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SONG BIRD SURVIVAL Pt 2

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Old Thursday 9th December 2004, 20:08   #1
Suricate
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Smile SONG BIRD SURVIVAL Pt 2

It would be a miracle if someone could get it right and please everyone
and Song Bird Survival certainly do not please everyone on this site.
But at least they are attempting to address certain important issues regarding the decline of song birds.
There are many reasons put forward from Sparrowhawks, cats, development and modern farming methods and perhaps the way forward is for the intellegent and rational groups to listen to ALL opinions even perhaps from those we disagree with " passionately".
I am not a member nor a contributor to SBS but respect their views and having spent 42 years working directly with wildlife ( especially birds ) I can understand some of their concerns.
Why is there so much pent up hatred from you the bird watchers ?
Why not even the slightest move towards hearing anothers opinions ?
The RSPCA and even the RSPB are most certainly not always right.
IT is Christmas a time for forgiveness and understanding

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Old Thursday 9th December 2004, 20:42   #2
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I know a few members of SBS. They have no real interest in songbirds. They have other reasons for wanting to kill Sparrowhawks, but feel they will get more public support if they hide their real concerns behind a pretended concern for songbirds. I have no respect for them because they are dishonest.

I'm not saying this is true of all members of SBS. I speak only of the members I know.
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Old Thursday 9th December 2004, 20:47   #3
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Wink

Well here are some 2002 statistics that may be a solution for the anti Songbird Survival group. All numbers in British pounds.

________________ Gross Income_________Expenditures
RSPB________________ 63,390,000___________53,444,000
Songbird Survival______ 20,288________________9,234
Ratio__________________3,124:1______________5,788: 1

For argument purposes, if income can be related proportionaly to membership then even a modest 1% membership in Songbird Survival by concerned RSPB members will completely overwhelm the membership and ultimately the board of trustees.
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Old Thursday 9th December 2004, 21:05   #4
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I'm not sure this small group of landowners and pigeon fanciers deserve another thread. SBS activities have dwindled since their motives were exposed. Their cynical attempt to frighten the public with stories of raptors munching their way through the u.k. songbird population hasn't worked and even the media now know that SBS have absolutely no interest in songbird survival, just the culling of raptors to further their own 'sports'
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Old Thursday 9th December 2004, 21:18   #5
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because it's utter rubbish and any right thinking person with a basic grounding in ecology knows it

and so do the professionals, not suprisingly

D-
must try harder
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Old Friday 10th December 2004, 08:45   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suricate

There are many reasons put forward from Sparrowhawks, cats, development and modern farming methods and perhaps the way forward is for the intellegent and rational groups to listen to ALL opinions even perhaps from those we disagree with " passionately".
I am not a member nor a contributor to SBS but respect their views and having spent 42 years working directly with wildlife ( especially birds ) I can understand some of their concerns.
Why is there so much pent up hatred from you the bird watchers ?
Why not even the slightest move towards hearing anothers opinions ?
Hi Suricate,

I have read the SBS site in detail and they take great pride in using text from various studies done on raptors and cats and then pull out-of-context bits from those pieces of work. I am sorry but this is the very worst science possible and is a tactic that is typical of young-Earth Creationists. On the surface, the arguments seem compelling until you go away and read the rest of the work quoted and realise that is not what is being said. Ian Newton (for example) had his work quoted out-of-context in the same way that Steven Jay Gould had Wonderful Life misquoted bys the YECs. Another great example of using selective quoting actually killded a comedy series for me (Have I Got News For You). The culprit was Jeremy Clarkson (what? really? ). He quoyed there were 128,000 pairs of sparrowhawks and another 128,000 unpaired birds in the UK. Apart from the fact that there was no comedy value in what he was saying, let us look at those figures. The population (now falling) of UK sparrowhawks is 64,000 pairs with a small number of unpaired birds in any one year. Clarkson seemed to be aware of this figure because it would equate to 128,000 individuals so how did he get to 128,000 pairs? More to the point, where did he get the estimate of 128,000 unpaired birds from given that I have never seen this as an estimate anywhere? I use this example to illustrate that anyone can make ball-park estimates and present them in an authorative way - Clarkson is good with cars but not with Natural History.

