Hare-rais­ing proof of buz­zard abun­dance — in our gar­dens

Shooting Times & Country Magazine - - CONTENTS -

I had just fin­ished read­ing the let­ter about buz­zards (Let­ters, 9 Au­gust) when my eyes were drawn to a hare lol­lop­ing across the back lawn. It sud­denly be­gan to act in an ag­i­tated man­ner, at which point a buz­zard swooped down on it. Though it made con­tact, the hare was able to take suf­fi­cient eva­sive ac­tion to es­cape.

I have sus­pected for some time that the pro­lif­er­a­tion of buz­zards is hav­ing an ad­verse ef­fect on game birds and hares, which un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally have taken to skulk­ing along hedgerows rather than open ground. Only this morn­ing I dis­turbed what ap­peared to be po­ten­tially a sim­i­lar at­tack pos­si­bly be­tween the same buz­zard and hare. Said buz­zard was clearly stalk­ing while the hare was look­ing for a suit­able op­por­tu­nity to strike. I sus­pect it is only a mat­ter of time be­fore the hare’s luck runs out.

This will be most dis­ap­point­ing as in 15 years of liv­ing here, it is the first year that we have main­tained a cou­ple of breed­ing hares.

Con­versely buz­zards, hav­ing no natural preda­tor, are in abun­dance. I fear they are in dan­ger of tip­ping the natural bal­ance in their favour. A. Har­ri­son, by email

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