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.

Friday 29 December 2017

How the Arrival of One Bird Brought $223,000 to a Pennsylvanian Town

The rare black-backed oriole showed up outside Reading, Pennsylvania, and birdwatchers flocked to the scene

DECEMBER 15, 2017

At almost any given time, there’s an unusual bird that has gotten lost. Perhaps it missed some migration cue or was blown off course by winds. For example, this week, a Eurasinan mistle thrush showed up in New Brunswick, the first time this bird has been seen on the continent. An irruption of snowy owls recently flocked to the northern U.S., creatures that normally live and breed in much colder climates. For each of these events, there are legions of bird enthusiasts ready and willing to drive for a few hours—or even a few days—to catch a glimpse of these avian vagrants. 

RSPB Ynyshir satellite tracking of white-fronted geese

Electronic tags fitted to one of Europe's rarest birds have revealed "vital data" that could help safeguard the species, researchers have said.

The RSPB estimates the population of Greenland white-fronted geese at its Ynyshir reserve near Machynlleth, Powys, has declined by 83% since 1990.

Very little is known about the birds.

But a study, funded by the Welsh Government, has provided new insights described as "a glimmer of hope".

The RSPB's Tom Kistruck told BBC Wales' environment correspondent Steffan Messenger what the trackers could tell them.

Rise in golden eagles where eight birds disappeared

14 December 2017

Numbers of golden eagles have increased in an area of the Highlands where eight of the birds were believed to have been killed illegally.

The satellite-tagged raptors disappeared over a period of less than five years in the Monadhliath mountains, south of Inverness.

It led to the Scottish government ordering a review of tagging data to check for other suspicious deaths.

A group set up as part of the review said eagle numbers rose this year.

Highland Partnership Against Wildlife Crime North Monadhliaths Subgroup said reports from RSPB Scotland and the Highland Raptor Study Group suggested numbers of the birds in the area had increased.

There had also been "positive sightings" of goshawks, buzzards, ospreys and red kites, the subgroup said.

Fossil hunters find bones of human-sized penguin on New Zealand beach

Remnants of a 1.77-metre-tall penguin who walked on earth 55m to 60m years ago have been found south of Christchurch

Ian SampleScience editor

Tue 12 Dec ‘17 16.48 GMTLast modified on Tue 12 Dec ‘17 23.51 GMT

The remnants of an ancient penguin that stood as tall as a human have been found encased in rock on a beach in New Zealand.

Fossil hunters chanced upon the prehistoric bones in sedimentary rock that formed 55m to 60m years ago on what is now Hampden beach in Otago in the country’s South Island.

Measurements of the partial skeleton show that the flightless bird weighed about 100kg and had a body length of 1.77 metres (5ft 10in), equal to the average height of an American man. Emperor penguins, the tallest penguin species alive today, reach only 1.2 metres when fully grown.

Penguins evolved from flying birds tens of millions of years ago, but lost the ability to get airborne and became accomplished swimmers instead. Once grounded, some penguin species became much larger, growing from about 80cm tall to twice the size.

Thursday 28 December 2017

Scientists Discover Amazon’s Golden-Crowned Manakin To Be Rare Evolved Hybrids

27 December 2017, 6:15 am EST By Charmagne Nojas Tech Times

The golden-crowned manakin was found by scientists to be an “incredibly rare” hybrid after analyzing its DNA. What makes this bird from the Amazon Rainforest so special? ( Dysmorodrepanis | Wikimedia Commons )

After more than 50 years of studying the golden-crowned manakin, scientists have finally identified it to be an extremely rare hybrid that evolved to form its own distinct species.

Discovery of the golden-crowned manakin was made by Brazilian scientists Helmut Sick and Raimundo Costa in July 1957. They collected three adult males from a small tributary to the left of the upper Rio Cururu-ri located east of the Brazilian Amazon.

The holotype of the species is kept at the Museu Nacional Rio de Janeiro, while two specimens were sent to the American Museum of the National History and Museum für Naturkunde Alexander Humboldt.

Confusion Clouds Study Of Rare Amazon Bird Species

The golden-crowned manakin was formerly known as pipra. It was later changed to Lepidothrix vilasboasi, a name that pays tribute to the Villas-Boas brothers. The siblings were well-regarded activists known for their work with indigenous peoples of Brazil.

Rare Griffon vulture found dead, shot at


Although it was shot at, authorities on Tuesday were carrying out tests to determine the exact cause of death of one of the few Griffon vultures on the island whose carcass was found at Zapalo beach in Episkopi, Limassol.

