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.

Saturday 31 May 2014

Breeding centre for Great Indian Bustard to be set up in Kutch

Rajeev Khanna,TNN | May 28, 2014, 02.06 PM IST

GANDHINAGAR: Finally, there seem to be some serious efforts in saving the Great Indian Bustard that is on the brink of extinction.

A conservation and breeding centre for the bird is all set to be established in Kutch.

Sources said that the project is being finalized as a joint initiative between the Central and the state governments. "The Centre came up with the offer for setting up the centre in Kutch to which we have given our consent," said a senior official of the forest department.

The Great Indian Bustard is categorized as a critically endangered species of the birds that is on the verge of extinction. "Its number in Gujarat was 48 in the census that was carried out in 2007. The bird is also sighted in patches of Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Maharashtra and Rajasthan accounts for almost 50 per cent of its population in the country while Gujarat houses their second highest number," said Devesh Gadhvi, an expert working with Kutch Ecological Research Centre.

Fake birds and droppings lure gannets

Last updated 12:53 28/05/2014

Things are not quite what they seem on Rotoroa Island in Auckland where fake seabirds and droppings are being used to attract a whole new type of visitor.

Australasian gannets are what Auckland Zoo and the Rotoroa Island Trust are after - and lots of them.

They want to get the birds interested in forming a new nesting colony on the island as another conservation attraction and to benefit its ecosystem.

But the gannets won't want to know unless they can be convinced that others of their species are already living there.

That is why 16 plastic decoy gannets from the United States, man-made nest mounds splashed with white paint to resemble guano (droppings) and recordings of gannet cries are now in place.

The sound system was officially turned on two weeks ago and the daily bird calls are being monitored by trust and zoo staff.

Cameras, like the elephant cams and others used in David Attenborough's television wildlife series, are being installed in some of the fakes.

Offshore drilling plans threat to New Zealand's endangered seabirds: conservation group 2014-05-26 10:50:47

WELLINGTON, May 26 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand has more threatened seabird species than anywhere else in the world and planned deepwater oil and gas drilling could drive them to extinction, a leading conservation group warned Monday.

The Forest and Bird group issued the warning with the release of a report on important bird areas (IBAs) for New Zealand seabirds, part of a global effort to identify marine IBAs and ensure protection.

More than a third of the world's seabird species lived at least part of their lives in 69 IBAs New Zealand's territorial seas and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) waters, Forest and Bird seabird advocate Karen Baird said in a statement.

"New Zealand also has more seabird species that breed only within its jurisdiction than any other country in the world. We have 36 species. Mexico is next on the list, with only five species," said Baird.

Audubon donates 50 homes for cahows

Press release

Thursday, May 29, 2014 7:00 AM

Fifty new homes are ready and waiting for our endangered national bird, the cahow. The artificial nest boxes were donated to the cahow recovery programme by the Bermuda Audubon Society. 

The nest boxes were designed by former conservation officer Dr. David Wingate, who worked with cahows for 50 years. “Cahows are soil-burrowing birds and in pre-colonial times they would have dug their own burrows, but for hundreds of years they had to survive on rocky little islands where that was impossible,” he explained. “As the numbers increased under the restoration programme, we started building artificial burrows out of cement, which was labourious, back-breaking work. I saw the need for a mass-produceable surrogate which was durable, light and compact enough to transport to remote locations.” Conservation Officer Jeremy Madeiros tried some artificial burrows from Australia, but they were designed for a smaller petrel and were not ideal for the cahow, so Dr. Wingate decided to design his own. “These meet all the requirements of our picky national bird – a long, curved tunnel and a nest chamber that is in total darkness.”

When eradicating invasive species threatens endangered species recovery

Raildumbartrazorback.jpgMay 29, 2014

University of California - Davis
Efforts to eradicate invasive species increasingly occur side by side with programs focused on recovery of endangered ones. But what should resource managers do when the eradication of an invasive species threatens an endangered species? In a new study, scientists examine that conundrum now taking place in the San Francisco Bay.

