Andean condors (Vultur gryphus) are some of the largest birds on Earth, with 10-foot (3 meter) wingspans. They can fly up to 100 miles (160 kilometers) in a single day, and they feed on the remains of dead animals like cattle and other large mammals. The birds inhabit the Andes Mountains, ranging as far north as Colombia and south to Patagonia. There are approximately 10,000 condors left, and they are classified as "near threatened" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. A bill has been introduced to the Peruvian Congress that would protect Andean condors, a huge species of raptor that is in decline and in danger of dying out in some parts of its territory. Backers of the bill would like to do away with an Andean ritual in which condors are strapped to the backs of raging bulls, which conservationists say hurts and kills the birds, according to Andean Air Mail & Peruvian Times, a regional news website. The law would declare the birds a "national treasure" and implement jail sentences for anybody who hurts or kills one.
De Condor (Vultur gryphus) zweeft hoog boven het landschap met de kop omlaag gericht, soms wel op een hoogte van 5000 meter. De opstijgende warme lucht ( thermiek ) wordt door de vogels op de zelfde wijze benut als dat een piloot van een zweefvliegtuig dat doet. In grote kringen zweven ze op de thermiek hoger en hoger, steeds hun aandacht op het landschap beneden hen gevestigd. Een Condor kan net als de andere gieren soorten zeer grote afstanden afleggen om aan voedsel te komen.Deze vogels zijn de grootste roofvogels op onze Aarde en naast de Reuzen Albatros de grootste vliegende vogels. De Condor is een aaseter wat duidelijk aan de enigzins kale hals en kop van de vogel is te zien. De Condor heeft het moeilijk in onze geïndustrialiseerde tijd. Niet alleen wordt zijn leefgebied steeds kleiner, maar ook wordt zijn voortbestaan bedreigd door vergiftigde prooidieren en kadavers die door boeren worden neergelegd om de vogels te vernietigen en zodoende hun jonge vee te beschermen. Het is een beetje hetzelfde verhaal als voor vele andere roof en stootvogels. De mens is in hun voortbestaan, zoals bij de meeste wilde dieren, de grootste bedreiging.
The Bicknell's thrush (Catharus bicknelli), a rare songbird that breeds atop mountains in the Adirondacks and northern New England and winters in the Caribbean, is being considered for endangered species status, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said. The sparrow-sized brown bird, which nests at elevations over 3,000 feet in New York, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, has one of the most limited breeding and wintering ranges of any bird in North America. Scientists consider the decline of a plant or animal species to be an indication of the overall health of the natural environment. Measures to protect the Bicknell's thrush would also benefit other species that depend on the boreal forests they inhabit. The bird was first discovered by amateur ornithologist Eugene Bicknell on Slide Mountain in the Catskills in 1881, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. With a total population believed to be less than 50,000 birds, it's one of the rarest American songbirds. The thrush's diet consist mainly of insects, but wild fruits are added in late summer, during migration, and on the wintering grounds. They usually forage on the forest floor, but also catch flies, and glean insects from the foliage of trees.
A rare songbird that uses North Jersey forests during migration has suffered such a decline in numbers that federal officials say it may land on the endangered species list. The decision about Bicknell’s trush triggers formal review by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Bicknell's Thrush, Catharus bicknelli, a medium-sized thrush, was named after Eugene Bicknell, an American amateur ornithologist, who discovered the species on Slide Mountain in the Catskills in the late 19th century.The thrush's diet consist mainly of insects, but wild fruits are added in late summer, during migration, and on the wintering grounds. They usually forage on the forest floor, but also catch flies, and glean insects from the foliage of trees.
Ornithologists in Wales have expressed shock at the findings of a range of independent surveys carried out across Wales in the last two years that reveal massive declines in the numbers of many of our upland birds. Species in serious decline include many of the iconic species that define our uplands, including Curlew Numenius arquata, Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria, Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax, Peregrine Falco peregrinus and Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus. If the current trends continue, these species may be extinct in the Welsh hills before too long. Surveys undertaken by independent consultancy Ecology Matters reveal that on Plynlimon in mid-Wales numbers of Golden Plover have declined by 92% since 1984 with only one pair remaining; Red Grouse Lagopus lagopus have declined by 48%; and four species — Teal Anas crecca, Peregrine, Ring Ouzel and Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus — are now extinct in this area.
