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 August 2015

Songbird habitat affects reproduction, survival

Date: August 27, 2015

Source: The University of Montana

Summary: A professor who studies birds around the world has discovered trends in how the offspring grow, how parents care for the young and how well the young survive based on where they live.

A University of Montana professor who studies birds around the world has discovered trends in how the offspring grow, how parents care for the young and how well the young survive based on where they live. Now, his songbird research is hitting the right notes with the journal Science.

Thomas Martin, assistant leader of the U.S. Geological Survey Montana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at UM, set out to explain why tropical birds tend to have fewer offspring that seem to grow slower and live longer, slower lives than their northern counterparts. He found tropical songbirds grow their wings faster, aided by higher parental feeding rates for fewer offspring than temperate species. Those differences, Martin said, ultimately translate to how well the offspring escape predators both in the nest and after they leave it.

Martin's article, "Age-Related Mortality Explains Life History Strategies of Tropical and Temperate Songbirds," will be published Aug. 28 in the journal Science.

New fossil skulls reveal insights about penguin brain evolution

Date: August 27, 2015

Source: Society of Vertebrate Paleontology

Summary: Although flightless in air, penguins have a number of adaptations which allow them glide effortlessly through the water. And some of these adaptations are in an unlikely part of their anatomy -- their brains. Recent finds of fossil penguins from 35-million-year-old sediments in Antarctica have begun to shed light on the changes in penguin brains that accompanied their transition to water.

Friday 28 August 2015

Way for eagles and wind turbines to coexist

Date: August 27, 2015

Source: University of Waterloo

Summary: Collisions with wind turbines kill about 100 golden eagles a year in some locations, but a new study that maps both potential wind-power sites and nesting patterns of the birds reveals sweet spots, where potential for wind power is greatest with a lower threat to nesting eagles.

Brad Fedy, a professor in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo, and Jason Tack, a PhD student at Colorado State University, took nesting data from a variety of areas across Wyoming, and created models using a suite of environmental variables and referenced them against areas with potential for wind development. The results of their research appear in PLOS ONE.

Increased mortalities threaten the future of long-lived species and, when a large bird like a golden eagle is killed by wind development, the turbine stops, causes temporary slowdowns and can result in fines to operators.

RSPB calls on government to protect wildlife from fracking

The RSPB has called on the government to introduce new measures that rule out fracking within all protected areas, including Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), before handing out any new fracking licence offers.

Currently, the 27 blocks of land that will be formally offered to fracking companies for exploration include 53 SSSIs and three RSPB nature reserves: Dearne Valley, Fairburn Ings and Langford Lowfields. 

Matt Williams, RSPB Climate Change Policy Officer, says: “The Government is doling out new fracking licences for areas of the UK that put some of our most precious wildlife sites under threat.

"Sites of Special Scientific Interest, such as Attenborough Gravel Pits and Fairburn & Newton Ings, are up for grabs for fracking companies who will be able to apply for planning permission to frack anywhere within these newly licensed areas.

“SSSIs are some of our most important wildlife sites. Species such as kingfisher, bittern and goldeneye could be put at risk in these special places and should be protected from the Government’s fracking plans.

Thursday 27 August 2015

Something to crow about: New Caledonian crows show strong evidence of social learning

Date: August 26, 2015

Source: University of California - Santa Barbara

Summary: Among our greatest achievements as humans, some might say, is our cumulative technological culture -- the tool-using acumen that is passed from one generation to the next. As the implements we use on a daily basis are modified and refined over time, they seem to evolve right along with us.

Even cockatoos draw conclusions

Smart cockatoos infer by exclusion

Date: August 26, 2015

Source: University of Vienna

Summary: If there is a certain pool of choices and we can exclude A and B, we can easily deduce that C must be the appropriate choice. The ability of animals to be able to solve this has been the focus of many studies in recent comparative cognitive research. A team of researchers have now found a method to test if Goffin cockatoos have the ability to infer by exclusion.

Wednesday 26 August 2015

Power lines restrict sage grouse movement in Washington

Date: August 24, 2015

Source: University of Washington

Summary: Transmission lines that funnel power from hydroelectric dams and wind turbines across Eastern Washington affect greater sage grouse habitat by isolating fragile populations and limiting movement, a new study finds.

The paper, which looks at how features in the landscape limit the species' distribution and gene flow, is the first to show that power-line corridors are an obstacle for sage grouse as they move across the landscape to feed and reproduce. The study was published early online this summer in the journalLandscape Ecology.

