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Don’t Ignore the Barnacles – they’re Real Birds

10,000 Birds

However, though there have been records of feral Barnacle Geese nesting in Suffolk for many years, the number of pairs remain small, and certainly not sufficient to account for flocks of the size now seen every winter. The European Breeding Bird Atlas 2 makes interesting reading.

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The Gawky Guillemot

10,000 Birds

However, these breeding colonies were not always German breeding colonies. Denmark frequently held posession of the islands from the middle ages to the 18th century. Spending the winter far out at sea in the Arctic when you are a bird barely larger than a feral pigeon? Especially so when you are barely able to fly.

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The European Christmas Bird Count

10,000 Birds

One odd flock of Feral Pigeons above an arable field under deep snow – nothing for them to eat there, but I didn’t give them the attention they deserve and only a few hours later realised that they actually were Stock Doves. These globally threatened raptors breed from Ukraine eastward through Siberia and only a few come to overwinter here.

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The Domestic Turkey and the First Thanksgiving

10,000 Birds

The chance that this was a real Turkey are not great, and the chance that Columbus actually brought breeding stock from Honduras to Spain is not great, so maybe, maybe not. Dates of first arrival listed by Schorger (1966) are: Italy 1520, Germany 1530, France 1538, England 1541, Denmark and Norway 1550, Sweden 1556.

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