Editor’s Letter

  • Editor’s letter March 21

    Editor’s letter March 21

    19th March 2018

    THE DEVIL ISN’T in the background. It’s in the guidelines. Readers wishing to learn more about DEFRA’s proposed Animal Activities Licence (AAL) can check out what’s in the public domain, for instance the Next Steps document referred to in our…

  • Editor’s letter March 14

    Editor’s letter March 14

    12th March 2018

    LIOCICHLAS ARE IN vogue. On February 14 I wrote briefly about one of these delightful softbill species, and this week on page 15 Chris Green shares his experience of a second: the Emei Shan or Omei Shan liocichla or babbler,…

  • Editor’s letter March 7

    Editor’s letter March 7

    5th March 2018

    TRAVELLING, ARRIVING, BEING at the sale, whizzing back home… my recent trip to the international sale at Zwolle in Holland was a blur, or rather like one of those time-lapse videos where a massive herd of wildebeest crosses the Serengeti…

  • Editor’s letter February 28

    Editor’s letter February 28

    26th February 2018

    ON PAGE 16, zoologist Paul Donovan offers the first of three articles which tackle the tricky but intriguing subject of bird relationships and names. In fact “intriguing” doesn’t cover it: to its keenest devotees, taxonomy is literally, I believe, an…

  • Editor’s letter February 21

    Editor’s letter February 21

    19th February 2018

    THE DEFRA WEBSITE reminds me of one of those ingenious parrot toys where you conceal lots of treats so that your companion bird is encouraged to search methodically for every tiny reward. Exercises the left lobe of the brain, or…

  • Editor’s letter February 14

    Editor’s letter February 14

    12th February 2018

    THE BUTCHER BIRD, or red-backed shrike/Should not be trusted with your bike/The pump and lights he whips away/And takes the spokes to spike his prey.” Relax, it’s not true! Still, the comic fragment by poet James Fenton does capture something…

  • Editor’s letter February 7

    Editor’s letter February 7

    5th February 2018

    THIS WEEK WE introduce one of the most dazzling characters ever featured in Cage & Aviary Birds: the cock Brazilian tanager, which is a recent addition to Gary Bralsford’s birdroom (see page 16). The Ramphocelus tanagers of Central and South…

  • Editor’s letter January 31

    Editor’s letter January 31

    29th January 2018

    REMEMBER THE MYSTERY photo I flagged up last year (Letters, August 23)? It was the first of the three at the foot of this page, showing an unidentified trio of Border judges plus the late Border great Alec Atkin. Our…

  • Editor’s letter January 24

    Editor’s letter January 24

    22nd January 2018

    BIRD FLU IS back, and DEFRA has proclaimed all of England a Prevention Zone. Fifteen lovely wild mute swans at the Swannery at Abbotsbury in Dorset (plus a goose and a duck) were diagnosed with H5N6 flu last week, then…

  • Editor’s letter January 17

    Editor’s letter January 17

    16th January 2018

    MY BROTHER IS a resolute follower of local-league football, of which there is an inexhaustible diversity across the Midlands where he lives. On one occasion he attended a particular club’s home fixture for the first time. In the stands (or stand),…