Conservation group BirdLife Cyprus said an x-ray showed the presence of pellets but a necropsy was also underway to confirm whether it was a shooting that killed the bird or if it died of poisoning, the most frequent cause of death of vultures in Cyprus.

BirdLife said preliminary tests showed the bird most probably died from the shooting but more tests were underway to check for evidence of poisoning.

“This x-ray alone, however, paints a gloomy picture for the species,” BirdLife said. “Why was it even shot at? With only around 20 vultures left on the island, each death comes at a great cost for the species’ survival.”

Rare fairy tern chick hatches in New Zealand

‘Critically endangered’ bird has been on the brink of extinction since the 1970s

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 December, 2017, 2:22pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 December, 2017, 2:24pm

Conservationists are celebrating the birth of one of New Zealand’s rarest birds at Mangawhai.

The number of one of the country’s rarest birds, the New Zealand fairy tern/tara-iti, has been boosted by a chick successfully hatching at Mangawhai, in late November.

With a total population of around just 40 birds, the NZ fairy tern is critically endangered, and has teetered on the brink of extinction since the 1970s.

Department of Conservation Mangawhai Fairy Tern Ranger Keven Drew hopes the new chick will help boost fairy tern numbers.

“Although it is early days for the chick and the risks are high, we are hopeful he or she will continue to do well and fledge later in summer,” Mr Drew said.

Fairy terns nest on shell and sand banks just above high tide, which makes them vulnerable to rats, stoats and other predators, disturbance by people, 4WD vehicles and dogs. They are also at risk from stormy weather and very high tides.

“The birds cannot be transported to predator-free offshore islands because they are very particular about where they nest, and the chicks are not raised in captivity as they have to be looked after by their parents while they learn how to fish successfully” he said.

Wayward summer tanager makes first appearance on record in Vancouver

Published on: December 11, 2017 | Last Updated: December 11, 2017 10:08 AM PST

A wayward summer tanager is being observed for the first time in Metro Vancouver — and is attracting a throng of birders from around the region.

This particular summer tanager is an immature male and should be wintering in much warmer climes to the south, but it showed up Saturday morning in Wendy Kahle’s backyard is southwest Vancouver.

The colourful bird has only been recorded six times in B.C. and never before in Metro Vancouver, according to the B.C. Rare Bird Alert website.

“I put some peanuts out as I do every day,” Kahle said. “I glanced out and noticed it was very different from all the other birds I usually see.”

She took a photo and posted it on a birding Facebook page, where it was quickly identified and posted on the rare bird website. Within a couple of hours birders were showing up to view the bird on her property, but from the perspective of the Arbutus Greenway or Avery Avenue, near Southwest Marine Drive.

Kārearea to join fighting squadron in battle against pests


Three karearea chicks were set up in their new home in Martinborough to help with pest control on vineyards, but also as part of a conservation effort to restore numbers.

In flight the kārearea resembles a stealth bomber.

And with rapid wing beats and a top speed of about 389kmh they are wreaking havoc on birds that blight vineyards in the premier wine producing region of Martinborough.

Three more of the native falcons have been re-homed at Palliser Estate as part of the area's fighting squadron.

At 28 days old the chicks have reached adult weight and will will grow adult feathers in the coming weeks.

At just 29-days-old the kārearea were settled into their new home at Clouston Vineyard on December 11 as part of a programme that combines pest control with conservation.

Palliser Estate employees have noticed a significant reduction in thrush, blackbird and finch numbers since the falcon programme began in 2014. They also scare seasonal birds like starlings.

Behind the initiative which has seen 10 birds released over four years are Martinborough resident and former Palliser Estate employee Jane Lenting, Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre and Palliser Vineyards.

Just two were lost, one to predation and one to electrocution.

Lenting had heard of a similar effort in Marlborough while she was employed at Palliser and suggested they do the same.

Pūkaha wildlife sanctuary quadruples amount of self-setting traps

Illya McLellan/STUFF

Pūkaha Mt Bruce Wildlife Centre has received 500 new self-setting traps thanks to funding from Pub Charity and a partnership with trap manufacturer Goodnature. Staff are excited at the possibilities, with traps installed previously having already made a marked difference.

Cutting edge trap technology is boosting birdsong and helping efforts to restore the New Zealand bush to its former glory.

