The Daily Telegraph

Spoonbills fight back in Norfolk


One of Britain’s most curious-looking birds has had a bumper breeding season at its main stronghold near the Royal Sandringha­m estate in Norfolk.

The spoonbill, a native species, disappeare­d from the UK in the late 1600s owing to habitat loss and hunting but Holkham Hall has announced that 43 pairs in its resident colony fledged a record 77 chicks.

Almost 500 chicks have been hatched on the marshes at Holkham since the species was reintroduc­ed in 2010, and by 2021 45 pairs were breeding. Laws protecting certain birds from being shot have helped the species to thrive. Given its success, Holkham has announced plans to expand habitat suitable for spoonbills and other waterbirds on its marshes by increasing the number of ditches and islands with trees on them.

Other species such as little egrets, cattle egrets and great egrets will also benefit from the initiative.*

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