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TITLE
Conserving the corncrake (2 of 7)
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_CORNCRAKE_02
PERIOD
1980s
CREATOR
unknown
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
1873
KEYWORDS
ornithology
crofting
conservation
audio
RSPB

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Once common throughout Britain, in 1993 the corncrake was on the brink of extinction in Scotland with a mere 470 calling birds. The R.S.P.B.'s Corncrake Initiative, set up in 1993, makes payments available to crofters and farmers with corncrakes on their land to manage their hay or silage fields sensitively for the birds. Ten years on, the scheme has proved to be successful with a 73% increase overall in the number of calling males recorded. Today, corncrakes are confined largely to the Hebrides, with small populations in Orkney and the extreme north and west of mainland Scotland.

This audio recording was made prior to the Corncrake Initiative being set up. In it, a R.S.P.B. representative outlines some of the problems with identifying the corncrake's habitat.

'I found that the birds that are dependant on rather small patches of iris, the 'seilisdear' as it's known in Gaelic, they tend to, or appear to move, from one patch to another over quite a considerable distance, but a bird in a hay field, in a rich hay field will - I've seen pairs, a calling bird with its mate - and they've been limited to a very small area; they don't seem to move very much. But it is very difficult to interpret what we, what we find out from just counting, mapping calling birds. For a start, the females do call as well so we're sure, even sure that that bird that is calling is a territorial male that has a mate nesting nearby, but by and large I think that's near enough the truth'

Image Copyright - Sergey Yeliseev. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.

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Conserving the corncrake (2 of 7)

1980s

ornithology; crofting; conservation; audio; RSPB

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Bill Sinclair Audio: Conserving the Corncrake

Once common throughout Britain, in 1993 the corncrake was on the brink of extinction in Scotland with a mere 470 calling birds. The R.S.P.B.'s Corncrake Initiative, set up in 1993, makes payments available to crofters and farmers with corncrakes on their land to manage their hay or silage fields sensitively for the birds. Ten years on, the scheme has proved to be successful with a 73% increase overall in the number of calling males recorded. Today, corncrakes are confined largely to the Hebrides, with small populations in Orkney and the extreme north and west of mainland Scotland. <br /> <br /> This audio recording was made prior to the Corncrake Initiative being set up. In it, a R.S.P.B. representative outlines some of the problems with identifying the corncrake's habitat.<br /> <br /> 'I found that the birds that are dependant on rather small patches of iris, the 'seilisdear' as it's known in Gaelic, they tend to, or appear to move, from one patch to another over quite a considerable distance, but a bird in a hay field, in a rich hay field will - I've seen pairs, a calling bird with its mate - and they've been limited to a very small area; they don't seem to move very much. But it is very difficult to interpret what we, what we find out from just counting, mapping calling birds. For a start, the females do call as well so we're sure, even sure that that bird that is calling is a territorial male that has a mate nesting nearby, but by and large I think that's near enough the truth'<br /> <br /> Image Copyright - Sergey Yeliseev. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.