21 October 1998
Magpies not guilty for death of dawn chorus

INTENSIVE agriculture – rather than predators such as magpies – is to blame for the disappearance of several species of bird from the English countryside.

The list of victims includes chaffinches, robins, skylarks and tits.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds carried out the research which cost £30,000.

The study found no link between rising or falling songbird numbers at sites, and the rising or falling numbers of predators. It scotches the commonly-held belief that magpies and sparrowhawks have been responsible.

  • The Times 21/10/98 page 3
  • The Herald 21/10/98 page 13