Plea to declare Mavadikulam as conservation reserve


The Society for Conservation of Nature, Tiruchi, has appealed to the State government to take steps to declare Mavadikulam near Ponmalaipatti in the city as a ‘conservation reserve’ as many bird species are found in the tank.

An initiative taken to revive the heavily silted up tank through a public initiative, which saw the participation of several voluntary organisations and later the district and civic authorities, last year had succeeded in desilting and cleaning up the tank to some extent. The tank spread over 143 acres but had been reduced a shallow water body over the years and also been heavily encroached upon.

With the availability of some water now, many water birds could be sighted at the tank. “We could find about 30 species of birds in the tank. I even sighted garganey ducks, a migratory bird from Europe, and several other local migratory birds,” said V.Sundararaju, former district forest officer and president, Society for Conservation of Nature, Tiruchi. Spot-billed pelicans, spoonbills, painted storks, black winged stilts, spot-billed ducks, purple heron, grey heron, egrets and white breasted kingfisher are among the birds that could be sighted at the tank, he said.

Apart from unrestricted cattle grazing, there is also some poaching going on. Besides, drainages continue to flow into the tank. If it was declared as a conservation reserve, a management committee could be formed for better management of the tank, Mr.Sundararaju said and added that he has already requested the Forest Department to moot a proposal in this regard.

Friday 30 May 2014

Nests of rare bird found

Shiva Sharma

KASKI, MAY 26 - Researchers have found nests of the pied thrush, an endangered bird species, in the   (ACAP).

Parash Bikram Singh, conservation officer of the ACAP, and his assistant Srijan Gyawali said they found nests of the bird during their study some days ago in Ghandruk and Chhomrong, located 2,200 meters above from the sea level. With the onset of the summer season, the bird mostly found in Bhutan, India and Sri Lanka migrates to Nepal. The researchers said efforts are under way to enlist the bird as endangered one as they said the number of the bird species is decreasing due to habitat destruction.

“The bird is at risk due to habitat destruction. The ACAP is its suitable habitat,” said Singh, adding that the birds migrate to Nepal to hatch its eggs. Pied thrush lays eggs in areas above 1,500 to 2,500 meters from the sea.

Posted on: 2014-05-26 08:51

Ruff sex is hereditary

Discovery finds mating patterns of rare bird species determined by genetics
May 26th, 2014 by Micaela Evans

From one of the world’s largest ruff aviaries perched atop Burnaby mountain, SFU researcher David Lank has come across a crucial discovery that genetics — not environmental factors — drive courtship and mating practices in these unique birds.

Lank, an SFU research associate and adjunct professor of biological sciences, has spent three decades studying the unique mating patterns of the male ruff bird, a type of sandpiper originally from Finland. These birds, bred by Lank in the aviaries at SFU, are the only known ruffs in North America. 

Lank was originally drawn to these birds because of the mating patterns specific to their species. The males are unique in that they belong to one of three distinct groups, each with their own behavioural patterns in regards to mating. However, unlike most animals, these differences in mating are not a result of their environment, nor a result of different stages of development. Instead, they are a result of genetic variants in the three types of the male ruff birds.

WATCH: Smart swallows figure out how to open locking doors at UVic

VANCOUVER – A group of ‘smart swallows’ is proving that having a ‘bird brain’ can be a good thing.

About six months ago, a parkade at the University of Victoria was turned into a new bike centre with motion-sensitive locking doors.

Grant Hughes, who uploaded the video of the swallows to YouTube, said the nesting birds may have been locked in when they converted the parkade.

But they were not going to stay locked in for long it seems.

Crow or raven? New birdsnap app can help

May 28, 2014

Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science

Using computer vision and machine learning techniques, researchers have developed Birdsnap, a free new iPhone app that's an electronic field guide featuring 500 of the most common North American bird species. The app enables users to identify bird species through uploaded photos, and accompanies a comprehensive website.

Nevermore: Police want to track down car-attacking raven in Maine town

Wed, 28 May 2014 11:40:00 CST

RICHMOND, Maine - Wanted: A raven that's attacking cars in Maine.

