As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Tough question of survival as our garden songbirds are increasingly falling as prey


ABOUT three years ago you kindly printed a letter I wrote about the loss of our garden birds due to magpies stealing eggs and chicks and a sparrow hawk killing all our sparrows.

You then printed a response from the local homing pigeon club, who were suffering bird losses which they were sure were down to hawk attacks.

I did also write to the RSPB with my concerns but they wrote back dismissing my thoughts and blaming changes in farming practices and loss of habitat. They had obviously not checked my post code, because we all know early cut silage, cereal crops, pest spraying and ripping out hedges do not happen here in the Pennines. My wife and I cancelled our membership.

What has prompted me to write in again was a feature on the BBC’s One Show on October 16. It glorified the killing success of a pair of peregrine falcons who lived on a cathedral. They examined the remains of the birds they had killed and these included estuary and woodland birds - odd as this city was far inland. They deduced that the night lights of the city allowed these hawks to kill birds at night whilst they migrate. This the One Show applauded - it came across as a success for our bird life!

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