News & comment
Organochlorine pesticides and birds In the second paper in our series to mark the research interests of Stanley Cramp, Ian Newton looks at the impact of pesticides on birds over the past 50 years or so. His paper summarises the way in which the organochlorine pesticides affected both individuals and populations, and describes how patterns of recovery followed the control and withdrawal of the pesticides involved. Some more recent problems with pesticides are also described.
Avian drop-catch play: a review Repeated dropping-and-catching of non-food objects by birds in flight has been recorded in over 25 bird species, of which raptors, gulls and corvids are the most well represented groups. The evidence suggests that, for most species and in most situations, the behaviour is play. It may also serve as physical training and practice of motor skills, while a few reports indicate that drop-catching might also be used in courtship display.
Autumn raptor migration over Malta Raptor migration in Malta has been monitored regularly in recent years from Buskett, a wooded garden in the southwest of the island. Observations in autumn have long pointed to the relative importance of Malta for migrating raptors crossing the central Mediterranean. In recent years, systematic observations have shown that raptor migration occurs on a considerably larger scale than has been reported previously.
Obituaries Geoffrey Matthews, Derek Yalden
Notes and letters Breeding Baillon’s Crakes, Population estimates of birds, Thrushes on Holy Islands, White-tailed Laurel Pigeons
Reviews, Recent reports and Talking point complete the April issue.
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