Humble cuckoo, latest UK bird victim
by Alan Harten
May 28, 2009
It seems one too many birds may have flown over the cuckoo’s nest, as the cuckoo is now a member of the UK’s red list which contains the birds who are considered close to extinction.
The cuckoo, which is historically a summer migratory bird, has dropped severely in numbers each season and by almost 37% within the past 15 years.
Conservationists are alarmed in general about the amount of birds that have made the red list in the last few years, as 52 or 21% of birds that are regularly assessed by the RSPB have now made the threatened species list.
In fact, 12 species have been added to the list in just the last seven years which is a 16% increase.
Even common birds such as the sparrow and song thrush are now on the list as they have seen their numbers drop by almost half in the last few years along with other members of the threatened list.
On the flip side, several birds including the woodlark, bullfinch, reedbunting, quail, and stone curlew have been taken off the red list and placed on the ‘amber’ list as their populations increased.
Thus it appears that the decreasing populations may only affect migratory birds, most of which usually spend winters in sub-Saharan Africa.
Scientists are not yet sure why the cuckoo and the other new additions are declining in population although RSPB’s Grahame Madge stated that changes in habitat between Africa and the UK and along their migratory route may play a role.
Lack of food may also be a problem as insects, which many of the birds depend on for food, are also on the decline in the UK.
Also, in the case of the cuckoo, as it lays its eggs in other bird’s nests, it may simply be feeling the effect of the demise of other bird populations, meaning there are not sufficient breeding grounds available.
Discuss this in the Fair Home Forums
Related posts to "Humble cuckoo, latest UK bird victim":
- Endangered bird list continues to grow
- NY plans bird cull against air disasters
- Daddy long legs latest creature to ‘disappear’
No Comments »
No comments yet.
Leave a comment
Previous: « Cities are key site for climate battle
Next: ‘On the go’ recycling for London’s commuters »
Visited 5377 times, 1 so far today