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.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Sick sea birds are showing up on central Florida beaches

Posted: Apr 13, 2018 11:17 AMUpdated: Apr 13, 2018 4:21 PM GDT

 (WESH) Scores of rare sea birds are washing up on central Florida beaches, starving and near death.

Northern Gannets are rarely seen in Brevard County, but they migrate far off the coast, heading to their breeding grounds on the coastal cliffs of Maine and Canada.

In a tragedy that's not been seen there in more than 15 years, many are not making it.

"They are usually very exhausted, very thin, and it's just touch and go whether they're going to make it or not," said Tracy Frampton at the Florida Wildlife Hospital.

Since late March, Frampton says the hospital has received a total of 85 birds.

In a few cases, the Northern Gannets have regained their strength, and can be released to resume their migration.

Biologists aren't sure why so many haven't been able to find or catch the fish they need to survive.

Read more:


Rare brown booby bird from California found stranded on Oregon coast

Posted: Apr 12, 2018 8:15 PM GDTUpdated: Apr 12, 2018 8:28 PM GDT
By FOX 12 Staff

A rare brown booby bird was found stranded on the Oregon coast.

The young bird was discovered around noon Sunday, hours after a storm battered the Pacific Northwest.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium was notified of a large, unique-looking bird on the beach adjacent to South Beach State Park.

Aquarium staff typically requests injured birds be brought to their facility in Newport, however in cases such as this, with the bird being large and potentially dangerous, aquarium workers responded to the scene.

Aviculturists identified the bird as a juvenile brown booby.

Brown booby birds are typically found in tropical or subtropical zones off the coast of Central America. In the past few decades, however, the range of the birds has expanded northward. Last fall, biologists discovered the first instance of the seabirds nesting as far north as California in Channel Islands National Park.

The Clock is Ticking for Rare New Zealand Albatross

Extinction loomed for the Endangered Antipodes Island Wandering Albatross, but luckily conservationists have taken action.

The Endangered Antipodes Island Wandering Albatross will be functionally extinct (meaning that mating pair numbers will be so low there is no chance of their species survival) in the next 20 years if the population continues to decline. This rare bird breeds almost exclusively on the remote, subantarctic Antipodes Island in New Zealand, and in the last 13 years the population has experienced massive declines due to high mortality of females and reduced breeding success. If the current rate of decline continues, fewer than 500 pairs will remain within 20 years, but thanks to recent conservation efforts there is hope for these rare birds.

Gwent Wildlife Trust says that rare cranes have returned to Gwent Levels - but proposed new M4 route could threaten their future

12th April

GWENT Wildlife Trust (GWT) says rare cranes have returned to the Gwent Levels to breed on the route of the proposed M4.

Common cranes died out across the UK 400 years ago, so their return to the Gwent Levels has been welcomed, but GWT warns another manmade threat is threatening their future - the proposed M4 motorway.

GWT have been contacted by a number of members who have sighted the cranes in the past week or so, on and around the Gwent Levels and their nature reserve at Barecroft Common, areas where the proposed new M4 route will be built over.

It is thought the cranes spotted come from The Great Crane Project, a reintroduction scheme which released 93 hand-reared cranes between 2010 and 2014 on the RSPB West Sedgemoor Reserve in Somerset.

Thanks to the success of the scheme for the past three years, a pair of cranes have flown from Somerset, to breed on the Gwent Levels during the spring.

GWT’s deputy chief executive Gemma Bodé said: “It is really exciting news that the cranes have chosen to return to the Gwent Levels to breed once again. The precious habitat we have here on the Levels is perfect for them as they need very quiet, secluded, wet areas to breed successfully.

Dummy birds deployed to tempt rare terns back to the Solent

DECOY bird models are being used in a bid to tempt a rare species back to the Solent. Dummy birds are among the new techniques being used by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust to boost local tern populations. 

Common, sandwich, little, and roseate terns used to nest widely in the region, but their numbers have declined in recent years. Experts suggest the birds lack suitable safe space to nest – because of human disturbances, rising sea levels and shrinking beaches, overfishing, pollution and stormy weather.

Read more at:

Wednesday, 25 April 2018


The short-tailed Javan green magpie is one of the world’s rarest


Prague is known for its puppets, and many people who live here get a bit jaded at seeing them all the time. But the puppets are doing some good. Prague Zoo is using a hand puppet to help save the short-tailed Javan green magpie, one of the rarest and most critically endangered birds in the world.

The brightly colored bird is a member of the Corvus family, which includes crows, ravens, rooks, jackdaws, jays, treepies, choughs, and nutcrackers.

"In the Corvus birds, including magpies, there is so-called imprinting. Artificial breeding would imprint a person’s traits on a juvenile bird and it would be lost for the next breeding,” Prague Zoo bird breeder Antonín Vaidl said in a press release. "When using a puppet to imitate an adult bird, there is no such impression [of a person], and it can be bred with the right habits.”

The hand puppet does not have to be a faithful copy of an adult magpie, but it must have the key signs the youngsters react to such as a distinct red beak and black eyes on a bright green background.

The Javan green magpie was hatched in an incubator last month and is being kept in a special box. The magpies that laid the egg had already thrown one egg out of their nest, so zookeepers decided to take the other and hatch it artificially, as each birth helps to protect the species.

Conservationists Begin Study to Analyze Vocalizations of ‘Alalā

By Big Island Now
April 18, 2018, 10:26 AM HST (Updated April 18, 2018, 10:27 AM) 

The Hawai‘i Department of Land and Resources reports that the eleven young ‘Alalā living in the Pu‘u Maka‘ala Natural Area Reserve on the Island of Hawai‘i continue to thrive, showing increased natural behaviors, foraging on native plants, and even challenging the occasional ‘Io, or Hawaiian Hawk.

Conservationists are cautiously optimistic about the birds’ continued success in native habitats and are working together with researchers at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo to analyze vocalizations of these rare birds.  Foraging and other social behaviors are also being studied to determine if historically seen activities are increasing now that the group has access to the surroundings in which they evolved.

“When the only existing ‘Alalā were living in the protected aviaries at the Keauhou Bird Conservation Center, we saw fewer types of alarm and territory calls in the population and the frequency of alarm calls was greatly reduced.” said Alison Greggor, Postdoctoral Associate, San Diego Zoo Global.

“We are beginning to observe behaviors that appear to be responsive to the changes and threats available in natural habitat and we are working on evaluating this scientifically to see if the birds’ rich behavioral repertoire is being recovered now that they have been reintroduced into the forest.” said Joshua Pang-Ching, Research Coordinator of the San Diego Zoo Global’s Hawai‘i Endangered Bird Conservation Program. Some of these behaviors include foraging on native fruits, searching for insects within bark of native trees, and interacting with ʻIo,  which is their natural predator.