Stone curlews in Britain

This is a video from Italy of a stone curlew with chicks.

From Wildlife Extra:

Stone curlew reaches conservation target ahead of schedule – but dangers signs are flickering

27/11/2008 10:06:17

November 2008. The latest breeding figures for one of the UK’s most threatened birds, the stone-curlew, shows that it has reached a conservation milestone, seven years ahead of target. However, the RSPB and Natural England today are warning that the recovery may be reversed if measures to create suitable habitat for this bird are not implemented quickly.

351 pairs nested

This summer’s population count revealed that 351 pairs nested, which means that the stone-curlew has met its 2015 Biodiversity Action Plan target of 350 pairs, well ahead of time. It is one of the few species of bird achieving this level of success. This crow-sized wading bird has its strongholds in the Brecklands of East Anglia, and Wessex, centred on Salisbury Plain.

Warning signs – Fledging rate dropped dramatically

But the survey also revealed a dramatic drop in the number of young birds being fledged. This year, on average every 100 pairs between them only fledged 49 chicks, making this the lowest level of success since at least 1988. The UK’s stone-curlew population this year only fledged 172 young, compared to 238 in 2007 – an average year.

Wet weather and scrapping of set-aside

The stone-curlew likes open ground, and it is believed that the combination of a wet spring and summer, prompting grass growth and making it hard for the birds to find insects on bare ground, and the scrapping of set-aside, where farmland is left un-cropped, had a significant impact on this year’s breeding success.

British garden wildlife survey results: here.

Europe’s farmland birds continue to suffer from agricultural policy: here.

1 thought on “Stone curlews in Britain

  1. Pingback: Stone curlew nest camera in England | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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