Many types of gull

Re A Rosbottom’s letter concerning various ornithological matters.

Despite what it may say in the Concise Oxford Dictionary, there is no such single species as a “seagull” - any bird book will list the many types under their correct name - fact!

Neither is it disputed, by myself nor others, that birds of prey kill and eat other birds and animals - that is their role in nature - fact!

A gamekeeper’s job is mainly ensuring the unnaturally high numbers of game species for the benefit of the shooting fraternity. In the past, and to some extent, in the present day, they have been responsible for the demise of some of our birds of prey, such as the hen harrier - fact! Having said that, I understand that more and more are becoming enlightened and accepting that raptors have a place in the natural scheme of things.

I am not sure where Mr Rosbottom is coming from when he claims that lions and tigers have ever been classified as “pests” for culling. I accept that both of these big cats will be killed if proved to be maneaters - but pests?

He claims that “thousands of pounds of racing pigeons are returning to their lofts half eaten by raptors.” If this gem happens to be true, then the skies would seem to be awash with all these thousands of half-pigeons all making their way home. The mind boggles as to how half a bird would ever get off the ground, let alone actually fly. Unless, of course, the uneaten half was the bit which included the wings.

My assumption is, that Mr Rosbottom is a pigeon fancier, given that he obviously reads the pigeon fraternity’s publications. That then, would explain his extreme antipathy towards birds of prey.

Trisha Scott

West Park Terrace