By Michael Chinery
Read or Download Collins Gem Butterflies: An Easy-to-Use Guide to Europe's Most Common Species PDF
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Additional resources for Collins Gem Butterflies: An Easy-to-Use Guide to Europe's Most Common Species
It doesn’t take a mathematical genius to work out that, if all these survived, after a few years we would be knee-deep in birds. Clearly we are not. Vast numbers of them die of starvation in their first winter or are picked off by birds of prey and domestic cats. The strongest, the fittest survive. So it’s not surprising that many people who shoot birds claim, probably correctly, that most of the birds they kill would die anyway. In 2006 a group of shooting organisations commissioned Public and Corporate Economic Consultants to provide an independent assessment of the economic value of wild animal shooting in the UK.
Now, breathe a sigh of relief that there is one sport using birds that doesn’t set out to kill them. Indeed, those participating in it desperately want to see their birds alive time and again. And as quickly as possible too. Around 45,000 people in the UK take part in what has always been considered a sport of the socalled working classes or, at any rate, of people far removed from those who shoot grouse. It’s pigeon 28 A sporting chance racing and, in an organised form, it’s been popular in the UK for over a hundred years.
A sudden turn in the pigeon’s direction, a super-fast plunge through the blue autumn sky and this interceptor jet fighter of the bird world is giving chase. The pigeon’s life is about to end. We lose sight of them as they track like bullets across the sky in the direction of a farm. We jump in Patrick’s vehicle and speed down a rough track to the farmyard where the Peregrine is on top of the now dead pigeon, perched in a shower of feathers as it plucks what it regards as its meal and starts to eat the hapless bird.
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