By Barnaby Dracup
Thursday, 05 July 2012
Buzzard control argument reopens as Scottish landowner films buzzard predating rare osprey.
Fears have been raised for some of Scotland’s rarest birds after dramatic video footage emerged online of an osprey chick being snatched from its nest by a buzzard.
The video was released by landowner Euan Webster, who maintains round-the-clock video surveillance on the nest, located at Lochter Activity Centre in Aberdeenshire.
Workers and customers at the site say they have been left “shattered” at the loss of the four-week-old chick and now fear for the survival of its remaining sibling.
“This was a shocking act,” Mr Webster said, “and clearly demonstrates why something needs to be done to control buzzards.”
“It cannot be right that the buzzard remains protected yet they swarm over the countryside in large numbers eating prey — including iconic and beautiful birds such as ospreys — at will.”
Mr Webster said that he believed the nest raid counters received opinion from bird experts about buzzard feeding behaviour.”
“Any farmer or shepherd will tell you about the threat from buzzards, yet the powers that be are reluctant to face up to the fact that sooner rather than later measures will have to be put in place to control them.”
“This incident should sound alarm bells among those who care about the conservation of our rarer wild birds in Scotland.”
The half-eaten carcase of the chick was later recovered and will be handed over to the Scottish Government’s official laboratory, Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture, for full analysis.
Commenting on the incident, Scottish Land & Estates chief executive Douglas McAdam said: “While previous reports of such predation have been brushed off by those who do not like the reality of what is happening in the countryside, this video provides the clear and conclusive evidence of the serious impact of the growing population of buzzards.”
“The time has surely come for common sense to prevail and for measures to be introduced to properly protect these wild birds and other species that we value so highly.”
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