You've got to build a better nest if you don't want to become extinct!
I came out of my front door this morning to a flurry of grey feathers - a huge heap of them - and a few bird's bits and pieces that you really don't want to know about. Some poor pigeon or dove met an untimely end in a dramatic fashion overnight - and just outside my door!
Talking a lot about birds today. The headlines yesterday were full of what's happening to kestrels in this country - how they are becoming endangered. It got me thinking about red kites, like the wonderful ones pictured here.
Every time I drive down the motorway (M40, coming through the gap just south of Thame) I see so many red kites I am amazed that we ever considered them to be extinct in England and endangered elsewhere in Britain. They're always hovering on the thermals above the motorway, and swooping down ahead of me as I turn off and drive down the country lanes.
Today I spoke to Paul Outhwaite, from the RSPB, who said that re-introducing kites to this area, from Scandinavia, has been a phenomenal success. But other species are still endangered. Including the turtle dove, which has declined by some 69% in the South East in the last few years!
Mind you, I'm not surprised.
I've got what I think is a turtle dove nesting in a tree in my back yard. She's sitting on the most pathetic nest I have ever seen. It's just a few twigs. Every time she lays an egg (which is three times now), the egg crashes onto the earth beneath. It's so sad. But she goes on sitting there, pathetically cooing. I feel like making a nest for her and popping it underneath her somehow. But Paul said turtle doves are well-known as bad nest builders. All I can say is no wonder they're dying out. Wonder if there really is anything I can do for her?