Richmond Police Chief Scott MacMaster tells the Kennebec Journal ( that the bird has attacked three vehicles, causing $500 in damage in one case.

One owner said he watched the bird land and see its reflection in a window before attacking. The bird damaged gaskets around windshield and windows and the windshield wipers on at least three cars.

One of the victims wants to make to make sure raven attacks are "nevermore." He wants to shoot the bird.

MacMaster advised them to contact the Maine Warden Service.

The raven is not the only animal to attack a car in town in recent weeks. Last month, police had to deal with two goats that climbed atop a car.


Information from: Kennebec Journal,

Striking lack of diversity in prehistoric birds

May 27, 2014

University of Chicago

Birds come in astounding variety -- from hummingbirds to emus -- and behave in myriad ways: they soar the skies, swim the waters, and forage the forests. But this wasn’t always the case, according to new research.

Thursday 29 May 2014

Rare woodpecker clings to existence in Virginia forest

There are only 13 pairs of these once-common woodpeckers left in the entire state.

Posted: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 11:10 pm

By Rex Springston | Richmond Times-Dispatch

WAVERLY — Flopping around on a towel on the floor of a pine forest, a tiny chick represented hope — if hope can be blind, pink and naked.
This object of optimism, no more than a blob with a beak, was a baby red-cockaded woodpecker, one of the rarest and most peculiar birds in Virginia.

Using climbing gear and an aluminum ladder that he stacked in three 10-foot sections, biologist Bryan Watts had reached the chick’s nest hole in an old-growth pine and extracted the bird with a snarelike tool.

Another biologist, Mike Wilson, put a series of leg bands on the 7-day-old chick. The scientists band the woodpeckers to identify individual birds and learn more about their habits in an effort to build the Virginia population.

“Hope for the future, that’s what you’ve got there,” Watts said.

There are just 13 pairs of these once-common woodpeckers in Virginia, all here in a Sussex County preserve about 55 miles southeast of Richmond.

The work of Watts, Wilson and others is part of an effort to bring back not just a little bird most people will never see but also to restore its majestic wild home — open, parklike pine savannas that once defined Eastern coastal regions but that, like the bird, have been devastated by human actions.

New Norwich Castle exhibition that charts our unique links with birds

Hawk Pouncing on Partridges, John James Audubon,c. 1827. As featured in the exhibition The Wonder of Birds at Norwich Castle Museum (May-September 2014)

Trevor HeatonSaturday, May 24, 2014 
12:55 PM

Just before the fateful date of AD 60, a wealthy Iceni family from Crownthorpe, near Wymondham, bought a lovely pair of wine cups from a local maker.

Dr Francesca Vanke, co-curator of The Wonder of Birds, tells why it’s a must-see

Why should you see this show? What is unique about it? Its variety!

This show will give visitors the rare chance to experience birds in many different ways and through every possible medium: through art and taxidermy, sculpture and fashion, archaeology and photography: beautiful bird-inspired artefacts ancient and modern. The unusual juxtapositions are probably the most unique thing about this exhibition.

You will see a dazzling kaleidoscope of birds, whether portrayed in historical works by Hans Holbein, Andrea Mantegna, JMW Turner, John James Audubon, Samuel Palmer, Max Ernst and Pablo Picasso, or in recent and contemporary works by artists such as Sir Peter Scott, Frank Southgate, JC Harrison, Robert Gillmor, Guy Taplin and Maggi Hambling, many of whom were inspired by the birds and habitats of East Anglia.

We hope that our show, in its small way, will echo the infinite variety and beauty of birds to be seen in the world, and illustrate the many roles they fulfil.

We aim to convey a simple, important message: the fascination for birds transcends national and historical boundaries. The love of birds connects an anonymous Babylonian sculptor of 2000 BC, a seventeenth century Indian Emperor, and the photographer who lost an eye getting the perfect shot of a tawny owl in 1930s Britain!

We’re aiming for this show to contain something for everyone. If you know nothing about birds you will be amazed at how much there is to find out about and enjoy – you will see how birds appear in so many different areas of life. If you already know about birds, come and learn more. You will no doubt meet some familiar faces but hopefully should find some unusual new things too.

