I was writing an article to inform you that Britain's most successful bird of
prey, the buzzard, was to become the subject of a £400,000 research project
that would primarily wipe out their nests and capture adult birds on sporting
estates when Richard Benyon, the Wildlife Minister, announced a Government
U-turn and gave the birds a reprieve.
Buzzards are the UK's most widespread bird of prey. They mainly scavenge for
dead rabbits and other carrion but will take young chicks and eggs,
particularly of pheasants. Why pheasants? Because they are so plentiful.
40 million or so are bred every year, released into the 'wild' but survive on
food given to them to provide game in the autumn shooting season. Buzzards
are a conservation success story. Until the mid 1990s there were no buzzards
in Suffolk. Now. particularly in the west of the county, there are breeding
Cover, issue 189