MONEYPENNY THE SECRETARYBIRD (Sagittarius serpentarius) is the newest member of the team at the Hawk Conservancy Trust aviaries in Andover, Hampshire. Captive-bred in France and hatched in May this year, she is currently being trained to appear in flying demonstrations and will eventually replace Madeleine, another secretarybird
See the September 19th issue for full story - Subscribe here
DUDLEY ZOO’S NEW £40,000 Penguin Bay will delight not only its 70 Humboldt penguins (Spheniscus humboldti), but also the general public, which called for closer contact with the birds. The penguins’ nest-boxes have been refurbished, the pool resealed, a crèche for young penguins added and the whole display is now a walk-through experience for the general public.
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SWISS WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER Stefan Huwiler camped out in the snow-bound Sinite Kamani National Park in Bulgaria watching a golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) eat a carcass. When along came an opportunistic red fox, which sidled up to the carcass to try and snatch a meal. The eagle was having none of it.
See the September 5th issue for full story - Subscribe here
LANDOWNERS IN SOUTH -EAST Scotland are claiming that the reintroduced population of red kites is decimating gamebirds and local wildlife. Conservationists reject the claims, saying red kites only eat carrion. But David Parker, a gamekeeper from Rhonehouse in Dumfries and Galloway, said: “The RSPB say they only take carrion, but that’s not the case. These are only poults, but they are also take young ducks, young wading birds and even young rabbits. We can’t have one species being protected to the detriment of others.”
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AN ARTIFICIAL WALL is to be built to protect birds on Rockcliffe Marsh on the Solway Estuary in Cumbria after this year’s unusually high spring tides devastated nesting birds. Sand martins, lesser black-backed gulls and herring gulls were all affected. Lee Schofield from Cumbria Wildlife Trust said: “It’s had a pretty significant effect. The tide will have covered eggs in nests and washed young chicks away. The sand martins nest in holes. To give them a safe place to nest, we will create an artificial wall with drilled holes. It will be built in time for the next breeding season and capable.
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Monals are undoubtedly the most brilliantly garbed of all game birds, the metallic refl ections of their blue, purple, green and red hues being equalled only by those of the birds of paradise, sunbirds and hummingbirds. It is hard to decide whether or not monals are the fi nest of all pheasants, but they are certainly of outstanding interest .