Mentioning the Ian Newton monograph is an interesting subject in itself because I have never seen anyone (apart from me) point out that Ian's own estimate was for no more than 50,000 breeding pairs (page 90 odd). In other words, based on his study of nest density vs habitat availability, the 64,000 pairs was probably an overestimate.

The other thing that amazes me is that both the game industry and pigeon fanciers had a voice with the Raptor Study Group. In game management, it was proved withion the industry that raptor predation was a small element of the total mortality - directly equivalent to repator predation generally. In other words, raptors were not specifically targeting game birds but taking them as a component of the diet anyway. The racing pigeon people were invited to take part in a Scottish study but only 5% agreed. Unsurprisingly, the results showed that raptor predation was insignificant but the pigeon racing people have since dicried the studty saying the sample size was not big enough. I know this will annoy The Tom and Anthony(for which I apologise) but is this not disingenuity? The RSPB and other conservation organisations are constantly painted as anti-game or anti-racing pigeon organisations but I have never seen a word printed aginst either of the two industries by a conservation organisation. I admit that the welfare lobby may be vocal against the former but these are not conservation organisations. Anyway, no doubt I have set up another long topic of tit-for-tat messages so over to the rest of you.

Ian
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Old Friday 10th December 2004, 09:16   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Peters
Hi Suricate,

The culprit was Jeremy Clarkson (what? really? ). He quoyed there were 128,000 pairs of sparrowhawks and another 128,000 unpaired birds in the UK. Apart from the fact that there was no comedy value in what he was saying, let us look at those figures. The population (now falling) of UK sparrowhawks is 64,000 pairs with a small number of unpaired birds in any one year. Clarkson seemed to be aware of this figure because it would equate to 128,000 individuals so how did he get to 128,000 pairs? More to the point, where did he get the estimate of 128,000 unpaired birds from given that I have never seen this as an estimate anywhere? I use this example to illustrate that anyone can make ball-park estimates and present them in an authorative way - Clarkson is good with cars but not with Natural History.

Ian
Hi Ian,

Even more to the point, where on earth did YOU get the figure of 64,000 pairs of Sparrowhawks in the UK from? It seems that Jeremy Clarkson is not alone when it comes to using incorrect population information!

You might like to check and then re-post.

Anthony
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Old Friday 10th December 2004, 09:35   #8
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According to the CBC... which is much the best source of data, the Sparrowhawk population peaked in 1992 and is now in very slight decline. The most recent attempt at population estimate I can locate

Pairs with new nests (1988-91) (Gibbons et al. 1993):
England=22000
Scotland=7000
Wales=3200
Isle of Man=55
Northern Ireland=2400

The GB estimates were based on extrapolation from intensive study areas, which provided information on the relationship between Sparrowhawk numbers, altitude and forest area (Newton 1986), using Forestry Commission data on the extent of forests at different altitudes. Pairs with new nests provide a good index because the nest remains recognizable as such for the rest of the season, and in subsequent years, giving tangible evidence of a breeding attempt long after the builders have given up (Ian Newton pers. comm.). Recent demographic evidence is that there are 0.28 non-nesting females for each nesting female; because the birds are monogamous, there are probably similar numbers of males, so the total population is c.1.28 times greater than the number nesting (Newton & Rothery in press). CBC and BBS data indicate that Sparrowhawk numbers have stabilized or even declined since the mid 1990s.


That said, I can't really see why the numbers are such and issue for you?
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Old Friday 10th December 2004, 09:37   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Morton
Hi Ian,

Even more to the point, where on earth did YOU get the figure of 64,000 pairs of Sparrowhawks in the UK from? It seems that Jeremy Clarkson is not alone when it comes to using incorrect population information!

You might like to check and then re-post.

Anthony
Hi Anthony,

64,000 pairs is from British Birds after BTO and other sources through nest site censuses. If you have any other sources then I would be interested to know where they originate. Anyhow, that was not the point I was making - Clarkson obviously knew about the 64,000 pairs unless you believe in an incredible coincidence in a twofold figure increase that he stated.

Ian
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Old Friday 10th December 2004, 09:46   #10
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Grief, feel like I've let the cat out of the bag starting this again (sparrowhawk out of the pigeon loft?!).

