The "murmurations" of starlings, now in season for 2014, are a hot topic of research. While some try to explain the formations using 3D mathematical models, other researchers are calling on the public for help.
Hundreds of birds of prey, including golden and white-tailed eagles, hen harriers and red kites, were shot or poisoned last year, the RSPB’s annual Birdcrime report shows. It revealed that there were 164 reports of shooting and destruction of birds of prey in 2013.
The UK's smallest and rarest swan has suffered an "alarming crash in numbers", the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust has said. According to the Slimbridge-based charity, more than a third of Bewick's swans have disappeared since 1995, when the total population peaked at 29,000. The latest figures show that, by 2010, there were just 18,000 left.
Scientists believe illegal hunting, power lines and lead poisoning have contributed to the drop in numbers. WWT fears the next census, due this winter, will reveal a "further, more worrying decline".
Allotments are the best habitat for bees according to the results of the first Great British Bee Count this summer. More bees were seen on allotments than on any other habitat, including parks, gardens and the countryside during the twelve-week survey from June to August.
The invasive non-native Quagga mussel has been recorded in the UK for the first time according to the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust (WWT). The discovery was made at Wraysbury Reservoir near Heathrow Airport, which is upstream from the WWT's London Wetlands Centre. Further investigation has revealed that the species is also present in a number of other locations including parts of the Lee Valley.