• A gentleman of the countryside

    A gentleman of the countryside

    8th December 2018

    Photo: Male (right) and female common pheasant: a familiar sighting in the 15th century. Experts believe that the Romans brought this bird to the UK.   The common pheasant: hunted, shot and eaten for hundreds of years. Graham Wellstead looks at…

  • The crimson mountaineer

    The crimson mountaineer

    4th December 2018

    Photo: © Shutterstock.com/aaltair. Wallcreeper: note the dusky-grey head and shoulders with crimson on the wing coverts and base of primary and secondary feathers   The wallcreeper is best known for scaling the Pyrenees and the Alps, but sadly is rarely seen…

  • Feather by Feather

    Feather by Feather

    30th November 2018

    Photo: © Shutterstock.com/TashaBubo. Male kestrel   Former British birdkeeper Jarrod Cotter looks at the kestrel, familiar for its ability to hover while hunting for prey   THE kestrel is perhaps our most familiar bird of prey, because it is so frequently…

  • Value your stock

    Value your stock

    28th November 2018

    Photo: The average hobby breeder will now have to consider and document any expenses incurred from their birdkeeping activities due to the Animal Activities License legislation   Are breeders cheating themselves? asks Rosemary Low. Does the price keepers ask for…

  • Memories of Mica

    Memories of Mica

    15th November 2018

    Photo: Graham Wellstead. Mica, Graham’s red-tailed hawk, out of the aviary and on the perch, ready to start training   Just like her namesake, Mica the red-tailed hawk was always going to be special to Graham Wellstead. In the first of two…

  • Rules are made to be broken

    Rules are made to be broken

    13th November 2018

    Photo: Geoff Gale pictured with two of his winning lovebirds at the Lovebird (1990) Society’s 2018 members’ show   Sometimes an unconventional approach can pay off, as Geoff Gale found when he tried breeding the rare pale-headed peach-face mutation, with some interesting…

  • Red invader

    Red invader

    12th November 2018

    Photo: Berry raider: redwings often visit gardens to gorge on fruit early in the morning, then slip away as soon as the curtains are opened   Bill Naylor hails that cracking little thrush, the redwing, which swarms to Britain every…

  • The year of the flying Scots

    The year of the flying Scots

    8th November 2018

    Photo: Also bred in Scotland… Donald with his best Giboso at Stafford, an unflighted cock   What a positive season it has been for breeders of old and rare variety canaries – none more so than the Scots fancy, which…

  • A feathered ‘tree mouse’

    A feathered ‘tree mouse’

    6th November 2018

    Photo: Keeping in touch: a treecreeper shrills out its contact call. They do this often, but it’s an easy sound to overlook   Few British birds can match the charm of the agile treecreeper, though you’ve got to spot this…

  • Gail Harland’s Waterbirds: October column

    Gail Harland’s Waterbirds: October column

    3rd November 2018

    Photo: © Shutterstock.com/Utopia_88. African openbills foraging in Kruger National Park, South Africa   THERE are 19 different species of stork in the family Ciconiidae, with the centre of distribution being the tropical regions of the world. The African openbill, like…