Conservationists hope to restore fauna to levels which prompted botanist Joseph Banks to write in 1769 that the New Zealand bush had "certainly the most melodious wild musick I have ever heard". This technology could well bring the dream closer.

Pūkaha Mt Bruce National Wildlife Centre conservation manager Todd Jenkinson said the addition of 500 A-24 Goodnature self-setting predator traps at the centre, north of Masterton, would go a long way to increasing the birdsong at the centre and surrounding areas.   

The centre already had 160 A-24 traps throughout the 942-hectare reserve and 2000 hectare buffer zone and he had noticed the difference they had provided in the number of birds that could be seen and heard.

"There has been a noticeable increase in rifleman, whitehead, grey warbler, shining cuckoo and long tailed cuckoo since we have had the A-24 traps on the reserve. 

Monday 25 December 2017

Record number of rare, snowy owls showing up in Ohio

A record number of rare snowy owls are appearing in Ohio.

According to Jen Brumfield, a naturalist with Cleveland Metroparks, a record number of the beautiful owls are appearing in northern portions of the state.

The source of this unusually huge movement of snowy owls is yet to be determined, but it is very likely tied to a successful nesting year in the Arctic, Brumfield said.

At least 10 snowy owls were recently found on the break wall near downtown Cleveland, with more showing up in outlying communities.

Sightings in Ohio are very uncommon, but naturalists say they are not unheard of in southern portions of Canada during the winter months.

The arctic birds are typically nomadic in summer months, nesting around large populations of small rodents. In winter, they take on a wide variety of prey, including geese and other birds.

Uncommon visitor: Rare hummingbird sightings draw birders from across U.S.

Green-breasted Mango seen at Quinta Mazatlan.
Posted: Wednesday, December 6, 2017 9:28 pm
By DANIEL A. FLORES Staff Writer

McALLEN — Avid birder and author Sheri L. Williamson was lounging in her Bisbee, Arizona, living room this weekend when her husband said the words: “green-breasted mango in McAllen.” 

The re-creation of her response can only be described as a yelp of optimism.

To the hummingbird enthusiast, the phrase represented a chance to check off a rare species from the American Birding Association checklist.

This bird hadn’t been spotted in the United States since 2009. Quinta Mazatlan World Birding Center urban ecologist John Brush observed the hummingbird Saturday morning and spread word of the green-breasted mango, eventually reaching Williamson’s husband’s Facebook feed.
Williamson delayed booking her flight, fearing the rare-bird sighting would be a one-off.

Welwyn Hatfield: Invasion of the parakeets

PUBLISHED: 11:01 09 December 2017 | UPDATED: 11:01 09 December 2017

Residents across Welwyn Hatfield have been all of a flutter at the sight of an unusual and brightly coloured visitor to their gardens.

A number of readers have been in touch with the Welwyn Hatfield Times after spotting flocks of bright green parakeets - a non-native species - gathering in trees and enjoying bird table offerings.

Although a sub-tropical species, the ring-necked parakeets tend to live in colder areas and their native habitat is most likely the foothills of the Himalayas.

They were first spotted in the UK in Kent in 1971.

By the 1980s, they were also in London.

Beaked baby boomers: Record year for puffin chicks in Maine

By: PATRICK WHITTLE, Associated Press
Updated: Nov 27, 2017 - 4:02 PM

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Puffins face existential challenges, but the little birds found a new role in Maine this summer: baby boomers.

The 2017 nesting season was the most productive on record for a group of vulnerable Maine puffins, scientists with the Audubon Society said. The Atlantic puffins are small seabirds with an awkward walk and colorful beaks that are popular with eco-tourists.

The birds are at the southern edge of their breeding range in Maine, and the Eastern Egg Rock colony in Muscongus Bay is the subject of much study. Audubon reported that the colony increased from 150 to 172 pairs during this year's nesting season.

That is the highest single-year increase since puffins recolonized the little island in 1981, said Steve Kress, a biologist and vice president for bird conservation with Audubon.

"It was an excellent year," Kress said. "There's a reason to be happy, and a reason to be concerned because there still is a long-term trend toward warming waters."

Exhibition aims to raise awareness of lesser known endangered native birds

Bevan Smith

Emerging artist Bevan Smith's remarkably life-like drawings take anything from 7 to 15 hours to complete.

A young artist cum conservationist is using his eye-catching, pencil portraits to draw awareness to New Zealand's dwindling bird species.

Save our Species: New Zealand Birds is the second exhibition at Devonport's Depot Artspace by emerging artist Bevan Smith.

