British birds

  • My history of hawking

    My history of hawking

    13th December 2017

    Photo: Laura Keens. Graham recently flew his Harris hawk in the fields near to the C&AB office GRAHAM WELLSTEAD has flown many species of birds of prey during his nearly 70 years of keeping them. Here he recounts some of his…

  • Cuckoos: Masters of mimicry and disguise

    Cuckoos: Masters of mimicry and disguise

    29th November 2017

    Photo: © Shutterstock.com/Wildlife World. Dove-sized and ash grey with grey barred underparts, the European cuckoo can be frequently seen across the UK, although numbers are higher across southern and central England. Note how it perches low on a branch with wings drooped,…

  • Our mountain thrush: a challenge to find or breed

    Our mountain thrush: a challenge to find or breed

    29th November 2017

    Photo: © Shutterstock.com/Andrew M. Allport. Ring ouzel: also known as ‘mountain thrush’, ‘moor blackbird’ and ‘rock starling’, as it is rarely seen away from such areas To get into ring ouzel nesting country, you need to hike into some of Britain’s bleakest…

  • Song thrushes: Why I bought 10 rings to use one

    Song thrushes: Why I bought 10 rings to use one

    29th November 2017

    Photo: Austin Middlemiss. The satinette song thrush hen in question: unringed, just after fledging  Official paperwork can be such a minefield that it puts British bird fanciers off. Yet this year AUSTIN MIDDLEMISS went through a long rigmarole to obtain a licence…

  • Green is only the start: name change for greenfinches

    Green is only the start: name change for greenfinches

    21st November 2017

    Above: more variegated than the cock, [the hen] sports a strong dark moustachial stripe, as well as broad soft dark streaking on her underparts. In the first of two articles on greenfinches, native bird expert BERNARD HOWLETT introduces this popular…

  • Second-hand breeding cages: scrubbing up a treat

    Second-hand breeding cages: scrubbing up a treat

    20th November 2017

    Rust Never Sleeps, as the Neil Young album reminds us, though inexplicably Neil doesn’t mention second-hand cages. DAVE BROWN offers his own tips to make up for it. Photo: Dave Brown That’s how to do it, Poppy! Helpful Miss Brown…

  • Custom-built redpoll cage

    Custom-built redpoll cage

    23rd January 2017

    Two weeks ago, ANDY EARLY described how he came to know the late Frank Meaden. That connection led him to further contacts in the British bird fancy, and before long he was admiring a redpoll in a novel custom-built cage,…