Are our feathered friends being fooled

  hssutton 22:36 05 Jan 2017

into thinking Spring is here by the very mild winter. Today in Lincolnshire the local rookery was a hive of industry as the birds where working on their nests. Normally this happens late February.

  Forum Editor 20:46 06 Jan 2017


Your bona fides apropos birds are impressive, and not in dispute, I'm sure, but the RSPB knows a thog or two about birds, too, and on its website it refers to robins which come here from Russia etc. as 'immigrants'.

That makes them migrants in my book. There's a slight difference between curlews moving down from the moors to breed, and robins flying here from Russia and Scandanavia.

"Starlings that breed in eastern Europe, where winter is much colder, migrate to the UK in winter. The same goes for chaffinches, robins, lapwings, coots and many other common birds"

Those words are from the RSPB website.

I suggest that we cease dancing on the head of this particular pin - I realise that you know a lot about birds, etc., but I prefer to take the word of the RSPB in this case.

  morddwyd 09:41 07 Jan 2017

Ah, the RSPB. That explains a lot. Has I seen that at the outset my response would have been very different.

An admirable body, but a charitable conservation group, dependent, to a large extent, on public support, and on the lifeblood of publicity, for its very existence, and therefore with its own agenda. There are those, myself included, who believe they have lost sight of their core values, and will jump on any passing bandwagon in search of a bye-line, some with some very tenuous links to bird protection.

My own conclusions tend to be based on, apart from my own research, the research and learned papers of fellow members of the British Trust for Ornithology and and of members of the British Ornithologists Union, whose outlook tends to be more objective.

Back to the original point of the thread.

Interestingly enough, I was listening to a live report from the Cairngorm National Park this morning, still largely covered in snow, and the ranger commented that the Rooks were getting ready to breed, and that is unlikely to be because of unseasonal weather!

  Forum Editor 10:31 07 Jan 2017

I hardly think the RSPB is going to refer to some birds as migrants, because it needs the "lifeblood of publicity" or has lost sight of its core values and is running its own agenda.

What an odd suggestion.

As for 'learned papers' let me quote from one of your respected sources - a paper published by the British Trust for Ornithology on the subject of Robin migration:-

**"Its migratory behaviour ranges from completely migratory in northern Europe to resident in southern Europe, with intermediate populations being partially migratory (Adriaensen & Dhondt 1984, Cramp 1988)"**

Basically, there are references to migrating Robins all over the place. Robins Migrate. American Robins do it, too.

  Aitchbee 21:17 08 Jan 2017

I was wondering if some bird species take advantage of prebuilt wooden nest-boxes installed in gardens etc and thus start their nest-building behaviour much earlier than they normally would.

  QuizMan 13:00 09 Jan 2017

Redwings have finally put in an appearance (December last year). I thought that they were going to miss me out this winter.

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