Country: Nature Notes
Saturday 24 April 1999
A bird's nest is an amazingly strong structure: the cup, in the centre of a mass of sticks, is lined with dried mud, and a dome of twigs raised above it protects the sitting hen from predators such as peregrine falcons.
Each bird generally lays four or five eggs, green mottled with brown, but research has shown that, the better the territory, the larger the clutch is liable to be.
Magpies rob the nests of smaller birds, taking the eggs and chicks in order to feed their own broods. But the British Trust for Ornithology points out that magpies are only seasonal predators, and claims that, although their numbers have trebled over the past 20 years, they are not to blame for the general decline of songbirds in this country.
Their population increase is due - at least in part - to the fact that such a great number of wild animals and birds are killed on the roads: accidents provide them with fresh carrion every single day of the year.
Arts & Ents blogs
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- 2 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 3 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
- 4 Homer Simpson takes the ALS ice bucket challenge because of course he does
- 5 Hello Kitty is not a cat after all
Great British Bake Off, episode 4, review: Heat gets turned up as Iain goes into meltdown
Great British Bake Off 2014: Diana Beard quits due to illness
Homer Simpson takes the ALS ice bucket challenge because of course he does
Friends reunion: Jennifer Anniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox perform mini sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo, gig review: Just what everyone was hoping for
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
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