Saturday, 21 May 2011

Breeding Season In Full Swing!

There is plenty of activity around with breeding birds and not just with birds of prey, I have been out and about checking out new areas for birds of prey around my home patch and located Little Owls, Kestrels and possible Barn Owl future sites in lovely old barns. I also took some owl pellets into college for some students to dissect and it was absolutely fascinating, they were big pellets full of mice and voles and the kids had great fun trying to identify the bones and then trying to piece together a skeletal mouse or vole. Most pellets contained no less than 4 skulls and lower mandibles.

In the news there have been a few stories covering urban Peregrines and a Sparrowhawk nest being predated by crows, which is similar to what happened to a local pair of Peregrines near my home. You can see these and similar stories at the BBC link below.

On Wildlife Extra this month they have an update of the Ospreys around the UK and also a sad story of the strange disappearance of a male Osprey from Rutland presumed possibly killed illegally. Now people may think why do we always automatically point the finger at illegal persecution, there is a chance the bird could have died from natural causes or has the bird even died. The reason the bird is assumed dead though is because he has left a female on the nest with three eggs, the male is the main provider of fish for her during incubation and would take this job very seriously. All animals have one thing in common, they want to survive so they can pass on there genes so they put a lot of hard work and effort into this important part of survival. Take a look at the Osprey articles below.

Indian vultures have seen a glimmer of hope with the banning of Diclofenac in 2006, the drug which has nearly wiped out some species. Now scientists are monitoring levels of the drug found in carcasses that are fed on by vultures and have noted a drop in the level of Diclofenac found. The drug is still used illegally but if some species are to be saved it will need to be taken out of the food chain completely.
Check the article below.

I must draw your attention to the Raptor Politics website as there is another issue that needs the attention of anyone interested in raptor conservation. Having just digested the comments from certain organisations about the need to cull certain species another topic jumps off the shelf to chew over. That topic is wind farms, and not just whether they are financially viable or eye sores of the countryside but the terrible effects these objects have on birds of prey! Sadly they both require the same sort of environment and if we look at what effects wind farms have had abroad you will see they have claimed the lives of large amounts of birds of prey each year. Read a bit more about wind farms and there effects below.

Have a great weekend!

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