THE OLDEST TAWNY frogmou th (Podargus strigoides) recorded in captivity is residing right here in the UK, says owners of a Hampshire-based theme park. The 33-year-old bird named Gerben, has lived with partner Fleur at Paultons Park in Romney since 2001. Geoff Masson, Paultons Park livestock manager, said: “We have done lots of research and we cannot find a tawny frogmouth in captivity that’s been reported as older than 23 years old. It’s amazing that he is actually older than Paultons Park itself, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.”
See the June 26th issue for full story - Subscribe here
Photo: Warwick Remington
NEW RESEARCH HAS found that when male lyrebirds display to a mate, they have choreographed dance movements that go with the different songs they sing. A team of researchers from the Australian National University looked at the associations between song and dance within the sexual displays of superb lyrebirds (Menura novaehollandiae). They filmed the display of 12 males performing in the wild, to observe the relationship between dance movements and songs. The team found that despite adult males having a large vocal repertoire of about 90 song types, only four of these were used while “dancing”.
See the June 19th issue for full story - Subscribe here
A LITTLE AND large burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) double act have made history at a Cornish animal centre after becoming their first owl chicks to hatch. Nicknamed after TV presenters Ant and Dec, the pair were born on March 26 and are currently being hand-reared by staff at Wingz Bird & Animal Sanctuary near Par. The parent birds laid and successfully hatched the centre’s first three chicks only a year after arriving from Cotswold Wildlife Park. Ant & Dec will remain at the park, while the third chick will be transferred to Exmoor Zoo.
See the June 12th issue for full story - Subscribe here
WORKERS AT A tractor service company in Fife received an unexpected surprise when their latest machinery order arrived. Shortly after the new tractor was unloaded off the truck, staff discovered a nest containing four three-week-old blackbird chicks hidden underneath the cab. The hungry chicks had survived the journey of more than 200 miles from Cumbria to Ceres.
See the June 5th issue for full story - Subscribe here
THIS NOT-SO-SUBTLE BLUE tit was caught on camera toppling backwards as it eagerly tugged on nesting material provided in a Sussex garden. The picture was taken by amateur photographer Tim Clifton from St Leonards on Sea shortly after he put out the material for his garden visitors.
See the May 29th issue for full story - Subscribe here