Daily Archives: March 14, 2010

PESKY SPARROWS EATING PANSY PETALS

‘Don’t put that plant  outside because all those pesky sparrows always eat the pansy petals.  What a nuisance they are. Pesky sparrows – why are there so many of them?’

It’s Mothers Day and  for the first time in ages I went to a Mothers Day Service at the village Church.  It was a happy affair with children singing and clapping a song.  There were also hymns and prayers.  There were candles that people lighted in memory of mothers or any special person who were no longer here on Earth

At the end of the service we were all given a pansy plant in a pot.

One pal of mine said to me ‘Don’t put that plant  outside because all those pesky sparrows always eat the pansy petals.  What a nuisance they are. Pesky sparrows – why are there so many of them?’

Sparrows eating pansy flower petals?  I was curious and have been reading. I’ve found out that although the pansy is a relatively trouble free plant sparrows sometimes do eat pansies.  I will let you know what happens to mine.

CONTROLLING FOXES AND CROWS SAVES BIRDS

A 9 year study suggests that controlling predators such as crows and foxes on moorland increased the breeding success of some birds.  These birds includes the lapwing, curlew and golden plover.

The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust found that controlling carrion crows and foxes increase ground feeding birds breeding succest by more than 3 times.

In Northumberland moorland and marginal farmland were studied.  One area that was managed by a gamekeeper was compared with one which had not got a gamekeeper and two plots that removed predators and then stopped controling predator numbers.

Controlling predators doubled the numbers of meadow pipitsand increased the breeding numbers of red grouse

In some ways, it is obvious to me that if you control predators then more prey will live. 

I have heard some people say that the field margins around fields are a haven for rats and are bad for ground nesting birds.  The rats easily prey on many ground feeding birds nests.   So this could be another reason some ground nesting birds are declining.