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SONG BIRD SURVIVAL Pt 2 (1 Viewer)

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The Tom

Well-known member
Morton 32000
Ian F 64000
Clarkson 128000
Does it really matter after all even if it there were 1,000000 Sparrowhawks, this number would have no impact on the population of song birds . I mean every body knows that,dont they ;)
 

Jane Turner

Well-known member
In as much as if the habitat, feeding and nesting resources were sufficient to support enough prey numbers to support 1,000,000 Sparrowhawks, then the number of Sparrowhawks would not influence their prey... precisely.
 

John Cantelo

Well-known member
Given previous experience, I find it totally pointless to argue with the "song bird survival" apologists. They have an entrenched view and for whatever reason refuse to budge from it. Quick to accuse others of having a closed mind, I find them impervious to any cogent argument. Are we really expected to seriously consider that the moon is made of green cheese just cos somebody says it is and thus to avoid accusations of having a closed mind? So once again I'll pose the question .... if all these raptors need to be persecuted by man's hand for the songbirds to survive, then how on earth did songbirds survive for the millennia before we were on the scene? Then again, why bother? I'll only have to read a load of claptrap which merely goes to demonstrate the poster's total lack of understanding and ignorance of the basics of ecology, John
 

Rhion

Well-known member
One member of SoS claimed in print that the huge numbers of Sparrowhawks had wiped out every single songbird in his area. Which raises the question of what the Sprawks are eating now? I haven't seen any in the queue at the local Macdonalds.
 

Anthony Morton

Well-known member
Ian Peters said:
Hi Anthony,

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.

Ian

(*) 64,000 pairs (or 128,000 individual birds) quoted in posting #9


Ian,

I thought you might like to see a transcript of the 'Have I got News For You' television programme, hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, which you referred to earlier. The relevant comments are as follows.

The teams had been discussing the proposed cull of 5,000 hedgehogs, at the end of which the following exchange too place:-

Clarkson "The Independent, which is a newspaper that's running a campaign to highlight the plight of which other animal?"

Merton "The Archbishop of Canterbury?"

Clarkson "The sparrow. Ten million have disappeared, I have a theory on why. A few years ago in the 1950's a type of bird in Britain was nearly extinct. The RSPB had a bit of a thing to try to get it going again - there are now 64,000 of them."

Hislop & Merton together "Sparrowhawks!"

Clarkson "Sparrowhawks. And what do sparrowhawks eat?"

Merton "Hawks?"

Clarkson "Three sparrows a day - 64,000 - so come on, I say 70,000, that 210,000 a day."

As you see, there was no reference to the 128,000 sparrowhawks you have attributed to Jeremy Clarkson but rather that his figure of 64,000 suggests 32,000 pairs.
 

walwyn

Here today, gone tomorrow
John Cantelo said:
I'll only have to read a load of claptrap which merely goes to demonstrate the poster's total lack of understanding and ignorance of the basics of ecology, John
John you forgot to link claptrap so that everyone knows exactly what you are talking about.
 

John Cantelo

Well-known member
Jane, I stand corrected. Your generosity of spirit does you as much credit as it shames my end-of-the-week grumpiness. Apologies to any pro-SBS posters; I may think that they're profoundly mistaken, but it doesn't excuse rudeness. John
 

Jane Turner

Well-known member
John Cantelo said:
Jane, I stand corrected. Your generosity of spirit does you as much credit as it shames my end-of-the-week grumpiness. Apologies to any pro-SBS posters; I may think that they're profoundly mistaken, but it doesn't excuse rudeness. John

Ho Ho ho... oh just happened to pick up an old BB and saw your Arctic Redpoll descriptions... fabulous work... and most festive :)
 

Nightranger

Senior Moment
Anthony Morton said:
(*) 64,000 pairs (or 128,000 individual birds) quoted in posting #9


Ian,

I thought you might like to see a transcript of the 'Have I got News For You' television programme, hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, which you referred to earlier. The relevant comments are as follows.

The teams had been discussing the proposed cull of 5,000 hedgehogs, at the end of which the following exchange too place:-

Clarkson "The Independent, which is a newspaper that's running a campaign to highlight the plight of which other animal?"

Merton "The Archbishop of Canterbury?"

Clarkson "The sparrow. Ten million have disappeared, I have a theory on why. A few years ago in the 1950's a type of bird in Britain was nearly extinct. The RSPB had a bit of a thing to try to get it going again - there are now 64,000 of them."

Hislop & Merton together "Sparrowhawks!"

Clarkson "Sparrowhawks. And what do sparrowhawks eat?"

Merton "Hawks?"

