Monthly Archives: July 2011

SPARROWS KILLING FLEDGLING BLACKBIRDS

PHOTOGRAPH BELOW SHOWS FULLY GROWN BLACKBIRD
ADULT BLACKBIRD IN MY GARDEN

House Sparrow

Bird Killing Bird

PHOTOGRAPH ABOVE SHOWS A HOUSE SPARROW

Having been a lover of the house sparrows along with all wildlife.  I have now refused to feed them anymore as they have killed 3 fledgling blackbirds in nest for what reason i do not know.  

 So sad, they pecked them to death then threw them onto the patio.

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Thank you for telling us about this Steve.  Sparrows killing other birds must go on all the time.  But when it happens it must usuallyhappen out of human view.

It has been happening for years as well, as I read about  sparrows killing other birds in an old bird book that I have read.

It does make you look at sparrows differently.  Instead of thinking of them as being helpless I look at them and think of them as thugs

 

Decrease of Swallows in Washington State

 

Hello Trish, We live in Washington State, USA. I was looking online for anyone who may understand the decrease in Swallows over the last few years.

Every years we have less and less return, at this rate, next year we may not have any return, this concerns me.

Looking online I found your web site, I know I’m not in the UK, but we have the same problems.

Hope I can share with you, what happens on our side of the world. Over here, our Swallows fly south to South America. They will start to leave our area around the 15th of August. Thank-you for your web site. 🙂 Donna 

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 Thank you Donna for sharing this.  Through Bird Table News I realise it is a wider problem than I first thought.

We have the same problem here on the farm in Yorkshire, England.

The swallows seem to decrease each year. So fewer swallows set off on the migratory journey  – which means fewer will return next year.

I think I will get in touch with Garth who emailed me last year.  He does a lot orf bird ringing.

I thought this was interesting.  It is from an article I did a while ago

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About the 12th Century in Germany a Prior in a Monastery fixed a parchment to a swallow’s leg asking –

 ‘Swallow where do you live in winter’

The following spring the Prior received the reply attached to the swallow’s leg

‘In Asia, the home of Petrus’.

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Amazing.  What a simple idea.  How did the Prior catch the swallow?  Did he expect a reply? 

From that piece of parchment it was discovered that swallows flew from Germany to Asia. 

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About 1740 a man called Johann Leonard Frisch tied some wool to swallows’ legs. 

He wanted to find out if the same swallow returned to the same nest year after year. 

The following Spring he found out that they do!

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How on earth they caught the swallows I will never know

Thank you for contacting me.  It is very unbelievable that one day we may not have any swallows returning in the Spring.

I will read up about this and see if there are ways to find out more.

Any ideas welcome.  Surely with the World Wide Web we should be able to.

 

The comings and goings of the swifts and swallows near our house has always fascinated me and it seems it has fascinated other bird watchers over the years.

About the 12th Century in Germany a Prior in a Monastery fixed a parchment to a swallow’s leg asking –

 

‘Swallow where do you live in winter’

The following spring the Prior received the reply attached to the swallow’s leg

‘In Asia, the home of Petrus’.

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Amazing.  What a simple idea.  How did the Prior catch the swallow?  Did he expect a reply? 

From that piece of parchment it was discovered that swallows flew from Germany to Asia. 

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About 1740 a man called Johann Leonard Frisch tied some wool to swallows’ legs. 

He wanted to find out if the same swallow returned to the same nest year after year. 

The following Spring he found out that they do!

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I anticipate the return of the swifts and swallows every Spring and know they return to us from warmer climates.

SOME HARD WORK IS DONE TO DISCOVER MORE ABOUT SWALLOWS

http://birdtablenews.com/2010/09/swallow-recording-and-ringing-in-worcestershire/

Swallows migrating

 

THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED IN OCTOBER 2010 – DUE TO AN ERROR IT IS 9 MONTHS LATE.  BUT BETTER LATE THAN NOT AT ALL

Garth has been in touch about swallows migrating.  Really pleased he has seen a good swallow season in West Worcestershire

The young swallows will move south as directed by the genetic chip in their brain, but only a small number of the total get to S. Africa and back. It only needs two to survive to replace their parents should they fail to get back.

It does take them two months to do the whole journey as they feed en-route and might stay in one place for a few days if the weather is not suitable to continue south, so late hatched birds can build up their strength on the way.

Evidence shows that when young swallows return next spring they do not go back to nest where they were hatched but could be in the locality. This then avoids genetic problems. I have had a good season in West Worcestershire with no very late broods to worry about.

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Garth was partly replying to

ALL BUT THREE OF MY SWALLOWS HAVE GONE

Swallows in South Wales

I hope this reaches Garth,
thank you for your report on the  Worcester swallows.it’s fascinating.

After an early arrival, then a slow start to lay, we in S.W.Wales have had a good year.not as good as last year with some brooding 3 times. but better than predicted .

Obviously ,I have no ringing data but our average was 4 chicks. The latest batch was  rather late fledging late Aug.

Is there anywhere I can get more info about your work ?
“best wishes swallow lady”