Tag Archives: birds

Sea eagles at Loch Lomond for first time in 100 years

Sea eagle photo by yrjö jyske under creative commons

BBC News reports the eagles, the UK’s largest bird of prey, have since been observed searching for suitable nest sites, suggesting they intend to stay. It is believed that this is the first time sea eagles have settled at Loch Lomond since the early 20th Century.

Persecution and habitat changes led to their extinction across the UK some time soon after 1918. Their reintroduction to Scotland, first in the 1970s and again in the 1990s and early 2000s, has been a conservation success.

Kittiwakes are dying out due to climate change and overfishing, RSPB warns

ITV News reports climate change and overfishing are threatening England’s native seabirds – the kittiwakes. Their numbers have halved since the 1960s. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is warning about the devastating impact of humans on England’s native Kittiwake.

Its message coincides with World Oceans Day. Dr Euan Dunn, from the RSPB said: “The sea is warming dramatically around us and that is unravelling the food web, particularly hitting sand eels, the staple diet of kittiwakes, very dependent on this small shoaling fish.” 

Your bird feeder could be messing with the natural pecking order

Eurasian blue tit photo by Shantanu Dutta under creative commons

The TimesiNews, and Daily Mail report the peanuts may be supplied with the best of intentions but your bird feeder could be wreaking havoc on the local ecosystem. A study suggests that the spoils of bird feeders are not being divided fairly, with blue tits outcompeting more timid woodland rivals.

By analysing the droppings of blue tits in Scotland, researchers could gauge the impact of feeding by humans. Nest box occupation increased from 25 per cent in areas where no human-provided food was present in birds’ guts to about 75 per cent where it was.

Surrey Wildlife Aid Foundation overrun with orphaned ducklings has busiest spring in 40 years

Photo of ducklings by Matt Gibson under creative commons

Surrey Live reports orphaned ducklings have overrun a Surrey wildlife charity which is now calling for donations to help it feed and care for the fluffy youngsters.

Wildlife Aid Foundation (WAF) in Leatherhead has received scores of calls from concerned members of the public in the past month who have encountered families of ducklings apparently abandoned by parents or orphaned – it is currently caring for more than 75 and the numbers are continuing to rise.

More than a billion sparrows in the world, study finds

Sparrow photo by Stewart Black under Creative Commons

BBC News reports there are at least 50 billion individual wild birds in the world and house sparrows make up 1.6m of these. Three other species: European starlings, bran swallows and ring-billed gulls also have populations exceeding one billion.

However, most bird species are rare, with about one-in-ten species down to fewer than 5,000 individuals. This “snapshot” of the global bird population will help in conservation efforts to save birds from extinction.

Have you seen house sparrows near you? Let us know on our sightings page.

Four rare male corncrake birds recorded on Rathlin Island

The BBC reports four rare male birds have been recorded on Rathlin Island, off the County Antrim coast.

It is the highest number of calling male corncrakes to be confirmed on the island in about 40 years. The corncrake is one of NI’s rarest birds, known for its distinctive call. Rathlin is the only place in NI where the species can be found, and is the focus of conservation efforts by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds NI (RSPB NI).