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.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Phl allows live bird imports from Thailand

By Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 30, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Agriculture (DA) has cleared the Bangkok Bird Park Breeding and Research Center (BBPBRC) as a source of live captive birds, having been confirmed free from avian influenza.

In a circular, the DA said the Bangkok-based breeding center has passed the inspection conducted by the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) for biosecurity.

The DA said the BBPBRC has also complied with the Terrestrial Animal Health Code of the World Organization for Animal Health.

“Based on the inspection/ evaluation conducted to BBPBRC aviary in Thailand, accreditation to export live captive bred bird into the Philippines has been found to be acceptable,” the DA circular said.

The government lifted in 2012 the temporary ban imposed ton the importation of poultry, poultry and live birds from Thailand. 

After the accreditation, the bird breeding facility would be allowed to export captive live birds to the Philippine subject to the usual quarantine rules and regulations.

Rare aquatic chick is same size as cotton ball

A rare baby bird rescued by a Petaluma resident is so teeny, it's the same size as a cotton ball. 

International Bird Rescue / Isabel Luevano

Dione Rochelle found the aquatic shorebird while she was on an evening walk last week. 

Rochelle told, "He was just walking down the middle of the path like he owned the place. He looked like a pom-pom. He was going pretty fast. We stepped back thinking there was a mother or other babies.”

Rochelle realized the chick was all alone in Shollenberger Park and carefully picked up it up. The chick was a Black Rail, an elusive bird that is hardly ever seen. Black Rails are a threatened species in California because of habitat loss.

She took the orphaned chick covered in black fuzzy feathers home and brought it to Wildcare in San Rafael the following day. Wildcare transferred the chick to the International Bird Rescue's San Francisco Bay center.

On Tuesday, bird experts working at IBR said they could not believe just how tiny and adorable the chick was.

Birds of prey found dead in Hereford under suspicious circumstances

The RSPCA is appealing for information after a red kite and a buzzard were found dead, with a body of a pheasant between them in Hereford, on 20 August.

The three birds were found within feet of each other at a farm in Pontrilas and were taken to a vet by the farm’s owner.

The vets could find no obvious signs of injury or disease but it is thought that the deaths may be suspicious.

“Whilst we don’t know the exact causes of the deaths, it is very unusual to find dead birds like this so near to each other," said RSPCA inspector Sarah Chambers. 

“It may be that they were poisoned or that there was something in the pheasant that has then caused the deaths of the birds of prey if they tried to feed on it.”

Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 not only is it illegal to kill or poison a wild bird and those responsible could face a maximum six months in prison and/or a £5,000 fine.

Anyone with information should contact the RSPCA inspectorate information line on 0300 123 8018.

Silence to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of last ever passenger pigeon

Monday 01 September 2014

Conservationists will fall silent at noon today to mark the hundredth anniversary of the death of Martha, the last ever passenger pigeon – just as a new project is set up to bring the species back from the dead.

The iconic clock will stop at Cincinnati Zoo, where Martha died in her cage on September 1, 1914, ending a demise that was so dramatic that it represents the most extreme extinction in modern history.

The North American passenger pigeon – or wild pigeon – was once so abundant it accounted for 40 per cent of the continent’s birds when Europeans first arrived in the 16th Century, and even by the 1860s it still accounted for one in four birds.

One flock in southern Ontario was reported to be a mile wide, 300 miles long, containing 3.5billion birds that took 14 hours to pass and eclipsed the sun from noon until nightfall.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Boris Island birds: how will they fare if airport goes ahead?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 
11:35 AM

Report by British Trust for Ornithology highlights scale of the issue

The proposal to build an airport on the Isle of Grain would cause a significant loss of coastal wetland habitat, according to a report published by the British Trust of Ornithology (BTO).

This would largely be within the Thames Estuary and Marshes Special Protection Area (SPA), but would also affect the Medway Estuary and Marshes.

Because these areas support more than 140,000 waterbirds, they are protected under international law.

Development at these sites would have significant negative impactson the bird populations that live there.

This would occur due to habitat loss within the footprint of the airport and disturbance or habitat change affecting other areas near the airport.

Over 21,000 waterbirds currently use the area proposed for development, which represents around 25% of the current total bird population on the two affected SPAs, and 37% of the current bird population on the Thames Estuary and Marshes SPA.

Like father, like swan: Angry bird dubbed Asboy attacks punters in Cambridge just like his dad used to

'Vicious' swan nicknamed 'Asboy' has been terrorising punters on River Cam
Bird is son of 'Mr Asbo' - violent swan which was removed from river in 2012
'Asboy' pecks, hisses and flaps its wings at any boat which gets close to it
Deemed worse than father who was moved 60 miles away due to behaviour

PUBLISHED: 15:35, 13 August 2014 | UPDATED: 19:48, 13 August 2014

A swan dubbed 'Asboy' has become the latest in his family to terrorise punters and kayakers as they try to enjoy a relaxing jaunt on an idyllic Cambridge river.

The feathered fiend, who is the son of 'Mr Asbo', is now causing his own havoc on the River Cam after his father was removed in 2012 after becoming too violent.

'Asboy', who rules the roost by swimming up and down pecking at punters and flying into families on the waterway, has already attacked a canoeist and swimmer.

'Total carnage' as 18 budgies trampled to death by sick thugs in bird massacre

By Sam Rkaina

15 eggs were smashed and one bird was even drowned in bleach during the vicious killing spree

A heartbroken pensioner has slammed the sick thugs who massacred his beloved budgies.

The vandals broke into 85-year-old widower Jim Shepherd's shed and began a vicious killing spree, trampling seven birds and 11 chicks to death and smashing 15 eggs.

Jim discovered the horror when he went in to check on his birds - some of which had been stamped into the floor and one was even drowned in bleach in the sink.

The pensioner, a budgie breeder for 60 years, said: "It was just total carnage. I can't see why anyone would get a thrill out of killing these poor innocent birds.