With no planes, clear skies, and spring within the air, there is no such thing as a higher time to turn into a twitcher

No planes, clear skies, spring weather: There’s no better time to become a birder, with Mail cartoonist Paul Thomas’s guide.As Spring hits its stride, our parks, gardens and wild spaces are alive with birds of every kind — from chiffchaff and blackcap to goldfinch and bullfinch.If you’re lucky, you may glimpse a wheatear or even a…

Backyard birds to see and listen to with out leaving house

Birds are potent symbols of unconfined liberty. And even the caged bird sings. At this exceptional moment, with our freedom of movement drastically but necessarily constrained, we are likely to feel a particular envy for the flight of seagulls beyond our windows, and also to understand something of that compulsion to keep singing when our…

The Indian Scops: Ghost of town

For most birders, the question, ‘Which is your favourite bird?’ can often induce a sense of dread that makes them sweat profusely. For me, it doesn’t. I know what my favourite bird is: the owl. But I love all owls, so to pick one is difficult.If you’ve been following my articles from the very beginning…

New Hope for Migratory Shorebirds

Up and down the Pacific Coast of Guatemala, the sea’s edge gives way to volcanic sand, and zones of life that change with the tides and currents. Come dawn, at a low ebb; the receding water exposes mudflats like clay tablets dimpled with the zigzagging footprints of shorebirds. Sandpipers scurry across the soft earth by…

Magpies and kookaburras really feel the pressure of recent society

Sean Dooley describes magpies as being one of the few native bird success stories of European settlement.Key points:BirdLife Australia is concerned magpie and kookaburra numbers are decliningTheories include the use of second-generation rodenticides, changing agricultural practices, climate change and more frequent droughtsOne positive, though, is coronavirus shutdowns mean more people may be free to participate…

Need to assist uncommon birds? Dig a pond

A barn swallow scoops an insect from the pond’s surface. Credit: Richard Seeley/Shutterstock The first swallows have made landfall in the UK, fanning out over the greening landscape. The early arrivals, generally males, are a streak of electric blue in the spring sunshine. These heralds of a new season were once common on the agricultural…

Birds | Issues We Do not Know

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