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.
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
Anthony Morton said:(*) 64,000 pairs (or 128,000 individual birds) quoted in posting #9
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?"
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.
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!!
Malky. The one with the in-wedlock father!!
Dear Mr Peters,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.
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 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......
No personal quip or any other agenda so please stop seeing what is not there.robinm said:Once again this thread is descending into personal insults. This has got to stop.