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, 24 July 2014

Columbia Mountain Range Reserve Protects Rare Birds

A coalition of conservation groups have established a new protected area in one of Latin America’s most neglected ecosystems: the Colombian-side of the Serranía de Perijá mountain range. Following decades of bloody conflict and rampant deforestation, experts say only five percent of rainforest is left on the Colombian side of this embattled mountain range, which is home to a large number of birds found no-where else.

“Without this reserve, the chances are high that within a few years nothing would be left of the spectacular forests that once covered Colombia’s Serranía de Perijá,” said Paul Salaman, the CEO of Rainforest Trust, which helped create the new park, known as the Chamicero de Perijá Nature Reserve. The Rainforest Trust partnered with ProAves, which has worked in the region for over a decade, and Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC).

Rare bird alert: Red-necked stint spotted in Keys; first sighting ever in Florida


Swedish biologist Viktor Nilsson-Ortman came to Florida to collect damselfly eggs for his post doctorate research and left last week with a discovery that turned the birding world all aflutter.

On the shoreline he spotted a red-necked stint, the first time this species has been seen and documented in the Sunshine State.

“What a great find Viktor!” was the salute on

The red-necked stint is a tiny shorebird in the sandpiper family that breeds in Siberian Asia and parts of western Alaska. It migrates thousands of miles to winter in east India and Taiwan south through Australia and New Zealand. In the continental Untied States, the species has been spotted along the Pacific coast and in New England and New Jersey. And in July 2012, a red-necked stint caused a big stir when one was discovered by a national wildlife refuge biologist in Kansas.


Bird 'backpacks' put wood thrush migration on the map

July 23, 2014

York University

Researchers have created the first migratory connectivity map produced for a songbird, using tracking from both breeding and winter sites. They were able to trace the route taken by wood thrushes from North America using bird 'backpacks'. They discovered that wood thrushes from Canada don't migrate to the same areas as their southern neighbors, and actually have a longer migratory route. The map will help identify specific areas for habitat protection.

Mixed genes mix up the migrations of hybrid birds

July 22, 2014

University of British Columbia

Mixed genes appear to drive hybrid birds to select more difficult routes than their parent species, according to new research. "Instead of taking well-trodden paths through fertile areas, these birds choose to scale mountains and cross deserts," says one of the researchers.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Rare nightjar seen at nature reserve

Dave BeasleySaturday, July 12, 2014 
1:20 PM

A rare bird, of which there are just 2,000 pairs in the UK, has been caught on camera at Exmouth’s Bystock Nature Reserve.

The number of birds, whose population had been decimated because of the change to their habitat over decades, has recovered thanks to the work of wildlife charities and local volunteers. Their distinctive drill-like call rings out loud and is unmistakable.

They were once called the goatsucker, as it was believed it fed from goat’s milk during the night.

They are mainly nocturnal birds, spending most of the day on the ground, with very large eyes and a large gape to catch insects, mainly moths.

John Deakins spotted the bird and took a few snaps and added: “I have been fortunate enough to watch and photograph nightjars at Bystock for several years.

“These migrant birds are nocturnal and during the day will rest and blend into their ground nests by camouflaging themselves as tree bark.”

A spokesman for the Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT) said: “They are a beautiful bird and a local group of volunteers has adopted the area. Nightjars like a mixture of habitats, heathland and young trees and the work from the local group with advice from the DWT over the last five to ten years has made the difference.”

Rare and Endangered Birds Are Bred in Almaty Nursery


ALMATY – The Sunkar nursery in Almaty, that has bred more than 1,000 birds, recently celebrated its 25th anniversary.

This falcon house breeds rare and endangered birds and keeps more than 400 rare and endangered birds of prey species of Kazakhstan, most of which are falcons and eagles. These include saker falcons, peregrine falcons, barbary falcons, northern falcons, steppe kestrels, steppe eagles, imperial eagles, as well as 20 of the biggest species of gold eagles along with vultures, long-legged buzzards, hawks, kites, white-tailed eagles and eagle owls.

Of the more than 1,000 birds the centre has bred, 632 of them have been released into the wild and the genealogy of each pair of birds is carefully traced. About 150-170 chicks of these birds of prey are hatched annually, and, through selection, they have bred birds of a size and with plumage that is not found in nature.

Technology tracks the elusive Nightjar

July 21, 2014

Newcastle University

Bioacoustic recorders could provide us with vital additional information to help us protect rare and endangered birds such as the European nightjar, new research has shown. The study found that newly developed remote survey techniques were twice as effective at detecting rare birds as conventional survey methods.