How buzzards came to fly over the UK again – BBC News

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-35916515

I’m fascinated by these stunning birds. Their soaring, floating habits and their haunting call always stops me in my tracks and makes me peer up into the sky so that I can admire them from afar. The buzzard is yet another bird of prey previously brought to the brink of extinction in the UK by the hunting/shooting/fishing fraternity because they were deemed detrimental to the entirely unnatural but profitable (to a few) activity of moorland grouse shooting and pheasant shooting. On any relatively sunny day, I see buzzards soaring over my workplace, which is located between agricultural and non-agricultural fields. Two years ago we had a number of pairs of buzzards at this location. This year there is only one pair. There could be many reasons, but it is a rural location right near a farm and I regularly hear a shotgun firing on an afternoon.

I do not want to live in a country where non-native species, bred purely for a barbaric “sport” (who are going to be shot dead in huge numbers anyway, for perverse human enjoyment and greedy profit) are protected by killing our native wildlife. For far too long we have allowed this lunacy to continue unchecked, without criticism or debate. No more.

For any farmer or landowner who says,  “There are too many buzzards”: how many is too many? Too many for what, and for whom? Their numbers will be checked naturally by the food available to them. Leave them alone, along with hen harriers and sea eagles and all of the other avian predators ruthlessly persecuted by people who have the psychotic mentality that they can pick and choose to kill whatever wildlife they see fit with complete disregard for native species and Britain’s ecology.

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About Obscure Thing

Londoner. RHS trained Horticulturist. Vegan. BSc (Hons) Zoology and Film.

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