As an enthusiastic environmentalist, he hopes this show will create a "positive awakening" about New Zealand's native species.

Bevan Smith is raising awareness for New Zealand's lesser-known endangered bird species, through detailed pencil-drawings.

"Art is a great medium for promoting conservation because they feed into each other," Smith said.

"By getting people interested in the art, I can get them interested in the conservation as well."
The attention to detail means each artwork takes anywhere between seven and 15 hours to complete.

Save our Species profiles 23 New Zealand birds that are endangered or close to extinction.
Smith said he has focused on drawing the "lesser-known birds" because they need the most spotlighting. 

"If you don't know, you can't care," Smith said.

Sunday 24 December 2017

3 rare black-necked storks hatched in Cambodia's wildlife sanctuary

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-08 14:47:50|Editor: Chengcheng

PHNOM PENH, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- Three black-necked stork chicks have been hatched in Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary (KPWS) in the Northern Plains in Cambodia's Preah Vihear province, giving hope to the future conservation of this rare species in the country, a Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) statement said on Friday.

The black-necked stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) is a very rare bird species in Asia and is listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List as "near threatened", the statement said, adding that an estimated 15,000 to 35,000 individuals exist globally, with the vast majority of them in Australia.

"Less than 10 pairs are known to exist in Cambodia, the only country in Southeast Asia where the bird is regularly recorded," it said.

Yoeun Yerb, a WCS-supported nest protector, said he was happy to see these three black-necked stork chicks because they were a rare bird, not often seen in the forest.

"We achieved our goal of guarding the nest and strongly hope that others will help safeguard this species," he said.

The Bird Nest Protection Program in the Northern Plains of Cambodia is a payment structure designed to combat the threat of egg and chick collection, the statement said. Under the scheme, local people living in the protected areas are offered conditional payments if they successfully locate, monitor and protect nests until the birds fledge.

China to add yellow-breasted bunting to endangered list

By Liu Caiyu
Source:Global Times Published: 2017/12/7 20:53:40

China will add yellow-breasted bunting to its the wild animal protection list "soon," an official said Thursday after media reported plummeting numbers in the last decade.

China is mulling including emberiza aureola, commonly known as the yellow-breasted bunting, for a revised list including a higher degree of endangerment, a department official told the Global Times.

The government official, who insisted on anonymity including the relevant department, did not say when the revised list will be released.

The response came as media reported that non-government organization the International Union for Conservation of Nature upgraded the species to "critically endangered."

"The overall rate of population decline is even greater than previously thought and may have become extremely rapid during the past three generations (11 years)," the union posted on its website. 

Feathered dinosaurs were even fluffier than we thought

Date:  November 28, 2017
Source:  University of Bristol

Scientists have revealed new details about dinosaur feathers and enabled scientists to further refine what is potentially the most accurate depiction of any dinosaur species to date.

A University of Bristol-led study has revealed new details about dinosaur feathers and enabled scientists to further refine what is potentially the most accurate depiction of any dinosaur species to date.

Birds are the direct descendants of a group of feathered, carnivorous dinosaurs that, along with true birds, are referred to as paravians -- examples of which include the infamous Velociraptor.
Researchers examined, at high resolution, an exceptionally-preserved fossil of the crow-sized paravian dinosaur Anchiornis -- comparing its fossilised feathers to those of other dinosaurs and extinct birds.

The feathers around the body of Anchiornis, known as contour feathers, revealed a newly-described, extinct, primitive feather form consisting of a short quill with long, independent, flexible barbs erupting from the quill at low angles to form two vanes and a forked feather shape.

Return of the native wild turkey -- setting sustainable harvest targets with limited data

Date:  November 27, 2017
Source:  Ecological Society of America

The recovery of the wild turkey is a great restoration success story. But concerns have been rising over the specter of declines in some areas. Lack of reliable tools to estimate abundance of turkeys has increased uncertainty for managers. So wildlife researchers have investigated how to harvest wild turkeys sustainably when information is imperfect.

As American families sit down for the traditional turkey dinner this Thanksgiving, some will be giving thanks for a wild bird that is truly free range. Meleagris gallopavo, the wild turkey, has steadily gained in popularity with hunters since successful restoration efforts put it back on the table in the around the new millenium, bucking the trend of declining participation in hunting throughout the United States. The distinguished native bird is now second in popularity only to white tailed deer.