Clarkson "Three sparrows a day - 64,000 - so come on, I say 70,000, that 210,000 a day."

As you see, there was no reference to the 128,000 sparrowhawks you have attributed to Jeremy Clarkson but rather that his figure of 64,000 suggests 32,000 pairs.

Well done Anthony! Not withstanding my point being that Clarkson still used the 64,000 figure as his starting point. Obviously I am no longer fit to post on BF because I give false information out - pity you are not so willing to admit your mistakes.
 

alcedo.atthis

Well-known member
Question to the moderators

"Obviously I am no longer fit to post on BF because I give false information out - pity you are not so willing to admit your mistakes."

Are we watching posters playing each other, or the actual post??
And what happened to the control of language??
Seems a bit of double standards is going on here!!

Regards

Malky. The one with the in-wedlock father!!
 

Nightranger

Senior Moment
alcedo.atthis said:
"Obviously I am no longer fit to post on BF because I give false information out - pity you are not so willing to admit your mistakes."

Are we watching posters playing each other, or the actual post??
And what happened to the control of language??
Seems a bit of double standards is going on here!!

Regards

Malky. The one with the in-wedlock father!!

I dunno you tell me! To be honest I am getting frustrated with this constant questioning of everything I say by a certain contributor. The moment I show a bit of emotion I am accused of double standards. I might well work for the RSPB but I am only human and I reserve the right to feel aggrieved when the point I was making was deflected on a pedantic point. If Anthony is allowed a post of righteous indignation on another thread then why can't I, or do we not really have a level playing field?

Ian

Edit addition: I bow to the fact that Anthony has the transcript but I distinctly remember Clarkson mentioning unpaired birds and this does not appear in Anthony's post. I am not in any way saying that Anthony is wrong here but I cannot understand where this bit has gone. Nevertheless, the transcript shows Clarkson estimated his own figures to suit his argument and that was what we were discussing. Not only that, according to Clarkson we would have to assume that sparrowhawks ate nothing but sparrows for those figures to hold true. If we are accepting this, then clearly Clarkson does not think racing pigeons or gamebirds appear on the diet of sparrowhawks. Actually now I think about it, this means the discussion is back on track because I can make a case for Clarkson meaning something that he did not intend.
 
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Nightranger

Senior Moment
I knew I should go away and think about things before replying. Anyway, I think it is only fair that I apologise to Jeremy Clarkson and thank Anthony for digging out the transcript. I was certain that I had understood the figures quoted but IF inflated figures were quoted, then they were not made on Have I Got News For You. I therefore withdraw this claim.

Nevertheless, the figures given are interesting given that 210,000 per day is around 1/5 of a million. If we assume 5 million pairs of sparrows (it is probably considerably less but this will do to start with), that equates to 10 million sparrows. That means that according to JC's figures, almost 1.5 million sparrows are taken in a week. therefore, if this level of predation were to start (a big assumption) in January, house sparrows would be extinct by the end of March. Of course, we know from other debates that sparrowhawks do not solely prey on house sparrows and the females probably take larger prey for the most part. That means that we can effectively cut the figures in half from the beginning. There is more, sparrowhawks are common(ish) in woodlands and the house sparrow is not really a woodland bird. This effectively means that some sparrowhawks never see a house sparrow and great, tits, blue tits and chaffinches form a more important component of prey profiles (quick note: these three species are not declining). Unfortunately, without knowing how many sparrowhawks exist in areas that have no sparrow population, I cannot but a figure on reducing the above any further. The final point is that JC was obviously aware of Ian Newton's work because the three kills per day is something mentioned in the monograph. However, this relates to observation at the nest and is an average figure during the breeding season (a maximum figure of 6-8 items was recorded if I remember rightly). The figure does not hold true for outside the breeding season when an individual bird is hunting for itself. In fact, a sparrowhawk probably only needs to make a single kill per day although they will take more if they can and not feed on a subsequent day. Falconers will tell you that captive birds will not fly if they have been overfed and there is no reason to think that wild birds are any different. At least, a hawk that has taken three birds on one day is unlikely to hunt on the following day and possibly for two days although they will undoubtedly still patrol.

Ian
 

Suricate

Well-known member
Ian Peters said:
I knew I should go away and think about things before replying. Anyway, I think it is only fair that I apologise to Jeremy Clarkson and thank Anthony for digging out the transcript. I was certain that I had understood the figures quoted but IF inflated figures were quoted, then they were not made on Have I Got News For You. I therefore withdraw this claim.

