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Rare and Scarce Birds in Staffordshire (1 Viewer)

hughie king

Well-known member
I'm not really clear about this but before I go on lets get things clear: I AM NOT suggesting this practice is in any way acceptable.

However, the question: "would you allow the feeding to a resident or vagrant bird on any of your sites?" surely cannot have been answered simply: "No". All of these organisations have, sometimes very extensive, feeding stations on their reserves. Would Slimbridge stop feeding the Bewicks with huge quantities of grain every evening if a vagrant bird joined the flock? Indeed why is the feeding of the swans, which brings them close to viewing points, and presumably is to the financial advantage of WWT acceptable?

Where is the logical boundary between acceptable and unacceptable feeding of wild birds?

To reiterate: I'm not challenging the 'ban' on feeding the falcon, just interested in the thought process and wonder if I've missed something.

Hi Roger

I did state in my post I received some long drawn out answers from the organisations I contacted , all of this led to the unanimous conclusion of No.
To elaborate most of the recognised bodies would not allow feeding of any kind unless authorised by themselves.
Slimbridge for example said only food for Wildfowl sold by themselves was allowable. You may think this is profiteering, but it also makes sense that the birds are receiving the right food.
A lot said the feeding of any birds including vagrants with locusts was to quote one "preposterous" & definitely not allowed.
I've stated on other forums I am obviously not against the feeding of wild birds, but to give supplementary food to an already well feeding RfF, just for the benefit of that " killer photo" is wrong.

Cheers Hughie King.
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
Hi Roger


I've stated on other forums I am obviously not against the feeding of wild birds, but to give supplementary food to an already well feeding RfF, just for the benefit of that " killer photo" is wrong.

Cheers Hughie King.

Hi Hughie

I'm not trying to be difficult, contentious, confrontational etc, but this is where I have a problem. That is exactly what happened with the Cretz - seeded so that humans could see/photograph it.

That's why I personally have a slight issue with birders who benefitted from the seeding of that bird moaning about feeding this falcon.
 

Nick Smith

Member of the Staffordshire Bird Club
The feeding of the Cretz has been discussed on the red foot thread. Main reason was habitat protection so that birders weren't wandering around the island falling into many shearwater burrows. This red foot was fed locusts so that photographers could get better shots. Same answer as appears on the other thread as well
 

Nick Smith

Member of the Staffordshire Bird Club
Just to recap on the Red-footed Falcon for those who are struggling and comparing this case with putting seed out for your Chaffinches.
1) A Red-footed Falcon turned up in Stoke on a Friday and showed very well to all who turned up on the first day. 2) The next day, someone (i know who) decided it wasn't feeding very well and he just happened by chance to have some locusts with him so he fed it and was amazed at how close it came for him to photograph it.
3) On hearing about an almost full male Red-foot showing well in the Midlands, many photographers descended armed with locusts. On one visit food was observed being catapulted in using a fishermans bait thrower. The Red-foot started showing at almost point blank range.
4) Word spread and someone decided they too wanted to get close to the Red-foot and grab it for their own personal use.
5) It was decided by several in higher positions in various groups and bodies following discussions that feeding was to stop. The Red-foot now has almost reverted back to fending for itself and shows not as close as before.
6) How can this be compared to the situation on Bardsey? How can "birders" justify what has happened with the RFF. We've had to stand guard on the site for the last 3-4 days making sure everyone is behaving responsibly. There's one photographer we know for certain if we weren't there would start chuckng locusts out. He's that put out by what actions have be put in place. Another local photographer was heard calling us self appointed vigilantes today.
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
The feeding of the Cretz has been discussed on the red foot thread. Main reason was habitat protection so that birders weren't wandering around the island falling into many shearwater burrows. This red foot was fed locusts so that photographers could get better shots. Same answer as appears on the other thread as well

Nick, I understand that counter-argument but I just find there to be a fundamental contradiction. I do agree that the feeding of locusts was apparently getting out of hand, and fair play to you and others for monitoring this, so it doesn't get out of hand.

