When Logan D Steele (Letters, 3 July) writes of the reasons for forming raptor study groups he paints a blinkered picture of times about half a century ago when everything with “a hookit-neb” was persecuted.
The pendulum has long since swung much too far in the other direction. Even 20 years ago buzzards were unheard of in my neighbourhood; now they are to be seen and heard continuously.
Sparrowhawks patrol our gardens almost hourly and song thrushes – the most vulnerable of small birds because of the way they search for food – have long since fallen prey to their incessant predation.
Unlike the songbirds, those raptors have no natural enemies and their numbers have consequently exploded. Interestingly, Logan Steele tries to support his case by mentioning two dead golden eagles, but without giving any indication of how they died.
Unfortunately, golden eagles, our most majestic native birds, have come under intense pressure since carrion sheep, their principal food source, disappeared from the greater part of their natural habitat.
Consequently, many pairs are no longer able to produce young, a sure indication of a poor food supply.
But as long as the recently introduced, hand-reared, semi-domesticated white-tailed eagles provide a circus for the tourists, generate income for the charities’ professional fundraisers and keep the politicians happy, who cares about boring old thrushes and golden eagles?
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Weather for Edinburgh
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 3 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: West