News The steller sea eagle can be 8ft in wing-span

Sea eagle, which has an 8ft wingspan, disappeared on Saturday

The crow pecked repeatedly at the other dove

Pope’s white doves of peace attacked by gull and crow after being released over St Peter’s Square

The two doves were set upon straight after being released by children standing next to Pope Francis at the Vatican 

Baroness Eliza Manningham-Buller, former head of British domestic intelligence agency MI5, said she did not support publication of the US National Security Agency

US will make deal with Edward Snowden, claims former MI5 head Dame Eliza Manningham Buller

Dame Eliza Manningham Buller believes the leaks have caused damage

The yellow wagtail has disappeared entirely from Wales

Birds that were once a common sight in Britain take flight, never to return

The sharp decline in some of Britain’s most common bird species is resulting for the first time in their disappearance from some parts of the United Kingdom, conservationists warn today.

Dove eating, ugly wife suing and a number 39 with rice. What a month for Chinese misrepresentations

These stories in Western media depict Chinese people in an unreasonably negative way

Anything to declare? Hippo teeth, walrus horns, taxidermy alligators and potions made from rare orchids - UK border officials seize record number of endangered animal items

Officials from the Home Office have said more items were confiscated in the year up to April 2013 than in any other year

French 'spy swan' detained in Egypt after citizen's arrest is neither a spy nor a swan

Suspicions were raised after a man noticed an electronic device attached to the suspected winged infiltrator

'The pecking dead': Panicked Russians contact authorities to report eerie behaviour of 'zombie pigeons'

Birds seem extremely lethargic and seemingly fearless

How 2012 cold spring drove away long-distance migratory birds

Huge numbers of Sand Martin and Grasshopper Warbler either died or flew on the sunnier climes

Rufus the Hawk

Page 3 Profile: Rufus, the bird-worrier of wimbledon

Rufus Hound or Rufus Wainwright?

Wimbledon 2013 Diary: Smiling Keys is quick with a quip

Answer of the day. Madison Keys, the 18-year-old conqueror of Heather Watson, was asked in a long-winded question by an American journalist to choose one word that best described her. "Sarcastic," darted back Keys. The all-American smile that followed made it impossible to tell if she was being exactly that.

Rock solid: Namur’s ancient citadel still dominates the streets below

Namur: Adventures in Europe's historic heart

Henry Palmer on a stylish city that bears the scars of war with dignity

10% of British wildlife at risk of extinction as species show massive decline

Comprehensive study reveals hedgehogs, turtle doves and red squirrels among species seeing biggest falls

Georgia Ruth, Week of Pines (Gwymon)

Album review: Georgia Ruth, Week of Pines (Gwymon)

The Welsh harpist Georgia Ruth is a rare talent, able to transcend borders of language, style and age with apparent ease. At its simplest, Pines reinvigorates folk standards; but elsewhere, exploratory arrangements blending her harp with synth, guitar and ambient noises lend distinctive colour to her own material.

The true Lake District? The day I wandered
lonely as a cloud... in South Norwood

A south London tourist board is challenging the Lake District's claim to the name. So did it bring out the poet in John Walsh

Chinese health workers collect bags of dead chickens at Huhuai wholesale agricultural market in Shanghai

China orders poultry cull after sixth death from bird flu never seen in humans before

Alarm over a sixth death from a strain of lethal bird flu never before seen in humans has led Chinese authorities to slaughter more than 20,000 birds at a poultry market in Shanghai.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future