Endangered birds to get royal home as Queen offers Sandringham estate for their conservation

The Queen offered up her Norfolk estate to be used as a conservation home for curlew birds to curb the decrease in their numbers.

Sandringham estate will soon become the new home of an endangered bird species.

The offer of her Norfolk home is the monarch’s way of helping ongoing conservation efforts of curlew birds which have seen a drastic drop in population over the years.

Several curlew eggs will be released on the Sandringham property this week.

These eggs were laid at eight airfields across the country because they mimic their natural grassland habitats which have been lost in recent years, according to ​​ornithologists.

Prince Charles will attend the ceremony sometime this week where 84 chicks will be released on the grounds at Wild Ken Hill.

Royal interest

The breeding population of curlew birds in the UK, makes up at least 30 percent of the entire west European population.

According to the Breeding Bird Survey, the breeding population of curlews declined in Scotland, England and Wales by 42 per cent between 1995 and 2008.

This is likely related to the drainage of farmland and moorland, predators and a general improvement of grasslands.

Senior ornithologist Richard Saunders explained:

they try to defend their nest, and they even dive-bomb fighter planes.

As a result, the eggs that are laid on airfields are often destroyed under licence by the RAF to avoid accidents.

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The population of curlews declined in the UK by 42 per cent between 1995 and 2008 Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash

Heir to the throne, Prince Charles, is said to have expressed a keen interest in the conservation of the birds in recent years.

In 2008, he hosted a conservation event for the birds on Dartmoor and another early last year at his Gloucestershire Residence.

Pandas of UK conservation

Dubbed ‘Pandas of UK conservation’, the curlew is the largest European wading bird and is recognisable by its long legs and distinctive down curved bill.

They feed on worms, shellfish and shrimps which they pinch up using their tweezer-like bill.

The birds are most commonly seen at Morecambe Bay, the Solway Firth, the Wash, and the Dee, Severn, Humber and Thames estuaries.

The Queen launches own royal gin made on the Sandringham Estate The Queen launches own royal gin made on the Sandringham Estate