Europe's largest wading bird, the curlew Numenius arquata, is facing extinction in Wales. The RSPB now think there could be as few as 576 pairs left. In 2006 the RSPB thought there were about 1,100 pairs left in Wales. Conservation officer Dave Elliott who works with the animals in Hiraethog, Snowdonia, the only place in Wales where they now breed, said: “The rate of decline has been about 50-80% in the last 15 year period. There may not have been any chicks fledged this year. They certainly disappeared from the uplands quicker than I have ever seen".
South Africa's national bird, the blue crane (Anthropoides paradiseus), also known as the Stanley Crane and the Paradise Crane, remains endangered, the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) said, as the annual KwaZulu-Natal aerial crane survey entered its 20th year. Blue Cranes are birds of the dry grassy uplands, usually the pastured grasses of hills, valleys, and plains with a few scattered trees. Most of their diet is comprised by grasses and sedges. They are also regularly insectivorous, feeding on numerous, sizable insects such as grasshoppers. Small animals such as crabs, snails frogs and small lizards and snakes may supplement the diet, with such protein-rich food often being broken down and fed to the young.
The latest figures from the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) show that four breeding wading birds have reached their lowest levels since the survey started in the early 1990s. Volunteer birdwatchers reported particularly low numbers of lapwing, oystercatcher, snipe and curlew during the spring of 2011. These birds breed on wet grassland and upland habitats across the UK, where they rely on earthworms and other invertebrates for food. All four species saw sharp declines between 2010 and 2011, of 19 per cent for oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus, 18 per cent for lapwing Vanellus vanellus, 40 per cent for snipe Gallinago gallinago and 13 per cent for curlew Numenius arquata. The BBS produces annual population trends for over one hundred widespread bird species. Ten species have declined by more than 50 per cent since the start of the survey in 1994, including turtle dove, which has declined by a staggering 80 per cent. Since the start of the survey Britain has lost more than half of the following ten species: Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur -80%; Willow Tit Parus montanus -79%; Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix -65%; Whinchat Saxicola rubetra -57%; Grey Partridge Perdix perdix -55%; Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos -52%; Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava -50%; Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca -50%; Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata -50%; Starling Sturnus vulgaris -50%.
Ornithologists in Wales have expressed shock at the findings of a range of independent surveys carried out across Wales in the last two years that reveal massive declines in the numbers of many upland birds. Species in serious decline include many of the iconic species that define our uplands including curlew Numenius arquata, golden plover Pluvialis apricaria, chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax, peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus and ring ouzel Turdus torquatus. If the current trends continue these species may be extinct in the Welsh hills before too long. Surveys undertaken by independent consultancy Ecology Matters reveal that on The Plynlimon range in mid Wales numbers of golden plover have declined by 92% since 1984 with only one pair remaining; red grouse Lagopus lagopus scotica have declined by 48% and four species - teal Anas crecca, peregrine, ring ouzel and black headed gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus are now extinct in this area. Initial results of surveys being undertaken by the Welsh Kite Trust are showing declines of peregrines at inland sites across Wales. Where birds are hanging on breeding productivity has declined drastically. An independent long - term study of chough by the Cross & Stratford Welsh Chough Project has documented long-term declines at inland breeding and feeding sites.
There have been two editions of the Atlas of Breeding Birds in Britain and Ireland, one in the early 1970s and another in the early 1990s; now a third will be published next year. Ireland's breeding birds have been subject to detailed annual surveys only since 1998, and not all species are covered, so the new atlas will be very important for the Republic: the clearest indication yet of how its avifauna has fared over the past 40 years. And the preliminary results do not all make happy reading. They show in particular that the birds which might be thought archetypal inhabitants of Ireland's wild west – the waders of the lowland bogs and upland moors such as snipe Gallinago gallinago, lapwing Vanellus vanellus, redshank Tringa totanus and curlew Numenius arquata – are in serious trouble. Since the last atlas, they have declined, respectively, by 11, 32, 40 and 65 per cent. These figures refer to distribution: the percentage of 10km grid squares on the map where the birds are found. The percentage loss of abundance, of the actual numbers of birds, will be very much greater. Indeed, the curlew in Ireland is in such headlong decline that it may soon go extinct. The greatest loss of all in the past 20 years, however, is that of the bird which once symbolised agricultural Ireland more than any other: the corncrake.