By David Whitby
Sunday, 17 July 2011
Q) While out walking I found several undamaged pheasant eggs removed from a nest. Two were lying in short grass and one was not far from a feeder. What animal or bird is removing these eggs and leaving them without so much as a crack? J. KINGSWELL Surrey
A) The answer is that, almost certainly, a hen pheasant was responsible. Even wild pheasants have a poor track record when it comes to breeding and it is not uncommon to find eggs dropped anywhere, even in other birds’ nests, cuckoo- fashion. This habit also includes wild grey partridges, a practice that did not endear them to the old-time partridge keepers. I recall my grandfather, many years ago, fi nding a nest on Snettisham Beach with 40 pheasant and grey partridge eggs. This trait is not confined to pheasants and partridges. Over the years I have found starling, sparrow and mallard eggs all laid where the birds had been feeding.
BASC in Northern Ireland is calling on the Department of Agriculture a... Read more
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