Nevertheless, the figures given are interesting given that 210,000 per day is around 1/5 of a million. If we assume 5 million pairs of sparrows (it is probably considerably less but this will do to start with), that equates to 10 million sparrows. That means that according to JC's figures, almost 1.5 million sparrows are taken in a week. therefore, if this level of predation were to start (a big assumption) in January, house sparrows would be extinct by the end of March. Of course, we know from other debates that sparrowhawks do not solely prey on house sparrows and the females probably take larger prey for the most part. That means that we can effectively cut the figures in half from the beginning. There is more, sparrowhawks are common(ish) in woodlands and the house sparrow is not really a woodland bird. This effectively means that some sparrowhawks never see a house sparrow and great, tits, blue tits and chaffinches form a more important component of prey profiles (quick note: these three species are not declining). Unfortunately, without knowing how many sparrowhawks exist in areas that have no sparrow population, I cannot but a figure on reducing the above any further. The final point is that JC was obviously aware of Ian Newton's work because the three kills per day is something mentioned in the monograph. However, this relates to observation at the nest and is an average figure during the breeding season (a maximum figure of 6-8 items was recorded if I remember rightly). The figure does not hold true for outside the breeding season when an individual bird is hunting for itself. In fact, a sparrowhawk probably only needs to make a single kill per day although they will take more if they can and not feed on a subsequent day. Falconers will tell you that captive birds will not fly if they have been overfed and there is no reason to think that wild birds are any different. At least, a hawk that has taken three birds on one day is unlikely to hunt on the following day and possibly for two days although they will undoubtedly still patrol.

Ian
Dear Mr Peters,
As you spend considerable time on this forum in what can only be described as RSPB work time, may I ask is this where you gain your information for the RSPB or unlike many of us with full time commitment to Animal welfare do you have long periods of free time.
This is not a criticism just an observation
Suricate
 

Nightranger

Senior Moment
Suricate said:
Dear Mr Peters,
As you spend considerable time on this forum in what can only be described as RSPB work time, may I ask is this where you gain your information for the RSPB or unlike many of us with full time commitment to Animal welfare do you have long periods of free time.
This is not a criticism just an observation
Suricate

Hi Suricate,

I am not sure what point you are trying to make here but forgive me if I get the wrong end of the stick. My job is in Wildlife Enquiries and I have the support of my line manager to contribute to Internet forums. There is more to this but more about that in the New Year (hopefully). I do not see this as getting information for the RSPB but trying to engage people in talk about birds hence why I retracted my comments when Anthony kindly dug out the transcript of the show. In fact, since I came to work at the RSPB, much of my time is taken up with events that are unpaid and I rarely catch up with my time in lieu. It is perhaps not how I would have chosen to be involved in conservation but it suits my interests. Forums by nature, should be a two-way exchange of information and that is what I try to do. My main job is as a frontliner for the RSPB and that means answering the telephone whilst sat in front of a PC. If there are few letters and emails (as is often the case in winter) then it makes sense for me to look for extra work and BF is ideal in this respect. The difficult balance I have is how to present the points of discussion to the community. Essentially, you are talking to Ian Peters but I have to be ever mindful of the fact that I revealed my identity and I am seen to be representing the RSPB. Having worked in welfare, I have the experience to talk about a range of issues that are not necessarily within the RSPB remit and this is difficult to balance out. My other area of interest is predator - prey relationships and population dynamics (hence why I am drawn to this type of discussion). I had this interest long before I came to the RSPB but the advantage is that for the most part, I can draw on the second largest natural history library in the UK. Now comes the problem and it is down to human nature. Occasionally, people call up and want to shout at me (and my colleagues) and it can get personal. I guess what people are objecting to is RSPB policy but Ian Peters still gets it in the neck. I sometimes wonder if I would have not been better off by telling anyone where I work here on BF. Anthony said that he did not know if he was talking to Ian Peters or the RSPB but equally, I am sometimes unsure whether the person responding is talking to me or debating with the RSPB. Is this a fair summary? It is certainly something to think about and could potentially impact on the future.

Ian
 

DJ Sideboard

Well-known member
Suricate said:
As you spend considerable time on this forum in what can only be described as RSPB work time, may I ask is this where you gain your information for the RSPB or unlike many of us with full time commitment to Animal welfare do you have long periods of free time......
Suricate

And Suricates has gone in with a two-footed reducer on the amusement arcade early doors.....
 

Suricate

Well-known member
robinm said:
Once again this thread is descending into personal insults. This has got to stop.
No personal quip or any other agenda so please stop seeing what is not there.
Perhaps not all questions or comments suit everyone all the time but that does not mean in this case that I have made any personal insult.

Suricate
 
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