“Birds are the most vivid reflection of life” - this is a quote by an American ornithologist, Roger Tory Peterson (1908-96). He’s not mentioned in our show (we can’t include everyone) but this quote has always struck me as one very important reason why birds are so fascinating to so many people…

Their king Prasutagus was a Roman citizen, and they were keen to share his sophisticated Romanised tastes, even after former trading partners arrived with an army.

The resulting copper alloy and tin vessels bore classic Roman bodies on elegant pedestals. But the fusion with Celtic creativity was shown by what was roosting on the handles.

Model ducks, with incised feathering and eyes of red enamel, were unknown in the Roman world and were in fact unique to Norfolk.

Then such tastes fell suddenly and fatally out of fashion. With the king dead, the Romans claimed that half of the Iceni kingdom the late ruler hadn’t chosen to leave them – flogging his widow, raping his daughters and grabbing all the land.

Courier company’s unusual delivery of ashtray Blue Tits

COURIER staff have enjoyed their own special delivery – after a pair of Blue Tits nested in their ashtray.

Now staff at Eagle Couriers have been banned from using the outdoor cigarette bin while the tiny, protected birds nurse a clutch of eggs.

Delighted staff at Scotland’s biggest independent courier company are now eagerly awaiting the day when the hatchlings fly from their unusual nesting spot.

Jerry Stewart, one of the directors at Eagle Couriers told how smokers a their Bathgate-based HQ were alerted when the tiny birds started darting in and out of the ashtray, which was installed in a brick-built bin storage area so smokers could enjoy some shelter.

He said: “One of our operations team, Richard McIntosh, was the first to see the birds and advised the rest of the smokers to stop using the ashtray while he phoned the RSPB.

Steppe Eagles under threat

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mumbai: The serious threat from the veterinary drug - diclofenac - to various species of vultures has been known for a long time. Research now shows that the killer drug seems to be preying upon other birds of prey too. A paper published today in the Cambridge University Press journal - Bird Conservation International – by scientists from BNHS-India, UK-based Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, has revealed that two Steppe Eagles found dead at a cattle carcass dump in Rajasthan had diclofenac residue in their tissues.

Steppe Eagles under threat
The recent findings based on the tests carried out on the bodies of the two Steppe Eagles found in Rajasthan showed the same clinical signs of kidney failure as seen in Gyps vultures after they had ingested diclofenac. Researchers have observed extensive visceral gout, lesions and uric acid deposits in the liver, kidney and spleen of the two birds and diclofenac residue in the tissues.

Steppe Eagle is a winter visitor to most areas in northern and central India and some areas in western and eastern India. It also feeds on carcass dumps. Other species of Aquila eagles that are known to frequent carcass dumps include Tawny Eagle, Eastern Imperial Eagle and Indian Spotted Eagle. Steppe Eagle is closely related to Golden Eagle found in the UK, the vulnerable Spanish Imperial Eagle and other globally vulnerable or declining Eurasian eagles. Scientists now fear that all species in this genus, known as Aquila, are susceptible to diclofenac. With fourteen species of Aquila eagles distributed across Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe and North America, this means that diclofenac poisoning should now be considered a global problem.

New report highlights New Zealand’s global responsibility for seabirds

New Zealand is an important area for seabird breeding

A new report has identified significant areas of New Zealand’s land and sea that require special consideration to protect the seabirds that depend on these places for their survival. The Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society, New Zealand’s largest independent conservation organisation, says the report – New Zealand Seabirds: Important Bird Areas and Conservation – has major implications for its government’s ongoing large-scale sell-off of deep sea oil and gas drilling rights.

The work is part of a global effort to identify where bird species live to ensure threatened species are adequately protected.

“New Zealand has an extraordinary wealth of seabirds,” says Seabird Advocate for Forest & Bird, Karen Baird. “More than one-third of the world’s seabird species live at least part of their lives in our Exclusive Economic Zone.

“New Zealand also has more seabird species that breed only within its jurisdiction than any other country in the world. We have 36 species. Mexico is next on the list, with only five species.

