Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bird comment for iright or is it 'irate'?

Regulars will get the drift, newcomers might like to trail through one or two other posts to get up to speed on this one.

Wildlife campaigner Joe takes iright to task again:

'iright...or should i say irate..any relation to spelding, identical twins perhaps?I see where you're coming from and there is certain merit in some of your net searches.As with everything in this world, humans think they know it all and dont allow for the fact that birds have been around longer than us.Birds are driven by the same force that drives us all...survival and procreation ! (not so sure about cabbages though.)Birds will do whatever it takes to survive and pass on their genes, even if that means taking food from another species. What i know about Swans is that they will only eat what they want, when they want.The cygnets like the previous 5 seasons ones, will be chased away by their parents in october, about 6 months after hatching.They will be totally wild and free and able to fend for themselves. They will also be healthy fit and strong, with sufficient reserves hopefully to get them through their first winter safely. The river nairn habitat is unique in so far as it's tidal, has many more predators than say an inland pond...is less likely to harbour diseases such as botulism, also more prone to changes and less able to provide constant food supply all year. As for the ducks, the predators (not man made) killed approximately 50 chicks this year from the roadbridge down, so natural selection is alive and well. 22 survived so far...which is less than the 36 that made it last year. However if you feel so passionate about your argument, take it to the RSPB , the council and the government.Does this mean i will have to remove my wild bird feeders from the garden too ?'
Without revealing anyone's identity Joe the editor of the Gurn can state quite confidently that iright and Spelding are not twins but as to past lives etc, sorry no guarantees there.


Nairn said...

Wildlife campaigner iRight sings the ‘do not feed the birds’ mantra again

Joe is our very own birdman of Nairn. He arranged for a man made island to be built in our river for his favourite birds the swans, to ensure that their nest was not flooded by the incoming tides (Did Sepa approve this?)
His observations of the birds on our river and within the harbour area are unparalleled, witness earlier in the year Joe observing an oil spillage in the harbour and quickly alerting the authorities avoiding a marine life disaster.
In his latest comment Joe gives keen observations of the duck populations, both for this year and last, sadly it would appear that less ducklings have survived this year.
Hard as it may seem adult swans do indeed chase away their signets once they are sufficiently grown to survive on their own.
All rivers that flow into the sea are tidal. It is true that unlike a pond the river, particularly that which is reached by the tide will enjoy a change of water and hence some diseases may be swept away, however, there are still many that are water born.

With regard what swans will eat, to quote Joe…

‘What i know about Swans is that they will only eat what they want, when they want’

Regrettably swans (If they fancy it) will happily eat whatever food is put in front of them. It doesn’t take much observation to see that the great majority of human feeders are offering them white bread. Intelligent as the swans may be, they don’t seem to have enough knowledge about food to eat only what is good for them (Many humans also have this problem!).
What I am suggesting is that those people who are really concerned about our wild water birds set an example by not feeding them at all and educate others likewise. I for one am happier seeing a bird chewing on a piece of weed rather than a crust of bread.

Joe suggests I take ‘my’ argument to the RSPB. It is not just my argument, it is supported by many wildlife campaigners and to quote spelding’s link to the RSPB website:

‘Swans normally find enough food in the wild without supplementary feeding. It is only in freezing weather that extra food can be helpful’.

Wild is the key word here to describe our ducks/swans etc. We surely want these birds to remain so and not be domesticated or tamed by us?

So… please don’t feed the birds Joe and educate others to take the same stance.

Just for the record spelding is not my identical twin sister, just someone who shares my point of view!

And to reiterate feeding can cause:

In the environment:
Water pollution
Ugly despoilation of areas
Expensive cleansing & management
Use of unnatural sites

In wildfowl:
Loss of ability to fly
Aggressive behaviour
Increased hybridisation
Heart/liver disease
Poor nutrition
Delayed migration

Anonymous said...

Once a week I like to buy the Swan family six fish suppers. Should I go on allowing them to have salt and vinegar on their meal or would brown sauce be safer?

Graisg said...

Swanman hisses back...
Another wee note from Joe for Iright (and with that the Gurn closes this subject)...
'It is common knowledge to most that the island was created, In the hope that the Swans would nest on it ... luckily they did choose to build there. I was moved by the tragedy that happened to our resident swan pair last year, and wanted to enhance the chances of the Swans having a permanent nesting area... without an annual battle over the territory resulting in more dead swans ! ( you know how i want to boost the numbers).I merely made use of what was already in existence, and begging for someone to get on and do it ! To date, you seem to be the only person to have a problem with that ! I suppose you have some objection to me getting the hydro board to put discs on the powerline that killed our previous cob as well...or was that good human intervention on my part? SEPA had no objections and were only concerned with any possible pollution aspects for which they sent me guidelines.These guidelines for the plant operator were rigorously adhered to.The regions Inverness contamination unit was also involved and did a thorough inspection of the site before it was approved. Unlike yourself i am a realist and dont believe you could stop people feeding the birds...much better to point out how, what, when and where to do it. Dont think for one minute that these birds are tame..they most certainly are not...tolerant yes...tame no. Sorry Irate...I believe this whole debate has been engineered by someone who is as green as they are cabbage looking.'