UK: extinct cirl buntings return to Cornwall

This video from England says about itself:

Cirl Buntings feeding station Devon

23 January 2015

Cirl Buntings, Reed Bunting, Chaffinch and check out female bunting with strong marked face half way through – just a clean female Cirl – or Yellowhammer – or cross? It shows a whitish median covert bar, stronger face pattern and greyish central crown like Cirl – but paler whitish edges to tertials and greyer mantle closer to Yellowhammer. Upper rump not clear but contrary to many field guides all Cirl Buntings show rusty uppertail coverts like this bird. No Yellowhammer calls heard despite flock being fairly vocal. Broadsands, Torbay, UK

From British daily The Independent:

Rare songbird is returned to Cornwall

By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor

Published: 18 June 2007

Europe’s first songbird reintroduction programme is celebrating after cirl buntings, one of Britain’s rarest and most attractive small birds, were found last week to be breeding in Cornwall – where they had been extinct for many years.

The discovery of a nest with two chicks is a major landmark in efforts to restore populations of the birds to Britain’s farmland, where they have been devastated by agricultural intensification.

While species such as skylarks and lapwings have suffered huge declines, the even prettier cirl bunting was hit hardest. A close relative of the yellowhammer, with a striking yellow-and-black head pattern in the male, it was once common, but by 1989 was down to 118 pairs, all in south Devon.

However, a programme of agri-environmental agreements has enabled Devon farmers to create ideal habitats on their land, and the population has risen to more than 700 pairs.

Yet the bird’s range did not correspondingly re-expand, as they do not travel far from where they are born. So, for the first time in Europe, a reintroduction programme was conceived along the lines of the restorations that have been so successful in Britain for endangered birds of prey.

See also here.

Return of the cirl bunting brings hope for Britain’s farmland birds: here.

October 2011: This summer has seen a dramatic increase in the Cornish cirl bunting population, with record numbers of chicks being born in the county: here.

Corn bunting: here.

Aberdeenshire farmer wins award after corn bunting boost: here.

3 thoughts on “UK: extinct cirl buntings return to Cornwall

  1. Pingback: Good Cornish cirl bunting news | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Good cirl bunting news from England | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Good cirl bunting news from Cornwall | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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