Earliest Evidence of Flower Pollination by Birds Unearthed

By Joseph Castro, Live Science Contributor | May 27, 2014 07:08pm ET

Birds have been visiting and pollinating flowers for at least 47 million years, fossil evidence now suggests. The new find pushes back the onset of ornithophily, or bird pollination, by about 17 million years, researchers say.

To pollinate, most species of angiosperms (flowering plants) require assistance from animals, particularly insects and birds. Though research suggests that insects have been pollinating flowers since the early Cretaceous period, over 100 million years ago, the onset of ornithophily has long remained elusive. Previously, fossils of modern-type hummingbirds suggested ornithophily began as early as 30 million years ago, but this conclusion was only inferred indirectly from the birds' long beaks and presumed hovering capabilities.

However, researchers have now analyzed a well-preserved, 47-million-year-old fossil of the extinct bird Pumiliornis tessellatus, and found that the animal's stomach contents contain numerous angiosperm pollen grains. The discovery is the first direct fossil evidence of flower visitation by birds, and suggests that ornithophily is far older than previously believed.

Wednesday 28 May 2014

Crowds flock for rare glimpse at baby kakapo

Three kakapo chicks have made a rare public appearance in Arrowtown today, aiming to increase public awareness and fundraise for the endangered species.

The three chicks on display today came up from Invercargill as the kakapo population soars, from just 40 birds to 128, under a partnership between the Department of Conservation and New Zealand Aluminium Smelters.

Visitors in Arrowtown had to pay a gold coin donation to see the birds; any contribution counts.

One of the reasons so few kakapo are left is because the mothers have to work extremely hard to raise the chicks.

"She climbs to the top of some very tall rimu trees and forages for some very small rimu beries all night long, and then comes back down to the nest and feeds the chick," said Deidre Vercoe from the Department of Conservation.

After today's viewing the baby birds are headed to Whanua Hau, Codfish Island early next month for around four weeks.

Mid-Michigan birds contaminated with DDT

Posted: May 27, 2014 10:19 PM GDT
Updated: May 27, 2014 10:26 PM GDT
Posted By Brianna Owczarzak - email
By Craig McMorris, TV5 Anchor/Reporter

A Mid-Michigan community that was the site of the costliest Environmental Protection Agency cleanup in history once again has the attention of environmentalists.

Volunteers are being trained on how to deal with birds contaminated with the pesticide DDT. 

Michigan State University wildlife toxicology professor Matt Zwiernik outlined to a couple of volunteers what they need to do when they come across dead birds in St. Louis. 

Last year some robins and other birds found in residential yards near the buried Velsicol Chemical plant site died from DDT poisoning. They think the DDT originated from that plant.

"We collected 28 birds and I think 27 of them had concentrations in their brains greater than a 100 [parts per million] which is considered the threshold for adverse effects," Zwiernik said.

Now the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality wants to gather as many dead birds as possible.

The volunteers are vital. They need to get out and find these dead birds before predators get a hold of them.

Good News: Ecuador Amazon Parrot Declared New Parrot Species

Bad news: There are only around 600 left.
Jessica Pineda

The Ecuador Amazon (Amazona lilacina) was considered a subspecies of the red-lored Amazon (Amazona autumnalis).

While other subspecies of A. autumalis primarily live in lowland forests, the Ecuador Amazon parrot relied on mangroves and dry forest. This difference in habitat made researchers wonder if this was a different parrot species altogether.

Mark Pilgrim, the director general of Chester Zoo in the United Kingdom, led a study of the Educador Amazon parrot, and determined it was its own separate species.

The red-lored Amazon has a population of 5 milllion, while the Ecuardor Amazon has as few as 600 members.

The new species, A. lilacina, will be officially announced in Spring 2014.

Good news: A new species of parrot has been discovered. The Ecuador Amazon parrot, or Lilacine Amazon parrot, once believed to be subspecies of the red-lored Amazon parrot (Amazona autumnalis), was discovered to be its own separate species by a team of researchers from the Chester Zoo in the United Kingdom.

