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SONG BIRD SURVIVAL Pt 2 (1 Viewer)

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whatever
you're just being silly and trying to stir people up and score points on ridiculous minutiae

the absolute figure is not the 'ecological' point..... get with the prgramme

Victor Lewis Smith met Clarkson and described him as reeking of Formaldehyde - now that's more entertaining than sparrowhawk numbers
 

Jane Turner

Well-known member
CornishExile said:
Thanks Jane. I'm effectively none the wiser as to how many there were actually thought to be in say 1950, but hey, life's too short! At least that kind of confirms what I suspected, thateven if there were actual population estimates pre-1960 they'd not have been a true reflection of what the potential sprawk population was. Perhaps that's what we're approaching now in these relatively persecution-free days.

Am still entirely clueless though as to why everyone's so het up about this - surely the real issue isn't whether sparrowhawks predate other birds (are twitchers #### in the woods?), but is rather the agenda behind Songbird Survival. We know the justification for villifying raptors is fundamentally flawed; shouldn't we be exposing the individuals behind this damaging nonsense? At the very least proof of a biased and flawed organisation might be enough to convince the Charities Commission to remove their charitable status and the faint whiff of credibility it confers.

Figures across Europe vary, but to a first approximation numbers now are more or less what they were before the DDT decline and the nadir was between 40 (Belgium) and 80% (East Germany) of current figures... with 50% being about average.
 

Jane Turner

Well-known member
Richard D said:
Well after studying the population trends it's clear to me that the population rates of both Robin's and Long-Tailed-Tit's decline under a Conservative government yet do well under Labour.

Richard

You wouldn't be the first person to suggest this.... in one of those laugh till your diaphragm hurts moments I once overheard my then 6 year old daughter talking to her Grandma..... the conversation went like this.....

Grandma: "Its funny you know, I get Great Tits, Blue Tits, Goldfinches even Bullfinches in my garden, but I never get any Chaffinches"

Daughter: (in serious tone) Grandma, perhaps they don't like Tories!
 

HH75

Well-known member
Ireland
Hi all,
I agree with Tim and Jane: the exact figure of Sparrowhawk pairs doesn't really matter per se here (there are unlikely to be an exact even number of thousand pairs anyway, why not 63,239 pairs...?), what does matter is dispelling the nonsensical idea that the recovery of the population following years of persecution and the effects of DDT is somehow responsible for the declines in many passerine species, many of which (I'd guess) don't feature all that commonly in the species' diet anyway.
Surely it makes more sense to take other environmental factors into consideration? The classic example is the removal of large areas of hedgerow, causing many passerine species to lose nesting habitat and feeding associated with the hedgerows. The switch in sowing times for cereals and more efficient means of harvesting will also have had a negative effect on birds such as Yellowhammers, Corn Buntings etc.
If these passerine declines continue, we will no doubt also witness a corresponding decline in the Sparrowhawk population, as the density of prey species determines the density of predator populations (this is a well known ecological principle).
As I have said before, the only people who I have seen with Songbird Survival car stickers over here have had a pigeon loft or two in the back garden and no feeders/bushes etc to attract their precious 'songbirds'...though I won't make any assumptions based on this....
On less serious topics: I think that Clarkson is a horribly pompous man who seems to represent many things that I personally despise, so I won't comment any further.
Cornish Exile: congrats at managing to get this in to a post on Songbird Survival : 'surely the real issue isn't whether sparrowhawks predate other birds (are twitchers #### in the woods?)'. Surely this is irrelevant to this debate?
Harry
 

Richard D

what was that...
Supporter
United Kingdom
Jane Turner said:
You wouldn't be the first person to suggest this.... in one of those laugh till your diaphragm hurts moments I once overheard my then 6 year old daughter talking to her Grandma..... the conversation went like this.....

Grandma: "Its funny you know, I get Great Tits, Blue Tits, Goldfinches even Bullfinches in my garden, but I never get any Chaffinches"

Daughter: (in serious tone) Grandma, perhaps they don't like Tories!