The recovery of the wild turkey is a great restoration success story. But concerns have been rising over the specter of declines in some areas. Lack of reliable tools to estimate abundance of turkeys has increased uncertainty for managers. So wildlife researchers at Michigan State University investigated how to harvest wild turkeys sustainably when information is imperfect.

Crafty crows know what it takes to make a good tool

New study provides surprising insights into how crows manufacture their hooked foraging tools

Date:  December 7, 2017
Source:  University of St. Andrews

Biologists at the University of St Andrews have discovered how New Caledonian crows make one of their most sophisticated tool designs -- sticks with a neatly-shaped hooked tip.

New Caledonian crows are the only species besides humans known to manufacture hooked tools in the wild. Birds produce these remarkable tools from the side branches of certain plants, carefully 'crafting' a crochet-like hook that can be used for snagging insect prey.

The study, published in Current Biology today (7 December), reveals how crows manage to fashion particularly efficient tools, with well-defined 'deep' hooks.

Friday 22 December 2017

Rooftop wiretap aims to learn what crows gossip about at dusk

Date:  December 5, 2017
Source:  University of Washington

An interdisciplinary team is using a covert sound-based approach, worthy of an avian CSI, to study the link between crows' calls and their behavior.

What are crows saying when their loud cawing fills a dark winter's evening? Despite the inescapable ruckus, nobody knows for sure. Birds congregate daily before and after sleep, and they make some noise, but what might be happening in those brains is a mystery.

Curious about these raucous exchanges, researchers at the University of Washington Bothell are listening in. They are placing equipment on the roof of their building -- a meeting place for some of the thousands of crows that sleep in nearby campus trees -- and using a sort of computerized eavesdropping to study the relationship between calls and the birds' behavior.

"With audio alone, our team is able to localize and record the birds remotely, and in dim light that makes this situation less suitable for video tracking," said Shima Abadi, an assistant professor at UW Bothell's School of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics. "It's still a challenging task, but we can use the audio signals to look for patterns and learn more about what the birds may be communicating."

Rare breeding birds in Northern Ireland face being wiped out by climate change: report

By Eamon Sweeney
December 5 2017

Climate change threatens to make many of Northern Ireland's rare breeding birds extinct, wildlife experts have warned.

Rising temperatures will result in "significant changes" in the composition and distribution of our bird communities.

The stark finding is contained in a report published today entitled The State of the UK's Birds.

It said many of the UK's species are already being affected by climate change as a result of average summer temperatures increasing by one degree centigrade since the 1980s.

Dr Neil McCulloch, an ornithologist at the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, said: "This year's report summarises the evidence that climate change is having an increasing impact on our bird populations.

"This means we can expect to see significant changes in the composition and distribution of Northern Ireland's bird communities and in their behaviour.

Bird commonly found in Asia spotted by enthusiasts in Alaska

Published 9:41 am, Tuesday, December 5, 2017

SITKA, Alaska (AP) — Bird watchers have spotted a rare thrush in Alaska.

The dusky thrush, which is commonly found in Asia, has only been spotted a few times in Alaska, the Daily Sitka Sentinel reported . Bird enthusiast Matt Goff reported seeing one Friday in Sitka.

"I don't think it's an uncommon bird in Asia," Goff said. "But in North America — it's very unusual."

The dusky thrush's appearance differs slightly from that of its North American counterparts. It lacks the bright red or orange breast of a varied thrush, or robin, and has "pale," ''distinctive" lines around its eyes, Goff said.

Word of Goff's sighting spread quickly and enthusiasts from all over flocked to the Crescent Harbor in hopes of catching a glimpse.

One out-of-state enthusiast even flew in to see the bird, Goff said. That was Yve Morell, who is on a quest to achieve an American Birding Association Big Year, an informal competition in the birding community to identify the largest number of birds within a year.

Dead owls at Ayrshire bird sanctuary were dumped in a freezer says animal lover who found icy tomb

Ian Middleton allegedly found the creatures traumatised and living in appalling conditions when he arrived unannounced to collect them

By Gail Cameron
9th December 2017, 9:58 pm

DEAD owls at a bird sanctuary were dumped in a freezer, it’s claimed.

An animal lover said he discovered the icy tomb as he returned to pick up his flock from temporary care while his rescue centre flitted.

Ian Middleton was told four birds of prey perished at Hoots Forever Home in Dalry, Ayrshire.

Recalling the horror, his partner Carole Rose, 62, said: “A volunteer spent nearly two hours bringing birds out the freezer one at a time, asking ‘Is this yours?’