Power lines and future development across the Columbia Plateau could further weaken the species, which is listed as threatened in Washington state. The entire U.S. population that spans 11 western states is up for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act and a decision on whether to officially designate the population as endangered is expected by the end of September.

Britain's most famous Cuckoo has dropped off the radar

The satellite-tagged Cuckoo named Chris after wildlife presenter Chris Packham, seems to be missing in action the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) reported last week.

Chris, who was fitted with a satellite-tag in 2011, has been providing scientists with ground-breaking information on Cuckoo migration for longer than any of their other tagged cuckoos.

This year he left Britain on 4th July on his annual migration to Africa, arriving at his usual stop-over site in the Po valley, northern Italy on 16th July.

On arrival however, Chris will have faced a tough time because the region has been experiencing its worst drought in years.

The lack of rain is likely to have limited vegetation growth and reduced the availability of caterpillars, the preferred food of Chris and other Cuckoos, which is bad news for those British Cuckoos who use this area to fatten up.

They need this period of stocking up their resources to give them the energy to make a successful crossing of the Sahara Desert.

Tuesday 25 August 2015

RSPCA warns against latest blood sport - seagull fishing

By North Devon Journal | Posted: August 23, 2015

THE RSPCA has warned that anyone caught deliberately hurting seagulls will be prosecuted.

The statement comes following reports of a cruel new blood sport – seagull fishing.

In one recent incident in the South West the charity was called to reports from passers by that a group of youngsters were trying to catch gulls.

Officers have said that one bird was killed and others badly injured by people who have been deliberately catching seagulls using fishing lines.

RSPCA inspector Paul Kempson said: “When we arrived, we found one gull that had unfortunately died and another gull that was badly injured. We rushed the injured gull to a local vet and he is now being rehabilitated at one of the RSPCA’s wildlife centres.”

Mr Kempson warned that anyone caught deliberately injuring the animals could face prosecution.

He said: “Deliberate cruelty is not only completely callous and unacceptable but it is also against the law. We have launched an investigation into the incident and would urge anyone with any further information to please contact our inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.


Published at 16:47, Monday, 24 August 2015

It has to rank as one of the most unusual rescue operations undertaken this year by Cumbrian firefighters.

Sky the Harris hawk decided to go exploring after the lead which secures him to his perch snapped.

Initially, his owner Jonathon Graham, 20, was not too worried as the bird of prey was never likely to stray too far from his regular source of food at his home in Harraby Grove, off London Road, Carlisle.

But Jonathon was horrified when he caught up with Sky just along the road – and saw his bird’s tether had become tangled in a tree branch 50ft off the ground.

But thanks to the skill of firefighters Janice Scott and Steve Johnston expert help was at hand.

ASBO handed to woman, 70, for feeding seagulls

By North Devon Journal | Posted: August 24, 2015

Rose Rodell

A COUNCIL in Devon has taken the unusual step of slapping an ASBO on a pensioner for feeding bread to seagulls.

The 70-year-old has been banned from feeding seagulls and all other birds in her home town but the local council banned her after complaints from some residents.

East Devon lady Rose Rodell has fed various birds at her local park and cemetery for years and has launched a legal bid to get the order overturned in court.

But now she has even been threatened with eviction from her council home if she continues feeding the gulls, pigeons and doves.

Rose believes that concerns raised from big hoteliers in Sidmouth town about the "flying rats" are behind her "victimisation" from the council.

Monday 24 August 2015

Persist and shout: Male bluebirds alter songs to be heard over increased acoustic noise

Research shows birds 'shout' to be heard over noise produced by human-made activity

Date: August 21, 2015

Source: University of Exeter

Summary: Birds 'shout' to be heard over the noise produced by human-made activity, new research has shown. Researchers recorded songs produced by 32 male bluebirds, and analysed two from each male -- those produced during the quietest and loudest period of ambient noise -- to investigate whether males changes their songs between these two conditions

Northern bald ibises fit for their journey to Tuscany

Date: August 21, 2015

Source: University of Veterinary Medicine -- Vienna

Summary: January 2014 saw the launch of one of Europe’s largest species conservation projects. The project’s aim is to reintroduce the northern bald ibis, a species of migratory bird, to Europe by the year 2019. Veterinarians make sure the animals are fit for their journey to the south. 31 hand-raised northern bald ibises are healthy and will begin their migration coming Saturday, following an ultralight aircraft towards Tuscany. Other 17 juvenile birds raised by their parents will follow experienced adult birds.