LOL :'D
 

Nightranger

Senior Moment
Anthony Morton said:
Tim,

I am not trying to make a point, I am making a point. There is only ever one figure to take - and that's the right one. Ian has quoted an incorrect sparrowhawk population figure of 64,000 breeding pairs. The RSPB currently gives a generally accepted figure of 34,500 breeding pairs. Therefore Ian's figure is almost double the actual number. Why is this? If people are going to quote statistics, then I believe they have a duty to ensure that they are at least accurate.

Hi Anthony,

No, no, no, no, NO! I clearly indicated my sources and the reason why I mentioned so please stop trying to deflect the debate and make out a case against me personally. See my reply to CJW to see why I am using the JC example. The figure is NOT "Ian's figure" unless you mean Ian Newton and that was the population figure as was current when the monograph was published despite Ian Newton clearly saying he felt the real population was much lower.


Anthony Morton said:
I can think of several groups who would just love to accept and use the incorrect higher figure to their advantage, because it would undoubtedly strengthen the argument for a reduction in sparrowhawk numbers. And I certainly can't agree with your suggestion that any population error, especially one of this magnitude, can be dismissed as an irrelevance either. How can we hope to hold a meaningful discussion if discrepancies like this are allowed to remain unchallenged?

Anthony

Exactly, Clarkson did and this is just my point although I am wondering if this has even been read. Does anyone else think the point that I am trying to make is ambiguous here?

Ian
 

Grousemore

Senior Member
Ian Peters said:
Does anyone else think the point that I am trying to make is ambiguous here?

Ian

Tell us what it is and I'll tell you if I think it's ambiguous ;)

On a serious note though, it would help if there was a consistency in published population figures, as it would then be more difficult for the core subject to be deflected on to irrelevant side-issues.
 

CornishExile

rydhsys rag Kernow lemmyn!
Harry, one play on words doesn't invalidate the rest of the point I was making. As for the play on words itself - okay, so Oscar Wilde it ain't, but it wasn't that bad. I think even the most hard-boiled twitcher would be hard-pressed to take serious offence from something so innocuous and unintentioned. My views on that particular aspect of birding are a matter of note elsewhere on BF, but for the record I've no problem with it apart from the unpaid environmental impact of burning ludicrous amounts of fossil fuels to indulge in it; yes, I was once a twitcher; no, I never do it now; yes, I reckon as a birder I've improved immeasurably since I gave it up, slowed down and took time to really study what I was seeing; and I bet that goes for most people who've given up the serious twitching aspect.

It wasn't a comment intended to provoke, truly.
 
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Nightranger

Senior Moment
Grousemore said:
Tell us what it is and I'll tell you if I think it's ambiguous ;)

On a serious note though, it would help if there was a consistency in published population figures, as it would then be more difficult for the core subject to be deflected on to irrelevant side-issues.

Aaaargh! I feel better for that...LOL

Hi Trevor,

I think there are consistent figures and Anthony (here we go, I am mentioning him by name again ;) ) quotes the website figures because they contradict the ones I quoted. He will accuse me of reading into his words again blah-de-blah-de-blah but I stated my sources from the start and the population figures were the current figures for 1996 as then also included in BB 1998. Ian Newton states on page 90 ish that he estimated the population much lower and that would not be so far from the current (a la website) figures given that sparrowhawks have shown a consistent decline over the last five years and since the figures were last published in BB 1998. My point was that Clarkson quoted 128,000 pairs, which is exactly double of those figures - coincidence???

Ian
 
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Jane Turner

Well-known member
Ian Peters said:
In fact, if you like, we could have a bit of fun and introduce any idea that you like and find evidence for it.Ian

I have found unequivocal evidence linking the decline in Tree Sparrow Populations with popular music trends.

http://www.bto.org/birdtrends/wcrtresp.htm

See the CBC data here and notice that the species' decline coincided with the end of Glam rock and the onset of punk. The decline continued unabated through the spandex-free 80's and 90's, however the success of the Darkness... and even the Electric 6 have led to a small reversal in trends.... the evidence is clear... more spandex = more Tree Sparrows.
 

