Category Archives: Cirl Bunting Project

The story and photos of the re-introduction and subsequent breeding in South Cornwall of Cirl Buntings.

Cirl Bunting’s on the Increase!!

This summer has seen a dramatic increase in the Cornish cirl bunting population, with record numbers of chicks being born in the county.

This enigmatic farmland bird used to range across Cornwall, but disappeared in the early nineties. Now, thanks to the ongoing reintroduction project, it has been returned to one of its past haunts and the population is growing. Continue reading

Cirl Bunting Project Update

Cirl buntings are breeding again in Cornwall thanks to the RSPB’s cirl bunting reintroduction project in partnership with Paignton Zoo, Natural England and the National Trust. Cirl buntings are small farmland birds that used to be found throughout the county, and right across England’s south coast, but now they are restricted to a narrow strip of coastal farmland in south Devon. Despite a revival in numbers over the last 15 years, this population is still vulnerable, so it was decided to establish another population within its’ former range.

cirl2.jpgcirl4.jpg Continue reading

The Cornish Cirl Bunting Project

The joint venture between the RSPB, Paignton Zoo, Natural England and the National Trust to re-introduce Cirl Buntings into the Cornish countryside has paid dividends with the first breeding birds for more than 15 years being successful this year. Seventy Cirl Bunting chicks were hand reared by aviculturists at Paignton Zoo last lear after being collected under a special licence from nests in South Devon. The birds were released on suitable farmland in South Cornwall and the project hopes to release a minimum of 60 birds into the Cornish release site every year for four years and hope to have established a new self-sustaining breeding population of cirl buntings in Cornwall by 2010 to meet one of the key UK Biodiversity Action Plan targets for farmland birds.
There is believed to have been eight pairs breeding this year, with the first pair found in the farmers garden!
The site is not being publicised for the moment in order to minimize disturbance and until a population becomes established. For more info click HERE.

Cirl Bunting, South Cornwall, June 2007 (photo:P.Freestone)


Cirl Bunting, South Cornwall, June 2007 (photo:P.Freestone)


Cirl Bunting, South Cornwall, June 2007 (photo:P.Freestone)