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.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

In a first, extremely rare white bird graces Australia!

Last Updated: Friday, October 7, 2016 - 11:41

New Delhi: Now this is what we call a once-in-a -lifetime discovery! An extremely rare white bird has been spotted in northern Perth suburb of Mount Lawley, for what is believed to be the first time.

Willy wag tail.jpgResidents of the northern Perth suburb of Mount Lawley were surprised to find the white willie wagtail making its home amongst the suburb's tall trees.

The bird is believed to have a rare condition known as leucism, which causes a partial loss of pigmentation compared to the more common albinism which causes only a loss of the pigment melanin, Xinhua news agency reported.

Brice Wells, a member of Birdlife West Australia, said the sightings of leucistic birds were rare because they rarely survive.

"It's the first one I've heard of," Wells told the ABC on Thursday. "Often they don't survive, sometimes because they're not accepted by their peers.

"They become a little more noticeable, so they're often preyed on quite early and often because they're strange looking they find it hard to get a mate. So the opportunities for them are very limited."

(With IANS inputs)
First Published: Friday, October 7, 2016 - 11:41

Stanley Park's stray rooster struts to fame in bird boots

'He just showed up one day' and high-stepped his way into the park staffs' hearts'

By Yvette Brend, CBC News Posted: Oct 07, 2016 6:00 AM PT Last Updated: Oct 07, 2016 10:04 AM PT 

Ricky the mysterious rooster just showed up one day in Vancouver's Stanley Park.

Since then he's strutted his way into park staff's hearts.

He hangs out near the horse barn, and members of the Vancouver Police mounted unit are familiar with his high-stepping antics.

Recently, he was outfitted by park staff with some handmade Birdy Booties — to help relieve his pain from a condition called bumblefoot, an inflammatory condition and perhaps a little arthritis, say his caretakers who were relieved the beloved bird did not have cancer.

"He loves his booties ... I think I'm anthropomorphizing a bit but when he first got them he ran around the yard. I think he was trying to show them off." said Sheena Urquhart, an apprentice horticulturalist.

When Ricky is in the mood he will hop up on a bench and march across laps.

"He's a total lap rooster," said Urquhart.

Ricky is not the first rooster abandoned at the park over the years.

But he's the first with his own Instagram account (@Ricky_the_Chicky) and a lot of ardent fans.

Malta announces finch trapping season in face of EU legal action

David Lindsay Sunday, 9 October 2016, 09:30 Last update: about 16 days ago 

27,500 finches legally put up for grabs
The government announced on Friday the opening of the bird trapping season, despite the fact that Malta is facing legal action by the European Commission over allowing the trapping of seven species of finch.

The bird trapping season will open on 20 October and will close on 31 December, according to a Legal Notice published on Friday.

The government has allowed for the trapping of a total of 33,200 birds – 27,500 of which are finches. Each trapping licence holder will be allowed to trap 10 finches during the season, and six song thrushes or golden plovers – meaning that each trapper will be allowed a total of 16 birds over the nine-week season.

In September 2015 the European Commission referred Malta to the European Court of Justice for its decision to allow finch trapping as of 2014. Malta was allowed a transitional arrangement in the EU Accession Treaty to phase out finch trapping, taking into account the time required to establish a captive breeding programme. This transitional arrangement expired in 2008.