SIRS,–Mr. Dunlop’s interesting article on ” I n c u b a t i o n ” in your last number (Vol. V., p p . 322-7) tends to throw a new light on a n old subject, b u t it seems to me t h a t the writer does n o t distinguish sufficiently between ” standing over the eggs ” and incubation proper. F o r instance, it is the common and normal practice among domestic pigeons for one parent or t h e other to be in constant attendance on t h e nest after the laying of the first egg, b u t incubation does n o t begin until the laying of t h e second egg forty-six hours later, a n d t h e young invariably hatch o u t practically simultaneously. Again, Moor-Hens(Gallinula chloropus) always hatch the whole of their brood a t the same time, and until the whole clutch is laid the eggs are never warm. With> regard to the Grebes, t h e writer seems rather confused. The covering of the eggs b y vegetation is surely a more effective mode of concealment than the bird herself, a n d as the bird has n o special means to drive off” would-be enemies, her presence before incubation commences would be a source of danger rather t h a n of safety. The presence of the parent bird standing over the eggs and thereby concealing them is undoubtedly
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British Birds – how it works
BB 2000 Ltd, the company that owns and publishes British Birds, is run by a board of directors, all of whom are volunteers. The company employs two full time staff – Roger Riddington is the journal’s editor while Hazel Jenner manages subscriptions and administration – and three part-time design/editorial staff.
The company is wholly owned by The British Birds Charitable Trust (BBCT, registered charity no. 1089422). Neither the company directors nor the trustees are paid for their services, providing their time and enthusiasm because they passionately believe in the value of BB. The Company is managed with a view to making a small profit which can be donated to the Trust to help fund its charitable work.
Over the past six years, this, combined with donations from other sources, has enabled the Trust to give almost £70,000 support to a variety of conservation and educational projects ranging from rat eradication on seabird islands to the study of cuckoo migration, as well as assisting young birders develop their interest.
A full list of projects is given here. The Trust is seeking to expand its charitable endeavours and would welcome donations from like-minded organisations and individuals.