Tag Archives: birds

Amateur birdwatchers accidentally discover habits of rare duck as they record bird noises at night during lockdown

The Daily Telegraph reports with long journeys to go ‘birding’ curtailed by the Covid-19 regulations, sales of tiny ‘noc-mig’ microphones to record migrating birds flying overnight went up. They managed to discover that the Common Scooter is much faster than previously thought with 800 households logging data that showed it crossed the UK in a matter of days rather than weeks. 

Britain’s biggest bird could make comeback in latest rewilding plans

The Telegragh reports Britain’s biggest bird could make a comeback under new rewilding plans, as the Wildlife Trusts call for the government to restore our wetlands to their former glory and bring back the dalmatian pelican.

Dalmatian pelican at Prague Zoo by Willard under creative commons. 

The birds, which are up to six foot in length and have a wingspan of up to 11 feet, disappeared from our wetlands before medieval times, but are present in the fossil record. The majestic species was common 12,000 years ago and bones have been found in peat bogs in Norfolk, East Yorkshire and Somerset from the Bronze and Iron ages. Eventually, 2,000 years ago, the drainage of these wetlands, alongside hunting and disturbance, led to the extinction of the pelican.

Rare birds declining in the UK because of warmer Arctic climates affecting migration rates

The Telegraph reports a study which tagged geese and monitored their movements and density from 2006 to now has found that vastly fewer young come with adult animals when they travel to our shores. Nowhere else on earth are experts seeing such rapid changes than in the Arctic where the primary cause, greenhouse gas emissions, are instigating warmer winter temperatures and ice loss, affecting the availability of food, competition and predation of animals. 

Seabirds face extinction if Government pursues wind farm plan, RSPB warns

The Telegraph reports the Prime Minister last week promised that Britain had “limitless” offshore wind capacity, and said a green industrial revolution with this renewable resource at its heart would create millions of jobs and avert climate change. However, conservationists have warned that an enthusiastic rolling out of offshore wind could cause our globally important seabird populations to dwindle to extinction. 

Stop clearing out messy brambles to bring Britain’s rarest bird ‘back from the brink’, councils told

The Daily Telegraph reports the willow tit is the fastest-declining  resident bird in the country, and one of the lowest in number, and the numbers have been in sharp freefall because their preferred habitat, shrubland, has been destroyed because of an obsession with neatness…. Government quango Natural England is also planning to compel local authorities to create more ‘untidy’ habitats for creatures including the Willow tit. 

Willow tit photo by yrjö jyske under creative commons.

Pioneering technology reveals secret life of seabirds in Scotland

INEWS and BBC NEWS report a pioneering form of research has given a fresh insight into the secret night lives of the UK’s smallest seabird. The RSPB used GPS tags to collect data on the movement of storm petrels. They found the birds, which are active at night, regularly travelled up to 300 kilometres to feed in the stormy waters off Shetland. 

Photo of European storm petrels by Peter Steward under creative commons.

Lockdown sees ‘most successful breeding year in decades’ for marsh harriers at Cambridge nature reserve

The Independent reports tangers see four nests of chicks successfully fledge. At least a dozen marsh harrier chicks have successfully fledged at a nature reserve in the “most successful breeding year in decades” for the species there. It is thought that lockdown helped the birds at the National Trust’s Wicken Fen Nature Reserve in Cambridgeshire.