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Kestrel soars in public affection

Interest in the common kestrel soared in Switzerland in 2008, when it was named the bird of the year.

The bird protection organisation SVS/BirdLife Switzerland said on Tuesday that a webcam had made a breeding pair with five young famous well beyond the Swiss borders.

Internet users were able to follow events in the nest in Muttenz, near the German border, for several months. Up to 9,000 people visited the website per day.

The number of common kestrel has declined in Switzerland over the last 50 years, mainly because of changes in agricultural practices which have reduced both their food sources and suitable places for them to nest. The bird is now on the list of potentially threatened species.


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