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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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BBC News Saturday 9th April 2016
How buzzards came to fly over the UK again
Buzzards were once almost hunted out of existence but they've made a huge comeback, with numbers soaring in the past few years.
It's currently breeding time for common buzzards. Around the UK, males can be seen performing aerial displays as they try to impress females and warn off rivals. They rise and drop rapidly, in a manoeuvre known as the "rollercoaster", and complete loop-the-loops.
They make a mewing sound like a cat and like to rest on fence posts and pylons. Once they find mates, they stay together for life.
In the early 1900s, killed off by gamekeepers frightened they would destroy their pheasants and grouse, there were as few as 1,000 breeding pairs in the UK. Nowadays there are up to 68,000.
Such is the increase in numbers "In the next few years, almost every person in England should be able to see a buzzard near where they live with a minimum of difficulty," says Jeff Knott, Species policy officer for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. Who added, "When I was a boy we used to drive on holidays from Kent to Cornwall and we used to think we were nearing our destination when we saw a buzzard over the motorway. Now, not that much later, they're all over the country. That's an incredible story."
- Common buzzards normally live for around 12 years, although the maximum recorded lifespan is 28 years and nine months
- Wingspans can be as long as 60ins (152cm)
- In the UK, they are found in greatest numbers in Scotland, Wales, the Lake District and south-west England,
- They live across all of Europe, excluding Iceland and the northern Scandinavia, large areas of Asia and Africa
- Females have larger talons and beaks than those of males
BBC News 7th April 2016
Paignton Zoo displays Manu, the 'UK's only' kiwi bird
The UK's only flightless kiwi bird has been put on show to the public at a zoo in Devon.
The endangered bird, named Manu, has come to Paignton Zoo from Frankfurt Zoo in Germany. The bird is about the size of a domestic chicken and is part of the bird family that includes the ostrich, emu, rhea and cassowary.
Before the bird arrived local metal detectors were used to check the new enclosure for "potentially dangerous bits of metal", the zoo said.
The bird, which lives in the wild in New Zealand and probes the soil for food, is the country's national symbol.
'Lays largest egg'
Jo Gregson, curator of birds said: "Kiwis need special care and attention and the substrate is important because they probe down into the ground.
"You have to sieve sand and check dry leaves before you put them in."
Conservationists allocate males to collections so zoo staff can perfect their rearing skills before they can apply to keep a pair. Ms Gregson said: "It will be at least two years before we are in that position, but kiwis can live for more than 40 years. The zoo has put up a TV screen near the Avian Breeding Centre to help visitors catch a glimpse of five-year-old Manu, who sleeps during the day.
The endangered bird, which lives in the wild in New Zealand, has come to Paignton Zoo from Frankfurt Zoo in Germany. The zoo said: "(Kiwis)... lay the largest egg in relation to body size of any bird in the world - an egg can weigh a quarter of the bird's body mass.
"This is like a human mother giving birth to a baby the size of a four-year-old."
The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) said London Zoo had previously kept one kiwi, but Paignton was the only zoo to currently keep the species.