Bad news: With the discovery of the new species, researchers realized there were only around 600 left.

"I studied this particular parrot for my PhD,” said Mark Pilgrim, Chester Zoo director general and head of the study of the Ecuador Amazon parrot, in a latest field news report from the Chester Zoo, "and found sufficient evidence for the bird to be recognised as a species in its own right, a crucial step in getting some much needed protection. As you can imagine, this project is close to my heart — it’s estimated that there may be as few as 600 Ecuador Amazon parrots left in the wild but more work is needed to confirm this.”

April Was Bad Month for Birds at Ivanpah Solar

The April stats are in for reported bird deaths at the Ivanpah solar power plant in the California desert, and it's bad news: 97 birds were found killed or mortally injured between April 1 and 29 at the nearly 4,000-acre plant in San Bernardino County south of Las Vegas.

That's a record number of reported deaths for the facility, though the increase may be at least partly a statistical artifact: sources tell ReWire that biologists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) were on site throughout April investigating wildlife mortality on the premises, likely leading to more stringent searches for injured wildlife.

But those searches still covered just 20 percent of the facility, meaning that one could reasonably extrapolate that total bird mortalities for April could be five times the official count. And that's not taking into account injured birds that land outside the fence, or are eaten by scavengers before survey crews can find them.

Egg accidentally cracked by Charles Darwin goes on display

Darwin's mistake among exhibits in show on birds' cultural impact at Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery

Mark Brown, arts correspondent

The Guardian, Monday 26 May 2014 18.54 BST

An egg mistakenly cracked by Charles Darwin is among the items in The Wonder of Birds exhibit. Photograph: Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery

It is an unassuming object, a smallish, strangely glossy brown egg, and it is broken because of the carelessness of the last person you would expect – Charles Darwin.

"He squashed it into too small a box and it cracked, unfortunately," said curator Francesca Vanke, explaining the state of the spotted tinamou egg going on display at Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery.

The object is the only known surviving egg from Darwin's HMS Beagle voyage during the 1830s. Probably drawn to its glossy sheen, Darwin signed it C. Darwin and brought it back to Britain after collecting it in Uruguay.

The egg was discovered by a volunteer in the collections of theUniversity Museum of Zoology in Cambridge five years ago and goes on display in Norwich as part of a summer art show exploring the cultural impact of birds.

"It is a coup," said Vanke, "but we have lots of coups."

Spate of Orkney car fires sparked by nesting birds

Car owners on Orkney have been warned to check under their bonnets regularly after a spate of fires caused by birds nesting in vehicle engine compartments.

There have been at least three car blazes over the past few weeks which have been caused by nests.

Kim Patching, the owner of the car, said that it would not start and then in a matter of minutes smoke and flames emerged from under the bonnet.

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Bird charity and shooting group clash over changes to law on crop protection

By WMNPBowern | Posted: May 20, 2014

Farmers who shoot pigeons and rooks to protect their crops should be ordered to consider and record alternative means of controlling them before resorting to the gun, the RSPB has told Natural England.

In its response to NE’s consultation over changes to the general licences under which pest bird species can be controlled, the charity also wants anyone who shoots birds to record and report on the numbers culled.

The British Association for Shooting and Conservation yesterday responded to the suggestion by warning that farmers and those who shoot as part of crop protection measures could find themselves “strangled by bureaucracy.”

NE closed the issue to consultation on Monday. A spokesman told the Western Morning News there had been a significant level of response and it would be some months before recommendations for changing the licence were put to Defra for approval.

Graham Madge, spokesman for the RSPB wrote in a blog on the bird charity’s website that they opposed a number of changes put forward as part of NE’s consultation document, including a proposal that the nests of robins, pied wagtails and starlings could be destroyed if they posed a public health risk.

But the response from the RSPB likely to cause the biggest concern among the shooting community and farmers who grow crops vulnerable to bird attack will be on the right way to deal with pigeons, rooks and other pest species.

Mr Madge writes: “The level of killing is unregulated and unrecorded. Natural England are looking to explore a system of reporting and asked for views on whether this should be voluntary or mandatory. Experience suggests that only a compulsory system stands a chance of working.”