Sunday 23 August 2015

Bizarre migration habits perplex bird researchers

Published: Saturday, August 22, 2015

A new mystery is unfolding in the migratory behavior of birds.

Billions of songbirds travel long distances during their annual migrations — up to 18,600 miles in a single year. Researchers have long believed that, in order to conserve energy, these birds might pick an altitude with favorable winds and stick with it rather than climbing and descending repeatedly.

A new study by University of Michigan-Dearborn Assistant Professor of Biology Melissa Bowlin shows that’s not necessarily the case. Bowlin and her colleagues recently completed the first full-altitude flight data for migrating songbirds and found that Swainson’s thrushes (Catharus ustulatus) made repeated altitude adjustments of more than 100 meters over the course of their nighttime migratory flights.

“We expected the birds to behave like commercial aircraft, ascending to a particular altitude, leveling off and cruising near that altitude, and then coming down just before they landed,” Bowlin said. “I was shocked when I made the first graph for the first bird, and thought it was an anomaly—maybe the transmitters weren’t working correctly. The more data we obtained, however, the more often we saw the up-and-down pattern to the birds’ flight.”

The team of researchers equipped the birds studied with radio transmitters to measure both air temperature and air pressure. From these two sets of data, the team could determine the altitude of the birds and discovered that thrushes change altitude midflight both dramatically and often: The graphs in Bowlin’s paper, which represent the birds’ altitude, show multiple peaks and valleys over periods of several hours.

Israel Has Best Bird Conservation Record in the Region

Slaughter greatest in Egypt, Italy; Israel gets high marks for enforcing no-hunting laws.

Zafrir Rinat Aug 23, 2015 5:18 AM

About 25 million birds are illegally hunted and killed or captured every year in countries bordering the Mediterranean, and many of these countries have adopted a policy of looking the other way when it comes to the mass killing of the winged creatures, a report released over the weekend by the group BirdLife International claims. On the other hand, Israel, the report says, has the best record among Mediterranean countries when it comes to bird conservation.

The most wide-scale slaughter is being committed in Egypt and Italy, says the report from BirdLIfe International, the world’s largest organization dedicated to the protection of birds, while the island nation of Malta has the worst record in relation to its size. Many of the avian creatures are killed or captured in the course of their seasonal migration between Europe and Africa.

After Egypt and Italy, the worst offenders on the list are Syria and Lebanon, which together account for the deaths of six and a half million birds every year. The annual toll in Malta is 110,000, but that puts it in first place based on relative area due to the country’s small size.

Friday 21 August 2015

Centre's Okhla Bird Sanctuary move to be challenged by bird lovers

The Government on Wednesday issued the final notification demarcating the Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ) around the Okhla Bird Sanctuary giving big relief to thousands of home buyers in Noida and its vicinity as their apartments will now fall out of the new notified area.
Mail Today | Mail Today | New Delhi, August 20, 2015 | UPDATED 10:05 IST

The Environment Ministry's decision to declare only 100 metres around the Okhla Bird Sanctuary as eco-sensitive zone has left bird lovers appalled.

Voicing their concern over it, they say this is becoming a nationwide phenomenon where protective zones around sanctuaries are decided randomly and unscientifically and feel that all such proposals should go to the Environment Impact Assessment Authorities for verification. Many are even planning to challenge the Centre's notification in the Supreme Court or National Green Tribunal.

The Government on Wednesday issued the final notification demarcating the Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ) around the Okhla Bird Sanctuary giving big relief to thousands of home buyers in Noida and its vicinity as their apartments will now fall out of the new notified area.

Unusual Hummingbird tongues are tiny pumps that spring open to draw in nectar

Scientists have found that the brightly-coloured bird's tongue acts like a tiny pump. The specialised body part allows the tiny creatures to extract nectar from flowers as they hover over them, beating their wings at up to 50 times a second.
Editor : Jonathan Edwards 
Category : SCIENCE20 August 2015 / Thursday 00:34:13

Over 180 years of theories and estimations have suffered a severe alteration when it was recently discovered that a hummingbird’s tongue uses pumping, not suction when taking in nectar, according to a series of experiments.

