What's making the phones ring this week?

Wildlife

Wildlife
We're about more than just birds (though obviously we like them a lot).

Wildlife Enquiries

'Good morning, Wildlife Enquiries...' We take hundreds of calls and e-mails every day. Find out what everyone's asking this week

What's making the phones ring this week?

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Finch disease - Trichomoniasis
Still lots of reports coming in of sick and dead finches. More information can be seen here - Please help us keep a track of these incidents by filling and returning the downloadable form. Trichomoniasis isn't the only disease that can affect birds - see attached PDF file below for details of other possibilities.  

Sparrowhawks and white-tailed eagles
Lots of queries and some complaints about sparrowhawks in gardens. Also a troublesome white-tailed eagle taking chickens from a garden in Scotland.

Cormorants
We received quite a few queries about cormorants in distress. These are usually around the coast so the birds may be exhausted and washed ashore. Some, including juveniles, have been seen inland around rivers - unless obviously injured or distressed these are nothing to worry about - http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/c/cormorant/index.asp

Nestboxes
Lots of nestbox queries. We recommend cleaning them now to give birds a cosy winter roost - information here    We were also sent a cardboard nestbox to comment on. There were a few words that sprung to mind.......

Tufted puffin
The tufted puffin seen off the Kent coast last week caused a big stir, but only made a brief appearance for the lucky few who were in the right place at the right time.

IDs
We received a very good description of a yellow-browed warbler in Bucks. These birds are regular but rare migrants to the UK. Worth looking out for amongst goldcrest flocks.

Attachment: Disease among garden birds.pdf
  • As to the lateness of the swallows and housemartins, could they be benefiting from the population explosion of craneflies, spiders and other insects as reported on the news this morning. I can testify to the number of spiders as I seem to be no quicker putting them outside than they are back again.