Snow takes heavy toll on barn owls

Barn owls were badly affected by the snow and freezing conditions this winter, with a record number of birds that had been ringed found dead.

Hen harriers fight for survival

The survival of hen harriers in England "hangs by a thread", conservationists have warned, as figures showed just seven pairs of the bird of prey nested successfully this year.

The Hedwig effect: Harry Potter blamed for endangering owls

In the years since he was a callow pupil at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry Potter and his associated world have known no shortage of controversy.

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (PG)

Voices: Helen Mirren, Sam Neill, Jim Sturgess, Geoffrey Rush, Hugo Weaving

Radamisto, Coliseum, London

Accustomed as we are to director David Alden's unforgiving austerity, the riot of pink and blue stencilled wall fabric that assaults the eye at the start of his staging of Handel's Radamisto is in itself positively exotic.

Handel Radamisto, English National Opera

Accustomed as we are to director David Alden’s unforgiving austerity, the riot of pink and blue stencilled wall fabric (designer Gideon Davey) that assaults the eye at the start of his staging of Handel’s Radamisto is in itself positively exotic.

Kestrel population plunges by a third

One of the UK's most familiar birds of prey, the kestrel, has drastically declined in numbers, a survey of British birds reveals today. The latest Breeding Birds Survey shows that the number of kestrels, which are often seen hovering over roads looking for small rodents, plunged by 36 per cent between 2008 and 2009.

Police raid estate over dead birds

An estate in the Highlands was raided by police yesterday after a number of birds of prey, believed to have been poisoned, were found dead in the area.

Britten, Billy Budd, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

Britten’s gripping masterpiece begins in fateful indecision oscillating in the violins between major and minor key centres as the old and broken Captain Vere looks into his soul for answers as to why he put duty before reason to condemn the one man who seemed to reinforce his faith in human nature.

Tosca, English National Opera, London

It comes as no surprise at all that Catherine Malfitano, a once notable Tosca herself, has fashioned a staging of the opera which frees the singers in ways she herself would have welcomed.

Police investigate golden eagle deaths

Wildlife detectives are investigating the suspected poisoning of three of Britain's rarest bird of prey, the golden eagle. The bodies of the birds were all found in the last week on the 3,000 hectare Skibo estate in the Scottish Highlands.

Wise owls cash in as vole population soars

The tawny owl population in one of the UK's largest forests is booming as a result of the harsh winter, a Forestry Commission expert said today.

Owls chairman: Palace got off easy

Ahead of the relegation showdown between the two clubs on Sunday the Sheffield Wednesday chairman Lee Strafford has suggested Crystal Place should already have been relegated after going into administration.

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