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    Unwanted visitors!

    We wondered why we only had one round of Blue Tits in the nestbox closest to the house this year and now we know - it had been taken over by wasps! They had built a substantial nest inside the box, which only became visible when the level of its entrance hole lined up with the opening. This was...
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    Missing House Sparrows.

    Spent a day in and around the Whitehall area of London earlier this week and couldn't help noticing how clean and tidy everything was. At lunchtime we visited St.James's Park and had a leisurely walk around the lake looking for birds. What a disappointment! Saw Coots a-plenty, including many...
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    Uk Peregrine Population Limit?

    UK Peregrine Population Limit? At the conclusion of his piece concerning The British Population Trend of Peregrine Falcons in The State Of The Nation's Birds, the late Chris Mead posed the question; Is 2,000 Pairs The Limit? What was his reason for mentioning this and what were his possible...
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    Magpie Mayhem?

    Travelling around my local area, I seem to be coming across an unusually high number of both bird and animal road casualties this year. However the species that really stands out in my mind as being the worst affected numerically is the Magpie which, based on their size, appear to be almost all...
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    Schedule 1 Licence.

    During a recent thread under 'Birds Of Prey' several members mentioned that they held a Schedule 1 Licence which apparently gives them permission to approach raptor nests without breaking the law. Would it be possible for someone to explain, please: What exactly is a 'Schedule 1 Licence' and...
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    Road Kills.

    I noticed 2 foxes and 3 badgers dead on a local road in just one 10 mile journey this week. Next day there were another 2 foxes and 1 badger dead on a 6 mile stretch of another local road. I also think there are sure to have been others which were hit by a vehicle but which managed to crawl away...
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    Historical Impossibility?

    Having gone to extraordinary lengths in its search for historical accuracy, the rather racy BBC epic 'Rome' really shot itself in the foot during this week's programme. In a scene set inside an otherwise authentic-looking Roman villa a cockatiel in a cage was clearly shown, together with what...
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    Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) - Questions & Answers.

    Taken from the DEFRA website. Avian Influenza (Bird Flu): Questions & answers for the epidemiology report of the quarantine premises in Essex. http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/diseases/notifiable/disease/ai/qanda-epireport.htm
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    Unusual Alliance?

    Yesterday I was lucky enough to spend over four hours sitting by the side of an ornamental lake just watching the ornithological world go by. It wasn't long before I spotted an adult coot and an immature great crested grebe which seemed to be going everywhere and doing everything together. In...
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    Sauce for the goose...

    On numerous occasions members have been quick to point out that BF is a site dedicated to wild birds. This has even been taken a stage further, with all reference to p*****s being banned and postings about them being deleted. Under 'Birds of Prey' there is currently a thread relating to a...
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    Beak Deformities In Hawks.

    I know there have already been several threads about beak deformities but I have just read the following in the current issue of the special interest magazine. My apologies in advance if this hawk-related item has already been posted; 'Researchers in the United States are trying to find the...
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    Chemical Fog Use?

    I'm not sure if this has already been covered - if so, my apologies - or how old it is, but I've just read a snippet in a magazine that (quote) 'Officials in Indianapolis, USA, plan to spray a chemical fog to chase away starlings that have been making a mess of statues and pavements...
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    Swans to get the pellet!

    Have just read the following:- 'Swans in Lincoln could soon be getting their food from vending machines in a bid to improve their health. It is one idea being considered to help the health of the birds in the city's Brayford Pool, where dozens have died. Experts think a diet of junk food could...
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    Changing Farming Practices

    Exactly what do we mean when we quote 'changing farming practices' as one of the reasons for the population decline of Britain's wild birds? And which of these present-day farming practices do members consider to be individually responsible for causing the most damage to wild birds? Anthony
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    The Birds of North America

    My apologies if this has already been posted but I've just read the following:- "All 18,000 pages of the landmark series The Birds of North America are available via The Birds of North America Online at: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/BNA The online sub is $40 a year.
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    Who To Believe?

    All too frequently some interesting and factual postings have a habit of becoming lost in the tide of 'squit' which ensues when a thread takes off. I believe an example of this is contained in the 'Hunting -v- Birdwatching' thread, which I have extracted as I feel it warrants further debate. For...
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    Many raptors face extinction?

    I have just read an article which quotes Dr Brian Collar of BirdLife International as saying that a quarter of the world's 305 species of raptor could possibly be facing extinction. Apparently the population of one, the saker falcon, has declined by 60% throughout its range since 1990 alone...
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    Clergyman advocates using hawks to kill grey squirrels!

    An article on page 32 of today's Daily Mail outlines a call by Canon Graham Corneck of Deptford, South-East London for trained hawks to be used to kill grey squirrels. He sees this as a way of protecting Britain's declining red squirrel. This suggestion has angered animal rights groups, with a...
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    Bats carry rabies?

    'Alert over bat found with killer strain of rabies' is the self-explanatory headline of an artice on page 16 of today's Daily Mail. It concerns an injured female Daubenton's bat which, when it later died, was found to be carrying (quote) "...the same strain of rabies that killed wildlife artist...
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    Egg-Bound Robin

    Just over a year ago, my wife found the female of a pair of robins nesting in one of our boxes dead in our garden. Outwardly it appeared to be in excellent bodily condition, but on inspection I found that the bird was egg-bound, with the 'blunt' end of the first egg of her clutch clearly visible...
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    Maltese 'Shoot-Out'

    Have just read elsewhere of two interesting sites giving details of migrating birds being shot on Malta:- http://www.independent.com.mt/daily/newsreview.asp?id=24981 and http://www.timesofmalta.com/core2/article.php?id=152107
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    How rare is rare?

    It seems that anyone wishing to see what is often described as the "rare" Red Kite only needs to visit Gigrin Farm, where anything up to 100 can be seen together at feeding time. But where would they need to go to see the same number of the once-common House sparrow in the UK these days?
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    Breed your own waxworms

    The following hassle-free tip for DIY waxworm breeding appears in the current issue of Cage & Aviary Birds and was sent in by David Wardell of Yorkshire. ' Contact your local beekeepers' association and ask them for names of the nearest beekeepers, as in the next few weeks beekeepers will be...
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    Genetic Integrity.

    How many UK birders have ticked the Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) on their lists, when in fact what they have really seen is only a hybrid? Quite a few I would imagine, especially when you consider that even their breeders are often unable to tell them apart. A quick look at the 'For...
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    Non-native Species In Britain

    Acting on behalf of the British Government, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) recently announced a consultation on what action to take regarding all non-native species in Britain. This will cover every type of creature, such as mink, grey squirrels, rabbits...
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