“Of all the dead birds shown, which was over a dozen, three were ours – a kestrel, a barn owl and a buzzard.”

Carole said they sent 23 birds to the charity for five months in 2015 while moving their Wild Wings rehab base in Warrington, Cheshire.

Ian allegedly found the creatures traumatised and living in appalling conditions when he arrived unannounced to collect them.

And the horrified couple were stunned to be hit with a £9,500 feed bill by charity chief Lisa Kennedy — despite some of their flock missing from the invoice.

Falcon from Mongolia sighted in Madayipara

KANNUR , DECEMBER 09, 2017 23:20 IST
UPDATED: DECEMBER 09, 2017 23:29 IST

First spotting of Amur Falcon, a pigeon-sized migratory bird, in Kannur

Migratory bird Amur Falcon has been spotted for the first time at Madayipara here. The bird was sighted by Jayan Thomas, an ophthalmologist and bird enthusiast, on November 29. The sighting was confirmed by ornithologists C. Sashikumar and J. Praveen.

Amur Falcon is a small pigeon-sized bird weighing just 150 grams. Dr. Thomas said the bird species was first reported from the Amur river basin near Mongolia. In November/December each year the birds fly from Mongolia to northeast India, covering 5,600 km. Then they continue their journey to the wintering grounds in South Africa by flying another 22,000 km via central and western India and then back to Mongolia.

A gory history
Mr. Sashikumar said though Amur Falcon had been sighted in some parts of the State earlier, it was for the first time that the bird was spotted in Kannur. He said the bird had a gory past as it had been killed in large numbers for meat in Nagaland. Steps to protect Amur Falcons were launched in that State in 2012, he noted.

Thursday 21 December 2017

Pelican storm: Teamwork saves 200 birds along Highway 48

Posted: Friday, December 8, 2017 10:25 pm
By RICK KELLEY Staff Writer

HARLINGEN — More than 200 brown pelicans were rescued by volunteers along State Highway 48 Thursday, which was in stark contrast to a vehicular massacre of the birds one year ago.

The “Pelican Team” was created following two storm-filled days last December after cold fronts created conditions forcing pelicans onto the roadway that stretches from Port Isabel to Brownsville. Between 60 and 100 birds perished under the wheels of vehicles along a stretch of highway with a 75-mph speed limit.

This year between a dozen and two dozen birds were lost, but the numbers were far fewer due to the efforts of the Pelican Team as well as the Texas Department of Public Safety, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas General Land Office, Texas game wardens, Good Samaritans and the Port Isabel Volunteer Fire Department.

Bird species dwindle in city, finds survey

Laxmi Prasanna| TNN | Updated: Dec 11, 2017, 23:37 IST

As many as 147 species of birds were spotted during the survey

Thiruvananthapuram: The recent survey conducted at seven sites in the city found that the number of bird species in the city has come down.

As many as 147 species of birds including rare and migratory birds were spotted during the survey carried out as part of Annual Bird Race 2017, organized by WWF-India with the support of Kerala forests and wildlife department.

"Over the years there is a decline in the number of bird species," said WWF-India state director Renjan Mathew Varghese. Construction activities, dredging and pollution in wetlands are the reasons for this, according to experts.

"The wetland bird 'Indian coot' used to be seen in groups at Akkulam earlier. But during the last three years due to the construction activity, dredging and pollution, such wading birds have started disappearing," said WWF-India education officer A K Sivakumar.

'It doesn't get any rarer than this': Mistle thrush could be continent's first

Bird watchers converge on Miramichi after mistle thrush lands on resident's lawn
By Elizabeth Fraser, CBC News Posted: Dec 11, 2017 5:33 PM AT Last Updated: Dec 11, 2017 10:52 PM AT

A "mega-rarity" bird blew into Miramichi over the weekend, and it's attracting bird lovers from across Eastern Canada and the U.S. who've never seen one in North America before.

Peter Gadd said a European mistle thrush landed near a mountain ash tree on his lawn and has been drawing crowds ever since.

"I saw a bird and thought, 'OK, that's a little different,'" said Gadd, who spotted the bird on Saturday.

Gadd and his wife, Deana, have been active birders for more than four years.

After spotting the bird and carefully studying its features, Gadd tried to find something similar in one of his several North American bird books.

Nothing seemed to match.

So he sent photos to bird experts, who quickly recognized the rare bird.

"It doesn't get any rarer than this," said Jim Wilson, a New Brunswick-based birder and naturalist, who visited the Gadd residence.