Belfast Telegraph

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The rare birds making a comeback

Published 29/10/2009

Almost 60% of Britain's rarest birds, including once-extinct species such as the bittern, avocet and osprey, have seen their numbers increase over the past decade, a coalition of conservation groups said yesterday.

But rare birds breeding in Britain have fared better than their more common cousins, with widespread species including starlings, nightingales and cuckoos all in decline, the State Of The UK's Birds report said.

Conservation action has helped many rare birds turn their fortunes around, with almost 60% increasing their numbers compared to just a third of common species, the groups including the RSPB and British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) said.

Only 28% of the 63 birds with fewer than 1,000 breeding pairs in have seen numbers fall, compared to four out of 10 common birds.

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