Military cancels bird-scaring sounds at Pleasantville station

The Canadian Forces is halting a plan to keep pigeons and seagulls away from its brand-new station in St. John's after people who live in the adjacent residential neighbourhood raised a noise of their own. 

Speakers on top of the Canadian Forces Station St. John's have been blasting the noises of predatory birds — such as hawks and owls — at the Surgeon Lieutenant-Commander W. Anthony Paddon Building, which is named for the late Labrador physician who served as the province's lieutenant-governor in the 1980s. 

Residents in the nearby Pleasantville neighbourhood have been startled over the last week by the sounds, which they say have been repelling more than just nuisance birds. 

"It's going 24-7. It started last Monday, and it hasn't stopped since," neighbour Kellie Rodgers. 

"I know these machines exist and they have them at the airport, I know, and they have them at the dump, but this is a residential neighbourhood, and to have the noises going continuous like this is noise pollution, and it's not acceptable." 


Published On May 23, 2014
By Davies M.M Chanda

•BIRDS and their eggs have been at least incidental sources of food for humans since their origin and still are in most societies.

By Evans Nsende -
NON-birders may question why bird conservation is important and what difference it makes to the world at large.

Avid birders and bird watchers know, however, that bird and wildlife conservation is critical to the richness and diversity of the planet we share with more than 10,000 species of birds.
Birds are a diverse group, and their bright colours, distinct songs and calls, and showy displays add enjoyment to our lives.

Birds are very visible, quite common, and offer easy opportunities to observe their diverse plumage and behaviours.

Because of this, birds are popular to many who pursue wildlife watching and monitoring activities.

Birds are fun to watch zipping around the neighborhood or splashing in the bird bath, and their presence bolsters their ecosystems alongside our enjoyment.
They can play any number of roles in a given ecosystem, most of which fall into four main categories: provisioning, regulating, cultural enhancement and supporting services. Supporting services, for example, include tasks such as predation, pollination and seed dispersal.

Birds have been significant to human society in myriad ways.

Birds and their eggs have been at least incidental sources of food for humans since their origin and still are in most societies.

The eggs of some colonial seabirds, such as gulls, terns, and murres, or guillemots, and the young of some mutton-birds are even now harvested in large quantities.

Among other activities, the following are some of the major roles played by birds in the ecosystem and to man.

Agents of Dispersal
Seed dispersal is one of the most important aspects of birds’ roles in their ecosystems, especially since most birds can fly. Seed dispersal simply means the spreading of seeds beyond their immediate area. It is necessary for a number of reasons: The seeds may need to be transported great distances to increase the amount of gene flow in a species; they may need to be “airlifted” to reach potential new colonisation sites; or perhaps they need to be delivered to locations that are ideal for survival and early growth, such as the branch of a tree.

Galloway home to ‘conservation important’ birds

A pioneering study of bird communities in Galloway has recorded 29 species “of conservation importance” which are thriving on local land.

The report published by SNH this week looked at five areas situated between the edges of commercial conifer plantations and open moorland in the Galloway Forest Park.

The survey areas, owned by Forestry Commission Scotland, host shrubs with young trees and open ground, forming a moorland fringe which is home to many of the species.

Rob Soutar, Forest District manager, Galloway Forest District said: “The woodland fringe habitat we are creating is inspired and informed by natural treeline woodland and invigorated by this excellent research. This SNH report helps us improve our planting specifications and encourages us to expand this habitat throughout the Galloway Forest Park as a means to increase the range and number of bird species of conservation concern.”

DNA test to check if bird is one of three stolen from butterfly house

The Co Down family which had three parrots stolen and then returned is to carry out a DNA test on one of them to determine if it is really theirs.

Three parrots were stolen from the Seaforde Butterfly House in south Down on Monday, along with a number of terrapins.

Two of the birds were returned to the Forde family business by an anonymous man who met them in Lisburn.

Police found a third parrot in Newtownards but the Fordes are divided on whether it is really their ‘Pedro’.

