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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sharp Fall in Kestrel numbers

The latest Breeding Birds Survey shows that numbers of kestrels has plunged by more than a third between 2008 and 2009.

There is a long term fall in the population of a fifth between 1995-2008.

The kestrel’s main food source is small mammals like field mice and voles and the RSPB claim that intensive farming is the cause.

According to Graham Madge

Kestrels depend on rough grassland where they can feed on beetles, voles and other small mammals. They are a widespread countryside bird so these figures are alarming. We also believe pesticides and cold winters are behind the losses which have happened in a short space of time and are gathering pace

It isn't all bad new for birds of prey as Buzzard numbers are increasing as are Hobby's. Totally unscientific I know but the Buzzard seems to be increasing in range over the past 8 years you seem more Buzzards over in the East than you did.

The survey showed a decline in small birds like stonechats, treecreepers, great tits and blue tits due to the cold winter.


Tricia said...

That's a rather scary drop in numbers in just 12 months for the kestrels. I've certainly been seeing a few buzzards recently on my travels up and down the A24!! And it seems more than I've seen before.

holdingmoments said...

That is a huge drop in numbers. But somehow I don't think the reasons are the ones they give. They always seem to trot out the same ones....cold winters....farming...etc.
I would think those sort of things would affect all birds?
I may be hopelessly wrong of course ;)