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, 28 July 2014

No birds allowed on President’s route!


  • Mamnoon Hussain’s protocol squad runs over an ostrich, leaves another injured at State Guest House in Karachi
  • Wildlife and animal rights experts say ostrich’s death should be treated as an offence under the Pakistan Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1980 or the West Pakistan Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Rules 1961 
The protocol squad of President Mamnoon Hussain ran over two ostriches when it drove into the state guesthouse in Karachi two weeks ago, a media report said on Friday, adding that one ostrich had died while the other bird has been left on the premises of the guesthouse without medical care even though its wings are broken.

According to the report, the VVIP vehicles were entering the guesthouse when the incident took place. “The protocol team ordered that the dead ostrich be taken away from the guesthouse,” the report quoted an official as saying.

According to wildlife and animal rights experts, the ostrich’s death should be treated as an offence under the Pakistan Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1980 or the West Pakistan Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Rules 1961.

“We are not authorised to speak on this issue and I cannot confirm that the incident took place inside the guesthouse,” said Junaid Ahmed, a protocol officer to the president. He added that any further information about the accident could be gleaned from the Press Information Department (PID).

A senior PID official confirmed that one ostrich remains on the premises in injured condition and has not been treated.

Angry Bird Takes Rage Out on Rabbit

A birdwatcher captured some astonishing images of a seagull devouring a rabbit that happened to cross its path.

The scenes took place on Skellig Michael, a popular bird watching spot and a World Heritage site, off the coast of County Kerry in Ireland.

Photographer Michael Kelly described the moment when the seagull swallowed the unlucky rabbit whole.

He said: "I actually went out to photograph puffins and as I was sitting there this gull just came down beside me.

"It just stood there and this rabbit came out. The seagull pulled on its head straight away. The rabbit stood up to it, but it was no contest.

"The gull just caught it, hit [it] a few times, then he picked it up by the head and just swallowed him whole."

Kelly said he "couldn't believe" he was in the right place at the right time to take the dramatic photos.

173 bird species threatened in India: IUCN

Press Trust of India | Kolkata 
July 27, 2014 Last Updated at 13:10 IST

Over 170 species of birds in the country are threatened, with eight new species added to the 2014 Red List prepared by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 

The eight species of birds newly added to the threatened list include the woolly-necked stork, Andaman teal, Andaman green pigeon, Ashy-headed green pigeon, red-headed falcon, Himalayan griffon, bearded vulture and Yunnan nuthatch, according to the list. 

The latest IUCN list also shows that the newly discovered small colourful bird Bugun Liocichla from Arunachal Pradesh is now "critically endangered", as compared to the earlier safer status. 

Relentless habitat destruction is regarded as the reason for decline in the population of birds, one of the best indicators of environment.

Football stadium a "death trap" for birds, conservation group warns

July 24, 2014, 3:51 PM

ap997295852174620x350.jpgA conservation group is warning that unless a planned sports stadium is redesigned to meet bird-safety specifications, its glass will pose a big threat to migrating flocks.

The new Vikings stadium under construction in Minneapolis could be a so-called "death trap" for migrating birds, according to the local Audubon Society. Almost a billion birds die each year from flying into buildings nationwide, the group told CBS Minnesota.

Joanna Eckles of Audubon Minnesota told the station that reflective surfaces are seen as real habitats -- trees, clouds and bushes -- by birds. Thinking they see their perfect landing spot or wide open sky, they unknowingly fly into the glass.

The Audubon Society has documented nearly 125 species of birds as victims. The group says deaths could be prevented with "fritted" glass, a type of glass that's lined with dots to make it easily visible to the birds.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Emu escapes! Runaway bird Zig on the loose after disappearing from home

Zig the emu went missing from his North Wales home while his owners were out

The search is on for an emu called Zig after it escaped from its home.

The bird is one of a pair hatched from eggs which made an unusual birthday present from Lindsey Wright to her husband Peter.

Both Zig and Zag disappeared from their remote Llangywer home in North Wales on Monday while the family was out.

Although Zag showed up at a neighbour's house on Tuesday her brother is still at large and his owners are hunting for him.

Mrs Wright thinks the emus had been missing for three hours when the family discovered they were gone at about 6.30pm on Monday.

They searched all evening without success, but had more luck the following morning.

Physicists discuss quantum pigeonhole principle

26th July 2014
7 hours ago by Nancy Owano

The pigeonhole principle: "If you put three pigeons in two pigeonholes at least two of the pigeons end up in the same hole." So where's the argument? Physicists say there is an important argument. While the principle captures the very essence of counting, the investigators said that they showed that in quantum mechanics it is not true.

Science writers reporting on the physicists' findings heard resonance with that other blogger-comment favorite, Schrödinger's cat. They suggested that those mulling over counterintuitive implications of quantum physics now have one more animal-related paradox to think about, in the form of pigeons, if any, found in pigeonholes. Physics World on Friday referred to "paradoxical pigeons" as the latest quantum conundrum. Scientists identified the paradox involving quantum pigeons; specifically, they have posed their findings on what the team calls the "quantum-pigeonhole effect." According to the team, when you put three pigeons in two pigeonholes, it is possible for none of the pigeons to share a hole. They found instances when three quantum particles, they wrote, put in two boxes "yet no two particple are in the same box."

'Light pollution' may affect love lives of birds in the Viennese Forests

July 25, 2014

Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

Artificial light in cities exerts negative effects on humans, animals, and their environment. In an ongoing research project, behavioral biologists are investigating how blue tits in the Viennese Forests react to "light pollution." The study might help to understand effects of “light-at-night” on reproductive behavior of birds. In consequence, it could help developing concepts, minimizing negative effects on the lives of animals and the ecological system, by reducing light sources in specific regions.