Download A Sparrowhawk's Lament: How British Breeding Birds of Prey by David Cobham, Chris Packham, Bruce Pearson PDF

By David Cobham, Chris Packham, Bruce Pearson

ISBN-10: 0691157642

ISBN-13: 9780691157641

Britain is domestic to 15 species of breeding birds of prey, from the hedgerow-hopping Sparrowhawk to the breathtaking White-tailed Eagle. during this handsomely illustrated publication, acclaimed British filmmaker and naturalist David Cobham bargains precise and deeply own insights into Britain's birds of prey and the way they're faring at the present time. He delves into the background of those brilliant birds and talks extensive with the scientists and conservationists who're striving to defend them. In doing so, he profiles the writers, poets, and filmmakers who've performed lots to alter the public's belief of birds of prey. because of well known tv courses, the Victorian fable that any poultry with a hooked beak is evil has been dispelled. notwithstanding, even if there are good fortune stories--five birds of prey that have been extinct became reestablished with attainable populations--persecution continues to be rife: lots in order that one chook of prey, the chicken Harrier, grew to become extinct in England as a breeding chook in 2013.

Featuring drawings by way of famed natural world artist Bruce Pearson, this e-book unearths why we needs to cherish and rejoice our birds of prey, and why we overlook them at our peril. In A Sparrowhawk's Lament, you'll find out how the perfection of the double-barreled shotgun sounded a dying knell for British birds of prey within the 19th century, how the conscription of gamekeepers in the course of global wars gave them a brief reprieve, how their fortunes replaced over again with the creation of agricultural insecticides within the Nineteen Fifties, why birds of prey are very important to Britain's ecosystems and cultural background - and masses more.

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Additional resources for A Sparrowhawk's Lament: How British Breeding Birds of Prey Are Faring

Sample text

Then, it was hard to believe that within ten years they would be relatively common, with seven pairs nesting within a three mile radius of my house. It’s the same with other raptors. I saw four Rough-legged Buzzards before I saw a Common Buzzard. Now the Common Buzzard is the commonest bird of prey. There are 30 pairs of Marsh Harriers breeding on the estate or on the reserve. Red Kites are nesting here and so is that rarest of British birds of prey, the Montagu’s Harrier. Gradually the countryside around me seems to be becoming a much more welcome place for raptors.

Roy Dennis had arranged for Hugh to film on a private estate in Moray where there were three Osprey eyries. Hugh told me that at that time that if he had failed as a natural history cameraman he would certainly have been able to get a job at SGB, the scaffolding company. To film at the Osprey eyries he had to erect scaffolding towers 20 metres high. The planks on which his hide rested were old, cracked and wobbly. There was no thought of Health and Safety. The film, which was shot over two years, followed a pair of Ospreys from the time of their arrival in spring through the breeding season to their departure for their winter quarters in West Africa.

Other wasps, such as the Norwegian Wasp, build nests suspended from vegetation. But whatever the species there would be no point in harvesting them before they have properly developed. So the Honey Buzzard probably uses this period to map out the location of wasps’ nests for future reference. In the meantime, the male parent bird hunts for amphibians, particularly frogs, and feeds them to the chicks. Frogs and wasp grubs make up the bulk of the young Honey Buzzard’s diet. I hope that my work and that of my fellow enthusiasts will foster a better understanding of the Honey Buzzard, dispel the myths that have surrounded it and assist in the conservation of the species in the British Isles.

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