HH75

Well-known member
Ireland
Hi Cornish Exile,
CornishExile said:
Harry, one play on words doesn't invalidate the rest of the point I was making. As for the play on words itself - okay, so Oscar Wilde it ain't, but it wasn't that bad. I think even the most hard-boiled twitcher would be hard-pressed to take serious offence from something so innocuous and unintentioned. My views on that particular aspect of birding are a matter of note elsewhere on BF, but for the record I've no problem with it apart from the unpaid environmental impact of burning ludicrous amounts of fossil fuels to indulge in it; yes, I was once a twitcher; no, I never do it now; yes, I reckon as a birder I've improved immeasurably since I gave it up, slowed down and took time to really study what I was seeing; and I bet that goes for most people who've given up the serious twitching aspect.

It wasn't a comment intended to provoke, truly.
Thanks for that: for the record, I do not mean to sound as if I am having a go at you either. While I do twitch, it is only part of what I do, and have used the opportunity of a poor year for vagrants/scarce migrants here in Ireland to try to improve my ID knowledge: I am very interested in such matters. Also addicted to keeping a finds list, and (more importantly) am involved with a conservation organisation here on a voluntary basis.
There's nothing wrong with your views on twitching, even if I may not agree with all of them (if any!), just grates a bit how you seem to draw the subject up even where the thread is about something completely different! It would be like if someone used every posting to make a point about raptor populations being too high...oh, somebody already does! ;)
Have slowed down myself, and have given up on the competitive side of twitching more or less. BTW, as I don't drive then I can say that I haven't directly depleted fossil fuel reserves....
Anyway, enough of this and on with the thread....

Harry
 

Grousemore

Senior Member
Harry Hussey said:
BTW, as I don't drive then I can say that I haven't directly depleted fossil fuel reserves....
Anyway, enough of this and on with the thread....

Harry

Unless you walk or cycle to a twitch, then you are a willing accomplice and the moral high-ground is out of reach ;)
 

CornishExile

rydhsys rag Kernow lemmyn!
Harry Hussey said:
Hi Cornish Exile,

Thanks for that: for the record, I do not mean to sound as if I am having a go at you either. While I do twitch, it is only part of what I do, and have used the opportunity of a poor year for vagrants/scarce migrants here in Ireland to try to improve my ID knowledge: I am very interested in such matters. Also addicted to keeping a finds list, and (more importantly) am involved with a conservation organisation here on a voluntary basis.
There's nothing wrong with your views on twitching, even if I may not agree with all of them (if any!), just grates a bit how you seem to draw the subject up even where the thread is about something completely different! It would be like if someone used every posting to make a point about raptor populations being too high...oh, somebody already does! ;)
Have slowed down myself, and have given up on the competitive side of twitching more or less. BTW, as I don't drive then I can say that I haven't directly depleted fossil fuel reserves....
Anyway, enough of this and on with the thread....

Harry

We're cool.
 

Jane Turner

Well-known member
For the record I have been able to find strong circumstantial evidence from the US proving the attractiveness of Spandex to Sparrows generally:

Rintoul and I spent the weekend hobnobbing with RVs, diabetes bike-a-thon riders in strange and dangerous spandex, and automatic sprinklers at Furnace Creek Ranch and Death Valley in general. Our trip started with a lone White-throated Sparrow calling in a mostly-dead ash tree in front of his apartment in Lone Pine. We stopped at Panamint Springs and watched a sooty Fox Sparrow. (McCreedy 2002)

and a further link proving the benefit of Glam Rock to the the closely related House Sparrow (one assumes from the location).

"They began making music: the seminal 'Cutter's Choice' was made during this creative vortex, along with 'East Coast Melody' and 'Glam Raid'. The band got a title. Naming themselves after an empty packet of Space Raiders crisps that blew through Gary's front door on a particularly windy Middlesborough afternoon. As anyone who lives there knows, empty packets of Space Raiders swirl around and attract clouds of sparrows"

Do I win the prize for the most convincing evidence yet Ian??
 

Jane Turner

Well-known member
DJ Sideboard said:
The bastards. Why isn't someone doing something?

They are.. the Save our Songbirds campaign has recruited that doyen of nature broadcasting, Jeremy Clarkson, to publicise (and where possible exaggerate) the numbers of the ruthless killers and whip a storm of protest.
 
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