Previous to these findings, scientists believed that the colorful and fascinating birds used capillary action to draw their energy source from a variety of plants. The process implied the liquid flowing through the very narrow space and slurping it up even against gravity.

The assumption was first made due to the fact that the bird’s tongue presents itself with two cylinder like grooves, according to lead researcher of the paper and associate of functional morphology at University of Connecticut, Alejandro Rico-Guevara. However, the very slow method did not sound like something a hummingbird would do.

The colorful birds flap their wings up to 50 times per second, hovering above flowers while they’re extracting nectar. They’re creatures of speed and nature ingenuity, so every millisecond counts.

Thursday 20 August 2015

Dozens of birds found dead in downtown Tulsa

TULSA, Okla. — 

PHOTO: Birds die in downtown Tulsa photoQuick facts:
Over 200 birds were found dead at 9th and Elgin in downtown Tulsa today.
The purple martins are a rare species protected by state and federal law.
The game warden says that he is looking into whether someone criminally poisoned the birds, because thousands of them nest in trees nearby, but there is also the possibility that last night's rain knocked them out of the trees and was too much for them to bear, causing them to essentially drown on the sidewalk during a downpour.
TU researchers have taken most of the birds away for analysis because it is a rare species.

Dozens of birds were left dead on downtown Tulsa sidewalks due to what is being called a "rare weather phenomenon".
Many of the birds at 9th and Detroit were cleaned up by Wednesday evening. Those who work in the area said they felt like they walked into a horror movie.

Hunters kill takahe during pukeko cull

7:07 PM Thursday Aug 20, 2015

Four birds from a critically endangered species have been killed within a wildlife sanctuary by hunters who thought they were culling pukeko.

Porphyrio porphyrio -Waikawa, Marlborough, New Zealand-8.jpg
Porphyrio hochstetteri -Tiritiri Matangi Island-8b-3c.jpg
The Department of Conservation confirmed today that volunteers from the Deerstalkers Association had shot four takahe while carrying out a cull of 600 pukeko on Motutapu Island in the Hauraki Gulf, which is a protected, pest-free haven for endangered bird species.

The embarrassing mistake has angered iwi who approved the transfer of the rare birds from the South Island to the sanctuary.
The takahe were killed by experienced members of the local deerstalkers group, which DOC depends on for some conservation initiatives.

DOC's northern conservation services director Andrew Baucke said pukeko had "very similar colouring" to the flightless takahe and the volunteers may have mixed up the two species. Hunters had been briefed on the differences between the two birds after a similar incident on Mana Island seven years ago, when one takahe was killed.

Mr Baucke said the deaths were "deeply disappointing" for DOC and the volunteers. All culling operations had been put on hold while a review took place.

Wednesday 19 August 2015

Gravel-camouflaged nests give threatened shorebirds a boost

Date: August 12, 2015

Source: Central Ornithology Publication Office

Summary: When it comes to reproduction, not every individual equally pulls his or her weight. Researchers spent 13 years tracking the reproductive success of individual Snowy Plovers, and more than anything else they considered, the one factor that stood out was whether plovers nested on sandy beaches or gravel bars: gravel provided better camouflage, leading to more successful fledglings, in turn leading to higher lifetime reproductive success for birds that nested at gravel sites.

Worsening wind forecasts signal stormy times ahead for seabirds

Date: August 18, 2015

Source: University of Edinburgh

Summary: Stronger winds forecast as a result of climate change could impact on populations of wild animals, by affecting how well they can feed, a study of seabirds suggests.

Research into a common UK coastal seabird showed that when winds are strong, females take much longer to find food compared with their male counterparts.

Researchers expect that if wind conditions worsen -- as they are forecast to do -- this could impact on the wellbeing of female birds, and ultimately affect population sizes.

In many seabird species, females are smaller and lighter than males, and so must work harder to dive through turbulent water. They may not hold their breath for as long, fly so efficiently nor dive as deeply as males. The latest results suggest that in poor weather conditions, this sex difference is exaggerated.

Tuesday 18 August 2015

Deceptive woodpecker uses mimicry to avoid competition

Date: August 11, 2015

Source: Central Ornithology Publication Office

Summary: Birds of a feather may flock together, but that doesn't mean they share a genetic background. Though birds were first classified into groups primarily based on appearance, research demonstrates that this method isn't necessarily accurate: in a group of very similar-looking South American woodpecker species, genetic analysis has now shown one to be only a distant cousin of the others, in an intriguing case of visual mimicry.