“We have got this bird very like Pedro and some of us say 100 per cent it is Pedro but the rest of us are not entirely convinced. The police found it in Newtownards,” said Charles Forde.

“Personally I don’t think it is him.

“When he came back he was totally out of character, he was so well behaved. But he is normally quite aggressive and maybe has more yellow on his shoulders.

“He used to make so much noise – you wouldn’t really want to put your hand near him.

“We have got the original feathers so we are hoping to do a DNA test to see if it is really him.

“I don’t want to deprive someone of their parrot if it is not ours.

Monday 26 May 2014

Toronto Wildlife Centre nurses birds injured by window collisions

For years the thousands of birds killed by smashing into glass buildings in the GTA have made headlines around the world. But what you might not know is that almost 40 per cent of the birds that collide with these buildings survive, says Michael Mesure, executive director of the Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP), a Toronto-based non-profit.

FLAP volunteers patrol the streets of downtown Toronto’s financial district twice a day, looking for dead or injured migratory birds. The injured birds are transported carefully in brown paper bags to the Toronto Wildlife Centre for treatment.

The centre is no stranger to seriously injured birds — they cared for nearly 700 of them in the last year alone.

Iowa forest called 'globally important bird area'

HARPER'S FERRY, Iowa (AP) — Officials and bird lovers will gather later this month in northeast Iowa to officially designate the state's first "globally important bird area."

The Effigy Mounds-Yellow River Forest Bird Conservation Area will receive the designation May 31. The area includes 135,000 acres along the Mississippi River in Allamakee and Clayton counties, according to the Dubuque Telegraph Herald ( ).

Much of the credit for the designation goes to Jon "Hawk Man" Stravers, who has spent years documenting that habitat and birds in the conservation area, which the Iowa Department of Natural Resources calls the "largest unfragmented forest remaining in Iowa."

Stravers has focused his study on the red-shouldered hawk and the cerulean warbler, a small bird with a buzzy chirp that winters in eastern Peru and southern Venezuela.

"It's one of the rarest birds in the U.S. and least understood," Stravers said of the warbler. "It's one that's missed a lot."

Great Britain-based BirdLife International and the National Audubon Society teamed up for the "globally important" area designation, which requires extensive documentation. It's intended to help protect critical habitat for declining bird species to nest or use when migrating.

Foresta The Missing Pet Pigeon Finds Fifth-Grade Owner At School

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Everyone has heard of homing pigeons, but Montana fifth-grader Tara Atkins apparently has a "schooling pigeon."

The pet bird named Foresta had disappeared Tuesday from Tara's home in the Elkhorn Mountains near Montana City, but it was back in her arms Wednesday after it showed up at her school about 5 air miles away in Helena.

"This pigeon has never been to town before," Atkins' mother, Krys Holmes, said. "We got her as a baby, and she just hangs out at home."

The bird caused a ruckus when it arrived at Central-Linc Elementary, first sitting on teacher Rob Freistadt's head, the Independent Record reported (

Staff members and a police officer tried for an hour to corral the bird that Principal Vanessa Nasset said was just "sky-bombing everyone."

Nasset asked Tara for help catching the bird after a parent remembered she had a pet pigeon.

Tara recognized Foresta by her distinct coloration and the blue band around her leg.

Swan shot with crossbow in 'horrific' attack in Norfolk

A swan has died after being shot twice with a crossbow in Norfolk, just weeks after a goose was found nearby with a bolt in its back.

The disturbing attacks happened just two miles from each other and the RSPCA fears they could be linked.

Inspector Justin Stubbs said the swan, which was found swimming in a river in Upwell earlier this month, had one bolt in its shoulder and another deeply embedded in its rear.

He said: “I hadn't even seen the second bolt until the swan was examined by vets at the hospital. It was deeply embedded in the flesh and covered by tail feathers.

“Presumably someone must have shot this beautiful bird with this cruel weapon, and then calmly reloaded and shot him a second time.

“This is the most recent in what feels like a sustained attack on the wildlife in this area and I am very anxious to put a stop to it.”