Feels like watching Who wants to be a millionaire? - What's the total population of Sparrowhawks in the UK? Is it

a) 64,000 pairs
b) 128,000 pairs
c) 384,000 individuals
or d) Impossible to tell as they're all too busy gorging on songbirds in the undergrowth

You spend an awkward couple of minutes cringing on the sofa as PubQuizMan blunders his way through a publicly humiliating thought-process. Hopefully it's just a step towards the overall objective of a sackload of cash. But if it's the only question you think you know the answer to it assumes disproportionate significance, much to the digust of your family who have to endure you wittering away ad nauseam about it.

Ah sod it, the analogy's going nowhere. Ironically.
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Old Friday 10th December 2004, 09:50   #11
Anthony Morton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Peters
Hi Anthony,

64,000 pairs is from British Birds after BTO and other sources through nest site censuses. If you have any other sources then I would be interested to know where they originate. Anyhow, that was not the point I was making - Clarkson obviously knew about the 64,000 pairs unless you believe in an incredible coincidence in a twofold figure increase that he stated.

Ian
Hi Ian,

Forget Clarkson, aren't you also putting a two-fold increase on the UKsparrowhawk population?

http://www.rspb.org.uk/birds/guide/s...hawk/index.asp

quotes the UK population at 34,500 breeding pairs, NOT 64,000 pairs. Mind you, I know some groups of people who would be happy to accept the higher figure as being nearer the truth!

Anthony
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Old Friday 10th December 2004, 09:55   #12
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Originally Posted by CornishExile
Grief, feel like I've let the cat out of the bag starting this again (sparrowhawk out of the pigeon loft?!).
Not for me, there was a point made in this thread that seemed worth discussing in broader terms. I do not see any reason to join in another raptor vs the world debate. The point being that it is easy enough to make any kind of argument even out of facts that oppose that very idea in the first place. In fact, if you like, we could have a bit of fun and introduce any idea that you like and find evidence for it. Remember, there are no rules - you can misquote evidence or even quote out-of-context. How about, marsh harriers are declining in line with the recovery of bitterns? Many of you will recognise why I thought of this one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CornishExile
Ah sod it, the analogy's going nowhere. Ironically.
At least you were brave enough to let it stand.

Ian
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Old Friday 10th December 2004, 10:00   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Morton
Hi Ian,

Forget Clarkson, aren't you also putting a two-fold increase on the UKsparrowhawk population?

http://www.rspb.org.uk/birds/guide/s...hawk/index.asp

quotes the UK population at 34,500 breeding pairs, NOT 64,000 pairs. Mind you, I know some groups of people who would be happy to accept the higher figure as being nearer the truth!

Anthony
Hi Anthony,

The figure was the one used by Ian Newton (1996) and was current at the time but as I said, he admitted it was probably an overestimate and that the total population (including unpaired) birds was probably no more than an equivalent of 50,000 pairs and that tallies quite nicely with Jane's figures. The main reason I mentioned this figure is that it is clearly the starting point for Clarkson's statement. The point I was trying to make is that Clarkson was clearly aware of this figure yet openly distorted the information yet presented it as truth.

Anthony, just a slight point of order on this one - I did not state the above figure as a definitive point merely that I am aware of the source of the figure and therefore, I presume JC was also aware of the source and he chose to use the higher figure himself rather than use lower figures as a starting point.
I would appreciate if we did not deflect this discussion into an "Ian Peters disagrees with the information on the RSPB website, so who is right" discussion because that is not what I said.
Ian
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Old Friday 10th December 2004, 10:05   #14
Anthony Morton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CornishExile
Grief, feel like I've let the cat out of the bag starting this again (sparrowhawk out of the pigeon loft?!).

Feels like watching Who wants to be a millionaire? - What's the total population of Sparrowhawks in the UK? Is it

a) 64,000 pairs
b) 128,000 pairs
c) 384,000 individuals
or d) Impossible to tell as they're all too busy gorging on songbirds in the undergrowth
Sorry, NONE of these is correct - that's if we can believe what we're told.

The RSPB website currently quotes a figure of 34,500 breeding pairs.

Surely there's bound to be confusion when some species are quoted as 'breeding pairs', some by 'territories' and others by individual count. Wouldn't it be much simpler if ALL species were classified as individuals, because this gives a much clearer indication of how many there are. By using 'breeding pairs' or 'territories' the number of un-paired adults and juveniles are automatically excluded which, in my opinion, means the only reason for using them is to deliberately arrive at an artificially low population figure.

