The Story of Pecky, the Young Green Woodpecker, Could Be a Moneyspinner

The story of Pecky, the young green woodpecker, could be a moneyspinner. I’ll have to change the odd detail, it’s true – make it less tragic and more heartwarming.

Ever since I was a child, I’d always yearned to see a green woodpecker. With its scarlet cap and lime-green body, it looks far too colourful and exotic to be a native species. But it very much is, as you can tell from the fact that it has a rustic nickname — the yaffle.

This, incidentally, is how Professor Yaffle — the carved wooden bookend which comes to life as a drily academic woodpecker, the ‘font of all knowledge’, apparently based on Bertrand Russell — in the 1970s children’s TV series Bagpuss got his name.

But I digress. The point is, I never did get to see a green woodpecker till my mid–forties when I moved to the country. They’re so common round us that I spot them every time I go for a walk, identifiable by their loud, urgent, laughing call, their swooping flight pattern and the green on their back which looks more like yellow in sunlight. Only when you’re lucky, though, do you get to see them up close — like the other day when I found one trapped by the anti-rabbit fence in the back garden.

At first I thought it was a mature bird which had been wounded by the cat. But on closer examination it turned out to be a fledgling. They’re nearly as big as the adults and have the same colouring, only it’s speckled rather than solid. This, our resident ornithologist Lee told me, is so rival adult birds don’t attack it. The speckles say: ‘Leave him alone, he’s only a kid.’

Obviously the fledgling couldn’t fly or it would have escaped. So I quickly went to retrieve it before the cat discovered it. Because he pecked me a lot with his long sharp beak when I picked him up, I decided to call him Pecky.

Read the rest in the Spectator.

RIP Stefan the Stork – One of 30 Million Birds Killed by Wind Farms Every Year

Though I’ve given him a name – Stefan – I think we can safely predict that his ugly and entirely unnecessary demise won’t generate nearly the same level of public outrage as did Cecil the Lion‘s. Or even Finsly the Tiger Shark’s.

That’s because, as Stalin might have put it, the killing of one mammal by a white, middle-class male is a tragedy. But the massacre of millions of birds (and bats) every year by greenies who say they’re doing it because they really care about the environment is a statistic.

Just how many of the world’s avian fauna are killed every year by bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes?

If you believe the conservation group Save The Eagles International, then the annual global death toll is jaw-dropping.

But this is shy of reality by a factor of ten, because 90% of casualties land outside the search perimeter and are not counted. We are thus really talking about an unsustainable death toll of 30 million birds and 50 million bats a year – and more still if we factor in other hide-the-mortality tricks documented by STEI.

But we’re unlikely ever to get an accurate figure because the wind industry takes such pains to cover up this embarrassing data. For example, last year, PacificCorp – an energy company which operates at least 13 wind energy facilities in three US states – sued the US Interior Department to prevent it releasing to the media the figures on how many birds have been found dead at its facilities.

Read the rest at Breitbart.