Farming family's anguish as 220 lambs taken by sea eagles

Dry Rot

Livestock Farmer
What a surprise! As someone who has trained and flown all the birds of prey commonly used in falconry in the UK, I can confirm that most predators will quickly become habituated to taking prey that they find both easy and palatable.

I cannot for the life of me understand how reasonably intelligent people would believe that a large predatory bird would NOT take lambs if it was able to do so. There are serious mental health issues involved here -- and I am not referring to the birds or the sheep farmers!
I have read (and I think posted on another thread somewhere on here) that in Norway sheep farmers are giving up sheep on the mountains due to Wolves, then I came across another article saying that birch are re growing in the hills in Norway and this is causing global warming, I think the Wolves/Birches are related. I wonder if the same will end up happening in the Scottish hills due to Sea Eagles. Exactly the type of thing I would imagine happening when conservationists get involved with anything. In my opinion a lot of conservationists/ecologists are a disaster waiting to happen to OTHER PEOPLES PROPERTY.


Livestock Farmer

I went for a walk round the ewes yesterday afternoon, needn't have bothered, my good neighbour had been round before me, 1 crop ewe that was fighting fit last week....

Dry Rot

Livestock Farmer
Back in the 16th century, falconry was a good way to source game meat (no guns back then). That was before the Enclosure Acts so hunters had free range over a countryside thinly populated by small farms. Having your hawk "royl" away after domestic chickens on free range was a serious problem. They cured that by sprinkling something obnoxious (pepper) over a fresh kill to convince the bird that chickens didn't taste very nice and were not worth killing. I kept my own hawks on a tether system which didn't work so well with my free range poultry. I tried the pepper cure. It worked and my hens survived in harmony with the hawks! But I'm not sure it would work with sheep and eagles.

A similar trick was tried in Canada to discourage coyotes from predating sheep. They distributed pieces of mutton laced with lithium chloride (the antabuse drug). Initially it worked. The coyotes stopped killing sheep because eating mutton made them sick. Then the penny dropped and the coyotes discovered that it was safe to eat fresh mutton and it was only the cold dead baits that caused sickness. Then the killing really started!
Wedgtail eagles always kill a few here but I don’t loose a lot of lambs.
Some areas are a lot worse.
I heard of someone counting 60 Wedgtail eagles in his paddock of lambing ewes.
I suspect plenty got shot, which is illegal.


I remember,several years ago,seeing an article where they were introducing sea eagles to some coast line in Wales I think.The environmentalists assured the farmers that the eagles would not take any lambs as it was not their natural prey.A few years later there were plenty of photos and videos circulating that showed the eagles taking lambs.It is,indeed,a big worry that these supposedly intelligent people get it so wrong on many occasions.
I can't quite remember where or when this happened so stand to be corrected on the finer detail.


Livestock Farmer
It is,indeed,a big worry that these supposedly intelligent people get it so wrong on many occasions.

They don't get it wrong, they don't care! They pay lip service until they get what they want. Then the first thing is "it's a newly learnt behaviour in a local population", how fascinating. Not one of them will ever admit that predators will always take the easiest option. Released birds havn't learnt from parents as they are taken as chicks from nests, so it is undeniably instinctive


In my opinion a lot of conservationists/ecologists are a disaster waiting to happen to OTHER PEOPLES PROPERTY.

The problem is that they've got no skin in the game. They do not have to pay (figuratively or literally) for their repeated screw ups. They just move on to their next grand scheme with their hands stretched out for yet more taxpayer's cash.

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