Migratory patterns of eastern Golden Eagle population revealed

Date: August 12, 2015

Source: Central Ornithology Publication Office

Summary: Eastern North America is home to a small population of Golden Eagles, but despite their potential vulnerability to habitat loss and wind energy development, little information has been available on the patterns of their annual migration. Groups of eagles face different threats depending on the locations they use, and for a new study, researchers have analyzed isotopes in eagles' feathers to trace their annual movements.

Monday 17 August 2015

Little Tern's air miles equal two and a half times round the world

Wildlife conservationists studying rare Little Terns nesting on Chesil Beach in Dorset have discovered that two of them have notched up more than 60,000 miles each during their annual African migrations.

Given that the circumference of the earth is 24,860 miles, that means these small birds have travelled the equivalent of two and a half times round the world. 
The discovery was made during the fitting of new colour rings to the Chesil Little Terns in conjunction with the EU LIFE Little Tern Project.

Thalassa McMurdo Hamilton, Little Tern Project Officer says; “Steve Hales, a local bird ringer, carried out the colour ringing with Luke Phillips of the RSPB.

"As the ringing got underway we noticed some of the adults were glinting silver on their legs – they already had a metal ring on – and luckily, we managed to catch a few of these.

"We excitedly wrote down the ring number and Steve went home to check the BTO [British Trust for Ornithology] records to see how old they were.

Outstandingly successful breeding year for rare Chinese Crested Tern

The Chinese Crested Tern (Thalasseus bernsteini) is one of the rarest birds in the world, with an estimated breeding population of only 100 birds.

Assumed extinct for the past six decades, it was rediscovered 15 years ago but is Critically Endangered with a very small population and only three known breeding sites.

A BirdLife International Partnership including the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society (BirdLife Partner), has recently announced that the Chinese Crested Tern has had its most successful breeding season since its rediscovery, thanks to a project to restore a breeding colony on Tiedun Dao, in the Jiushan Islands .

Also as part of this successful project, conservation groups and volunteers from mainland China, Hong Kong and the US successfully initiated the first ever tagging operation of Chinese Crested Tern and other seabirds on Jiushan Islands, where 31 birds were fitted with numbered bands on their legs so more can be learned about the species.

Sunday 16 August 2015

Watch a rare breed of Asian duckling hatching at Chester Zoo

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

If you like small, cute, fluffy things, you’ll love this.

Keepers at Chester Zoo have captured incredible footage of a rare Asian Baer’s pochard duckling hatching from its shell inside an incubator.

Just a few hundred of the ducklings remain in the wild, while around 250 live in conservation around the world.

Chester Zoo’s curator of birds, Andrew Owen, said: “Our two new white-winged ducklings are very important birds given that their numbers are extremely low in the wild. Our dedicated bird team will be keeping a very close eye on them to make sure they make it through to adulthood.

Friday 14 August 2015

Environmental protection order issued to Syncrude after bird deaths at Alberta oilsands site

By Caley RamsayWeb Producer Global News

The Alberta Energy Regulator says it is investigating reports that approximately 30 blue herons have died at an oilsands site.Jeff McIntosh, The Canadian Press

EDMONTON — Syncrude Canada has been issued an environmental protection order from the Alberta Energy Regulator after 30 blue herons were found dead at its Mildred Lake oilsands mine site last week.

The AER issued the order Tuesday, which requires the company to do the following:
Collect water and soil samples from the site for analysis
Develop a wildlife mitigation plan and detailed delineation and remediation plan
Develop daily public reports and publish them to the Syncrude Canada website
Submit a final report to the AER within 30 days of the completion of all work required in compliance with the order

The AER said Tuesday some of the work had already begun.

The CEO of Syncrude said the company has agreed to comply with all measures of the order.

Rare bird rescued after swallowing hook at Lochindorb

11 August 2015 

A rare bird has been rescued after swallowing a fish hook and line on a Highland loch.

The black-throated diver was spotted in difficulty at Lochindorb, near Grantown on Spey, on Monday 3 August.

Scottish SPCA senior inspectors Andy Brown and Dougie Campbell managed to reach the tangled bird.

After it was cut free, it was taken to the animal welfare charity's National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fishcross, near Alloa, for treatment.

Black-throated divers are an "amber" category species, the second highest class of conservation concer,n according to the RSPB.

