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, 20 March 2017

Rare sighting of brahminy kite thrills birders

TNN | Updated: Feb 20, 2017, 12.00 AM IST

Chennai: Advocate M Santhanaraman and conservationist T Murugavel stared in disbelief when they spotted a brahminy kite (Haliastur indus) with twigs in its beak flying near the TVS showroom on Anna Salai on Friday. Two days later, they returned there to confirm that their eyes hadn't been playing tricks on them. It was no illusion - the bird was there at the same spot.

Santhanaraman said the bird was flying from east to west towards Egmore. "Probably, the restoration of Chetpet lake may have attracted the bird to come back to the city," he said.

Director, Institute of Bird Studies, Rishi Valley School V Santharam noted that
brahminy kites used to be a common sight in the city. "We, the members of the Madras Naturalists' Society, have seen the bird in Adyar estuary, near Theosophical Society and many other places in south Chennai in the 1980s. But, in the last 20 years, there have been very few brahminy kite sightings in the city," he said. 

New study of Singapore’s bird markets highlights dangers of overharvesting as critical bird trade Summit gets underway

A new TRAFFIC report has documented over 14,000 birds for sale in shops in Singapore over four days, 70% of them species non-native or formerly native to the country—a stark departure from patterns observed in other bird markets in the region.

Of the 14,085 birds of 109 species found in the market, some 6,473 (46%) were Oriental White-eyes Zosterops palpebrosus—a species once native to Singapore that was eradicated largely through trapping for the bird trade. 

“The presence of thousands of Oriental White-eyes in Singapore’s bird markets is a poignant reminder of the dangers of persistent over harvesting and poorly managed trade,” said Kanitha Krishnasamy, Senior Programme Manager for TRAFFIC in Southeast Asia and a co-author of the new study Songsters of Singapore: An Overview of the Bird Species in Singapore Pet Shops
(PDF, 2.1 MB). 

The study was released as experts from around the world gather to focus on developing and implementing a plan of action to avert the crisis facing Asia’s songbirds during the second Asian Songbird Trade Crisis Summit, which takes place from 19-21 February 2017 at the Jurong Bird Park in Singapore.

During the first Summit held in 2015, the Oriental White-eye was among the species listed as of immediate concern from bird trapping in Asia along with the second most commonly observed species in Singapore’s markets—Red-whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus, of which some 2,811 individuals were recorded.

“Singapore lost its Oriental White-eyes largely through excessive trapping, which should have hoisted a red flag warning that the ongoing trade will impose the same fate on this and other species elsewhere until there are no more left,” said Krishnasamy.

Previous TRAFFIC surveys of bird markets in
Jakarta, Malang, Surabaya and Yogyakarta in Indonesia as well as Bangkok in Thailand, found that trade in those countries was dominated by species native to the country or elsewhere in Southeast Asia. 

Deal struck after bird lover fined £100 for feeding swans at Coventry park

Michael Rennie was told he was "depositing litter" by feeding the birds

Ben Eccleston
16:00, 17 FEB 2017

A compromise has been struck between a pensioner and council chiefs after he was fined £100 for feeding swans.

Police were called after Michael Rennie was handed two penalty notices for feeding the birds at Quinton Park, in Cheylesmore.

He was told his actions constituted “depositing litter” and was handed two £50 fines.

Mr Rennie originally refused to give his details to the Coventry City Council employee after he asked her for some ID, which was also refused, and police were called.

Officers eventually arrived but West Midlands Police confirmed that no action was taken.

The 63-year-old retired cleaner and driver said he had no intentions to pay the money, but has come to an agreement that he will pay one of the fines, and in return the council will drop the other penalty.

Mr Rennie had took it upon himself to feed the swans after they had started wandering across a busy road searching for food.

On the advice of the RSPB, he began giving them grain and lettuce.