But concurrently, no one had to put seed down for the Cretz (I am glad it was personally), it was done for the benefit of us birders to get better views - that is the bottom line. This has been done for many other finches I have seen White-Throated Sparrow, White-fronted Sparrow, Dark-Eyed Junco, and indeed for many other birds I have seen such as Ivory Gull, Cream-Coloured Courser. I could go on. That there were shearwater burrows is a genuine issue, but it still remains the same, seed was put down which entices or lures the bird and makes it easier to see.

I am not saying feeding lots of locusts is a good thing to do, but that is its natural prey. As with all the aforementioned species, feeding these birds is done mainly so that we can get better views, and also to hope to benefit a bird that is lost and probably underweight.

I just don't like hypocrisy and double-standards. We will disagree on this I know, but that is my view.
 
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Richard Powell

Once Bittern, Twice Shy
Maybe it's best if the "To feed or not to feed" discussion is left for the rare bird thread, rather than this one? And whatever your opinion is on the subject, I think it's been done to death by now. :flyaway:
 

hughie king

Well-known member
Hi Hughie

I'm not trying to be difficult, contentious, confrontational etc, but this is where I have a problem. That is exactly what happened with the Cretz - seeded so that humans could see/photograph it.

That's why I personally have a slight issue with birders who benefitted from the seeding of that bird moaning about feeding this falcon.

Hi Nick
Think we've all got to agree to differ on this one.
Tend to agree with Richard that this issue has been done to death on other forums.
Let's keep the Staffs forum "clean" so to speak & be grateful that we've all seen a cracking Red f Falcon for our area, which hopefully will carry on its journey, free to do so.

Cheers Hughie King.
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
Agree Hughie, I always think people should be able to discuss amicably and rationally, perhaps that is why I found "some" posts on their unreasonable.

As I said, if Nick Smith and co have been spending hours in the field there making sure things don't get out of hand, immense credit to them and I can see why my stance would annoy them.

I just don't like posts (however well-intentioned the underlying motive may be) calling people names etc.

Onward and upward Hughie.
 

Neil-T

Moorlands Macro: Close up and personal....with bug
It's still being fed locusts. This picture was taken yesterday evening. I went to see it on the second day and it was feeding naturally. I was asked by some if I thought it was ok to feed it locusts and I said No. When I went back a couple of days later there were loads of photographers feeding it locusts so I didn't pass on the opportunity to get some photos myself. Personally I thought it was feeding ok without any further supplements. I have photos of it feeding on natural insects in the paddock.

Just curious as what can be done legally, and is it illegal to feed it locusts? If not, then there is not much that can be done about it.
 

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Phil Andrews

It's only Rock and Roller but I like it
It's still being fed locusts. This picture was taken yesterday evening. I went to see it on the second day and it was feeding naturally. I was asked by some if I thought it was ok to feed it locusts and I said No. When I went back a couple of days later there were loads of photographers feeding it locusts so I didn't pass on the opportunity to get some photos myself. Personally I thought it was feeding ok without any further supplements. I have photos of it feeding on natural insects in the paddock.

Just curious as what can be done legally, and is it illegal to feed it locusts? If not, then there is not much that can be done about it.

The release of non-native species in Britain is illegal: http://www.nonnativespecies.org/index.cfm?pageid=67

If the locusts are dead then its "fly" tipping 3:) I'll get my coat ..... :-C
 

Nick Smith

Member of the Staffordshire Bird Club
The site was monitored yesterday from 0600 to 2100hrs continuosly. The locust is probably one of many still left lying around.
 

Huwgo

Well-known member
Visited the Falcon again this evening and it was the most active I've seen it in all my visits. It spent most of its time on the grass running around hunting insects which I hadn't seen it do before. Saw a nice family of Whitethroats in the bushes along the road, and Swallows were everywhere. Probably taking advantage of the hundreds of flying ants that are around lately!
 

The Moore-hen

Association of Satirical Birders & Ornitholigists
News for 6th Aug

1s Red-footed Falcon - still Chatterley Whitfield Colliery
4 Little Stint - Middleton Lakes RSPB
2 Garganey & Juv Med Gull - Belvide

No sign of the reported possible Black Stork from yesterday at Doxey Marshes
 

The Moore-hen

Association of Satirical Birders & Ornitholigists
News for the 9th Aug

Common Crane - Blithfield in Blithe bay pm also Juv Marsh Harrier & Osprey in the am
2 eclipse drake Garganey & 2s Med Gull - Belvide
 

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