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TITLE
Conserving the corncrake (3 of 7)
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_CORNCRAKE_03
PERIOD
1980s
CREATOR
unknown
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
1875
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 recalls the problems in identifying male and female corncrakes.

Interviewer: Now the call that everybody knows, is this the call of the male, the normal 'Aack, Aack, Aack, Aack'? Is that the male only, that gives this call?

'It seems that it's generally the male, but in the sixties at Edinburgh Zoo, they had a couple of corncrakes and they though both of them were males; they were both calling and than all of a sudden one of them laid a full clutch of eggs and so it was quite obvious that the females can call, to quote that occasion at Edinburgh Zoo, as persistently and loudly as the male. So we're a bit stuck, really, on interpreting what's going on or what we are recording by just plotting calling birds'

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

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Conserving the corncrake (3 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 recalls the problems in identifying male and female corncrakes.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Now the call that everybody knows, is this the call of the male, the normal 'Aack, Aack, Aack, Aack'? Is that the male only, that gives this call?<br /> <br /> 'It seems that it's generally the male, but in the sixties at Edinburgh Zoo, they had a couple of corncrakes and they though both of them were males; they were both calling and than all of a sudden one of them laid a full clutch of eggs and so it was quite obvious that the females can call, to quote that occasion at Edinburgh Zoo, as persistently and loudly as the male. So we're a bit stuck, really, on interpreting what's going on or what we are recording by just plotting calling birds'<br /> <br /> Image Copyright - Sergey Yeliseev. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.