Mr Brown said: "The fishing line had snagged on weeds, meaning the bird was unable to move very far.

"Our vet was able to remove the hook but unfortunately there is a lot of dead tissue and the diver is not out of the woods yet.

Thursday 13 August 2015

Rare bird spotted at Winfrith Nature Reserve

Tuesday 11 August 2015 / News

A RARE bird has been spotted in Dorset. 

Conservation officer for Dorset Wildlife Trust, Hamish Murray, spotted the rare Dartford Warbler at Winfrith Nature Reserve.

This small, dark, long-tailed warbler is resident in the UK and has suffered in the past from severe winters.

Its population crashed to a few pairs in the 1960s.

Since then it has gradually recovered, increasing in both numbers and range.

It is still regarded as an Amber List species.
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It will perch on top of a gorse stem to sing, but is often seen as a small flying shape bobbing between bushes.

Drone Video Captures Bruising Mid-Air Encounter With Eagle

Aug 11, 2015, 1:46 PM ET

An Australian drone user had an unexpected encounter with a feisty raptor when the drone he was piloting was hit by an eagle flying at full speed.

"It survived," Adam Lancaster said about his drone, "but I need $100 in parts to get it going again."

The Wedge-Tailed Eagle also survived the impact, according to Lancaster, who said she "hovered over to make sure we had learned our lesson."

Lancaster is a drone photographer and videographer based in Melbourne, training to become a certified drone operator.

"Eagle was fine -- she was massive, and used talons to 'punch' the drone out of the sky," Lancaster wrote on the video description he posted online.

Lancaster has urged other drone pilots to avoid sharing the airspace with birds of prey.

Wednesday 12 August 2015

How tracking one turtle dove could help save its whole species

Published by surfbirds on August 12, 2015 courtesy of BirdLife International, surfbirds archive

In a first for UK science, a European Turtle dove (Streptopelia turtur) has been tracked by satellite tagging as it travelled 11,200km from Suffolk in England to Mali, Africa, and back again.

Flying mostly under the cover of darkness, the bird, named Titan, flew 500-700 kilometres a night across epic landscapes such as the Atlas Mountains of North Africa, Sahara Desert and the Gulf of Cádiz, visiting Senegal, Morocco and Spain en route. His maximum speed was 60km per hour.

Titan was fitted with a small, lightweight satellite tag in Suffolk in summer 2014 by the RSPB Centre for Conservation Science. Since then, Titan is playing a vital role in solving a serious conservation problem: how to prevent the rapid loss of his species from across Europe.

Rare hen harrier Annie shot and killed in South Lanarkshire

10:11, 12 AUGUST 2015

The young female hen harrier, part of the Langholm Moor Demonstration Project, was killed by a gunshot in a remote moorland in South Lanarkshire.

John Wright Hen Harrier, Annie, with her tag.

A rare bird of prey has been shot and killed.

The young female hen harrier had been fitted with a satellite transmitter as a chick as part of the Langholm Moor Demonstration Project.

Scientists monitoring the bird, named Annie, became concerned in mid March, when data confirmed she had stopped moving.

After extensive searching, RSPB Scotland Investigations staff, liaising with Police Scotland and Natural England, recovered the body of the bird from a remote moorland in South Lanarkshire.

It was sent to the SAC Veterinary Centre laboratory near Edinburgh where it was confirmed that it had been killed by a gunshot.

RSPB Scotland yesterday appealed for information on the crime.

Director Stuart Housden said: “It is little wonder these magnificent raptors continue to be absent from large areas of our uplands.

Tuesday 11 August 2015

Parrot Feared Extinct For 100 Years Is Found

The night parrot, believed extinct since the last confirmed sighting in 1912, is found to be alive in arid desert in Queensland.

10:45, UK,Tuesday 11 August 2015

A breed of parrot thought to be extinct since the early 20th century has been rediscovered.

Scientists in the Australian state of Queensland had long believed the rare night parrot was no more.

The breed, endemic to Australia, was feared extinct after there were no recorded sightings after 1912.

The discovery of two dead birds between 1990 and 2006 only added to the belief that the parrot was no more.

Nature expert: Gameskeepers can help save rare species

Gamekeepers could help with conservation

Jody Harrison, Reporter / 00:12 Tuesday 11 August 2015 / Home News

A PARTNERSHIP between gameskeepers and conservationists could be the best way to protect Scotland's wild places, a wild bird specialist has said.

