birds in the news

Find out what actions human are taking in communities across the planet to protect our bird population!

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.

Found an interesting news report about birds on the Internet or in your local newspaper?

Then please send it to the Schools Bird Box Team.


Kent Online        4th May 2016

Bird of prey thought to be Harris's hawk spotted in Canterbury city centre

canterbury city centreShoppers in Canterbury city centre were stunned to see a large bird of prey nonchalantly sunning itself while perched on a restaurant sign this morning.

The large bird is thought to be a Harris's hawk, but is also similar to a small golden eagle, except for its white-tipped tail.

It was photographed by John Hippisley, who runs city ghost tours, outside Pret a Manger in The Parade.

He said: "I was walking through the city and saw people gathered round pointing up at something and went over to investigate.

"It was certainly an impressive looking bird and I noticed all the pigeons had cleared off pretty sharpish.

"I noticed it has jesses around its legs so was likely to be a falconer's bird and they sometimes fly birds of prey if there is a pigeon problem.

"It just stayed their sunning itself for about 30 minutes before flying off."

Harris hawkThe hawk was being flown by a falconer hired by the Whitefriars shopping centre to tackle the pigeon problem, but the bird is said to have gone "AWOL".

However, after an afternoon off it returned to its handler just before 7pm.

Speaking earlier spokesman Martyn Barr said: "We started to use birds of prey to humanely tackle the pigeon problem almost four years ago and contract Rentokil to do it.

"The hawk is flown from the multi-storey car park where there is a particular issue with pigeons and their mess.

"I understand the bird was active today but decided to go AWOL and the falconer is trying to get it back."

The Harris's hawk is a native of South America but many falconers fly them in the UK.

16th May 2016     ITV news

Eagle-eyes requested for Monty's harriers

Keen bird watchers in Norfolk are being encouraged to keep an eye out for a rare bird of prey on their way to the UK for the Summer migration.

Montagu harrierMontagu's harriers go to Senegal for winter, but from May one male in particular - who goes by the name of Roger - is known to come back to Norfolk to breed.

Roger was fitted with a state of the art satellite tracking device in 2014 as part of an ongoing study to learn more about Montagu's harriers' migration and their breeding sites here in the UK. Five other birds have since been fitted, and it's enabled researchers to locate the winter grounds of UK Montagu's harriers in Senegal for the first time.

The RSPB are hoping that the public reporting any sightings could help identify new areas where they're nesting. Just seven pairs of Montagu's harriers, known affectionately by bird watchers as 'Monty's', nested in the whole of the UK last year.

"Monty's are increasingly nesting in cropped arable fields rather than reed beds, so we're especially keen to make farmers aware of them and hear from any who think they might have birds nesting in their fields, but anyone who sees one can help us make sure they have the best chance of successfully breeding and rearing their chicks by getting in touch to tell us about their sighting."

          MARK THOMAS - RSPB