, Durham, but now living in Bury St Edmonds, he along with friends Andrew Goodrick, originally from Meadowfield, Durham, Tristan Reid and Robert Yaxley will embark on the trek, which starts on March 29 and ends at RSPB Saltholme on Teesside on April 10, in the name of Turtle Dove.

All have been raising cash for Operation Turtle Dove for the past three years - a campaign launched by conservation charities to save the European species.

Penalties to increase tenfold for shooting or trapping protected species

“Criminals caught shooting protected birds will find no refuge amongst law-abiding community,” the Government said.

The Government said in a statement today that it “condemns the hideous act of shooting of protected storks that occurred yesterday and has deployed the necessary resources to investigate the incident and to bring perpetrators to justice.”

“In a drive to stamp out illegal targeting of protected species, last October the Government revamped national legislation and doubled applicable penalties for illegal shooting of protected birds.”

“Whilst, as amply documented in the enforcement report published last Saturday, multiple improvements in enforcement occurred over the past few months, the latest incident shows that some rogue individuals are still undeterred from committing such brazen crimes,” said Parliamentary Secretary Roderick Galdes in reaction to the storks’ shooting incident.

“Therefore Government will do whatever is necessary to not only bring perpetrators to justice, but to also eliminate the very possibility of such acts occurring in the future”, Parliamentary Secretary added.

Dead, oiled birds sighted 3 days into Texas oil spill cleanup

NEW: More than 15 miles of shoreline impacted, 750 cleanup workers involved
More than 100 ships are stuck in the Port of Houston after 168,000-gallon oil spill
Environmental watchdog: “Long-term monitoring” of spill will be necessary
Wildlife officials have found birds, some “oiled,” others deceased

A bird's oil-covered body lies on the Galveston shore on March 23.
(CNN) — Efforts to clean up a 168,000 gallons of thick, viscous oil that spilled into the Port of Houston near Galveston, Texas, stretched into a third day Tuesday, as wildlife rescuers sought to estimate the impact on birds and marine life.
The spill, which occurred over the weekend after two vessels collided, has forced the closure of the heavily trafficked port, putting dozens of ships in limbo as they wait in a queue to enter and exit the waterway early Tuesday afternoon.

The Houston Ship Channel was opened to limited barge traffic within the channel, U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Andy Kendrick said, but the channel remained closed to all other vessels, and the vessels in the port were not allowed to leave.

As of early Tuesday afternoon, 101 inbound and outbound vessels were stuck in the channel, Kendrick said.