Experienced bird ringer Neil Morrison said he formed a working relationship with gameskeepers in Perthshire and that the partnership helped produce valuable data on endangered species such as short-eared owls.

At least 18 pairs of the amber-listed birds of prey have bred in the last two years and Kestrels, declining alarmingly across Britain, are thriving, with eleven breeding pairs recorded since 2014.

Now, on the eve of the 2015 grouse season, the raptor study group member believes warring factions should learn to put differences aside, so birdlife can be the winner.

He said: “All my interest is in birds. I have never got involved in countryside politics but, personally, the benefits I have reaped from working with gamekeepers and landowners has been far greater than I initially thought.

Monday 10 August 2015

Bridport charity MARINELife to carry out 'exciting' bottlenose dolphin survey after successful fundraising campaign (and Balearic shearwater)

David Bol / 2 hours ago / News

A BRIDPORT marine charity is going ahead with an 'exciting' survey next week after a successful Crowdfunding campaign.

MARINELife has raised £6,000 towards the cost of carrying out a survey of the coastline of Dorset, Devon and Cornwall - which will take place on Tuesday (18).

The charity will now aim to complete the largest survey of its kind of protected bottlenose dolphins.

Emma Webb, trustee at MARINELife, said: "The survey is definitely going ahead on August 18.

"Hopefully it is going to be a nice day for it and we are very exciting about it all. We did reach our crowdfunding target which we are very pleased about, but we are still looking to raise as much as we can get in order to get as much out of the survey as we can.

The survey will also look to record the number of Balearic shearwaters around the south west coast.

Just a few thousand breeding pairs of these birds remain in the world and each summer 1,000 or more birds migrate from the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean up the west coast of France, crossing the channel before working their way around the south west coast. They rely on the rich feeding in our coastal waters at a time when they are moulting and the south west offers them a critically important habitat at this stage of their annual migration.

Night parrot conservation reserve created in Queensland for endangered and elusive bird

VIDEO 6:41 

See the search for the elusive night parrot, which was rediscovered in Queensland two years ago with conservationists likening the moment to finding the holy grail

A secretive 56,000-hectare conservation reserve has been established in Queensland in an effort to protect a tiny population of endangered night parrots.

Two years ago, the elusive night parrot was rediscovered after being thought lost for more than 75 years. It was big news in the bird world.

The editor of Birdlife Magazine Sean Dooley summed it up as: "The bird watching equivalent of finding Elvis flipping burgers in an outback roadhouse".

South Australian Museum collection manager Dr Philippa Horton called the find: "One of the holy grails, one of the world's rarest species probably".

After a long search, naturalist John Young found the bird and some feathers on a property west of the town of Longreach in July 2013.

He revealed his photographs and evidence to the world, but not the location.

Sunday 9 August 2015

Birders have RARE shot to spot Tree Pipit on Table Mountain

2015-08-07 10:54 - Louzel Lombard

Cape Town - SANParks has agreed to open the Perdekloof picnic site, usually closed in winter for a short time in a bid to make the most of a rare Tree Pipit seen in the area. 

Perdekloof picnic site will be opened to the general public on Friday, 7 August, from 09:00 to 14:00 only.

On Monday, 3 August, SANParks got exciting news of an odd bird - possibly the rare Tree Pipit - photographed at Perdekloof Picnic Site near Cape Point in Table Mountain National Park. 

Although the photos taken on the day (not the photo seen below) were not of the greatest quality, SANPark said, "The bird looks very much like a Tree Pipit."

Elkhart Police help rescue osprey

Posted: Aug 07, 2015 4:30 PM GDTUpdated: Aug 07, 2015 4:30 PM GDT
By Melissa Hudson


Thursday morning Elkhart Police officers helped rescue an osprey that had flown into a power line.
Photo courtesy Elkhart Police Department

Elkhart Police Corporal Todd Thayer and a citizen wrapped a blanket around the bird until Elkhart Police Departments Animal Control Officer Corporal Dennis Russell could respond to the scene and place the bird in a cage.

Corporal Russell took the bird to the Elkhart County Humane Shelter where it was evaluated by a wild bird rehabilitation expert.

The bird was also taken to a veterinarian where it was discovered it had a muscle injury.

The bird will be treated by a bird rehabilitator and it could be released back into the wild within two to three weeks.

The rescued osprey is approximately 20 inches tall and has a wing span of approximately 50 inches.