Anthony
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Old Friday 10th December 2004, 10:13   #15
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Ian, thank you! Anthony... you're so serious. I was just feebly trying to be witty and engaging... give me a break! I know how many sprawks there are in the UK... I'm just not telling you.
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Old Friday 10th December 2004, 10:14   #16
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so Mr M. take any figure above you like and tell me the point you are trying to make.....cos it sounds ike your just picking people up on irrelevancies and missing the ecological picture....again
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Old Friday 10th December 2004, 10:23   #17
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Clarkson was just reading it off a bleeding autocue anyway.....
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Old Friday 10th December 2004, 10:28   #18
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Why's everyone banging on about Clarkson? It was a comedy programme for one thing, so why take anything said on it seriously...or anything said by Clarkson anyway for that matter.
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Old Friday 10th December 2004, 10:30   #19
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Anyone interested in trends take a look at these...and the rest of the figures available from national census figures.

http://www.bto.org/birdtrends/wcrrobin.htm
http://www.bto.org/birdtrends/wcrsparr.htm
http://www.bto.org/birdtrends/wcrbluti.htm
http://www.bto.org/birdtrends/wcrcoldo.htm
http://www.bto.org/birdtrends/wcrsonth.htm
http://www.bto.org/birdtrends/wcrstoch.htm
http://www.bto.org/birdtrends/wcrspofl.htm

All figures normalised to 2000 figures. Trends are so much more revelaing than bare numbers.

Particularly notice the fantastic correlation between collared dove rise and song thrush and spotted flycatcher decline.. Clearly the former must be responsible.... then again it might just be a correlation and not a link.
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Old Friday 10th December 2004, 10:32   #20
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yes the human toffee apple Clarkson shouldn't be listened too full stop never mind when he's ranting about popuation levels of raptor
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Old Friday 10th December 2004, 10:37   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane Turner
Anyone interested in trends take a look at these...and the rest of the figures available from national census figures.

http://www.bto.org/birdtrends/wcrrobin.htm
http://www.bto.org/birdtrends/wcrsparr.htm
http://www.bto.org/birdtrends/wcrbluti.htm
http://www.bto.org/birdtrends/wcrcoldo.htm
http://www.bto.org/birdtrends/wcrsonth.htm
http://www.bto.org/birdtrends/wcrstoch.htm
http://www.bto.org/birdtrends/wcrspofl.htm

All figures normalised to 2000 figures. Trends are so much more revelaing than bare numbers.

Particularly notice the fantastic correlation between collared dove rise and song thrush and spotted flycatcher decline.. Clearly the former must be responsible.... then again it might just be a correlation and not a link.
Those evil pale invading pigeons...

(With a sense of due trepidation) Does anyone know what the sparrowhawk population was pre the 60's crash? The stabilising population suggests to simplistic me that (for whatever reason) they've plateau'd now - maybe to previous levels? Am sure the ecologists will take delight in shooting this dumb theory down in flames...
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Old Friday 10th December 2004, 10:40   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CornishExile
Those evil pale invading pigeons...

(With a sense of due trepidation) Does anyone know what the sparrowhawk population was pre the 60's crash? The stabilising population suggests to simplistic me that (for whatever reason) they've plateau'd now - maybe to previous levels? Am sure the ecologists will take delight in shooting this dumb theory down in flames...
If its not the evil pale pigeons... it must be those nasty Robins...

I'll see what I can find re earlier figures
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Old Friday 10th December 2004, 10:46   #23
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Yeah, robins... look so cute with their fluffy red-breasts - that's blood, that it is... someone should control their numbers...
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Old Friday 10th December 2004, 10:50   #24
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Hey, do you think all the sparrowhawks are eating the thrushes etc?

I reckon i've cracked it, and i seen it appen too so it must be true

you can't fool me with your temporally and spatially extensive empirical data collection exercises...oh no...
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Old Friday 10th December 2004, 10:52   #25
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I think you're on to something there Tim. People should be told! Except until you established exactly how many sparrowhawks there are in the UK nobody will take you seriously...
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