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Birds in the News is a weekly feature. Visit this page every Wednesday to view and read local, national and international newspaper articles that have been published in the past 7 days.
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Rare spoon-billed sandpipers lay for first time in captivity
BBC News June 14th 2016
One of the world's rarest birds - the spoon-billed sandpiper - has laid eggs in captivity for the first time.
Two females laid seven eggs at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT), Slimbridge, Gloucestershire.
There are only about 200 breeding pairs of the critically endangered species left in the wild.
Nigel Jarrett, from the trust, said when staff discovered the first egg last week they "almost couldn't believe it".
Mr Jarrett, WWT head of conservation, said staff had "done their best" to enhance breeding conditions, with special lightbulbs, timer switches and lots of sand and netting to recreate the experience of migrating from tropical Asia to Arctic Russia.
"For the last two years - ever since all the spoonies came into maturity - we've been doing everything to get these birds in the mood for love," he said.
"And for two years we've come up scratching our heads and feeling a bit deflated. Now, we've had two mums busy laying and the significance of it is only just starting to hit home."
The WWT began trying to establish a flock at Slimbridge in 2011, as a back-up to the wild population which was declining by up to 25% a year.
But with its extreme lifestyle - including making an annual 10,000-mile round-trip between Russian Arctic breeding grounds and wintering grounds in South East Asia - the bird has never been bred in captivity.
BBC News 7th June 2016
Arctic tern in record-breaking migration from Farne Islands
A tiny sea bird has made the longest known annual migration, flying from Northumberland to Antarctica and back.
The Arctic tern, which weighs less than an iPhone, covered 96,000km (59,650 miles) in its journey to its winter home in the Weddell Sea before returning to the Farne Islands.
It was part of a study carried out by scientists at Newcastle University for BBC's Springwatch.
Last year, 29 birds were fitted with geolocators by the researchers.
They have now returned to the islands to breed.
The previous record had been held by an Arctic tern that covered 91,000km (56,545km) on its flight from the Netherlands.
Dr Richard Bevan, from Newcastle University's School of Biology, said: "It's really quite humbling to see these tiny birds return when you consider the huge distances they've had to travel and how they've battled to survive.
"So far we've managed to catch 16 of our tagged birds from last year and we've seen at least another four birds with our geolocators attached."
They tracked the bird as it flew down the coast of West Africa, crossed into the Indian Ocean and eventually arrived in Antarctica, he said.
"Further analysis of the data from these trackers will allow us to get a better understanding of how the Arctic terns organise their migration and how global climate change may affect their routes."
The tern arrived in Antarctica four months after setting off from Northumberland.
Spoon billed sandpiper (Top) Arctic Tern (Bottom)