Across the Pond Bird Follies, Vids

January 12, 2012 | By | Reply More


Ah the UK, the land that gave the world 17 pieces of silverware on the table, animal rights and other questionable stuff. Okay, it wasn’t all bad – that’s where our bird hunting came from too.

But it’s different here…or there, depending on your perspective. Here’s some recent bird news plus some interesting vids.

Katie Chickens Out

Kate Middleton, the Duchess of whatever she wants, recently elected to forego the royals’ traditional driven pheasant shoot. Why? Get this: A letter from peta! Which said in part:

Those [birds] who [who?!] are not killed outright during shoots have their necks wrung, which does not cause an instant death. Some wounded birds are never recovered and are left to slowly bleed to death. If you do know, may I ask, “Do you not care?”

This was after 250 pheasants, ducks and partridge were ordered up for a birthday shoot for Prince Harry. We need to get that guy over here for some Serious bird hunting….

Here’s a taste of what the Duchess missed.

Wants to Shoot 2K Grouse/Yr

From here:

Alistair Erskine says he took over 11,000 acres of moorland at Castle Grant, near Grantown-on-Spey, on the understanding he would be able to shoot 2000 grouse a year.

After nearly five years, and after £530,000 of investments, he says he has only bagged 360 birds.

Mr Erskine, who owns Edinbrugh Smoked Salmon Company and Summer Isles Foods, wants £1m in damages and for the 15-year lease to be scrapped.

We know that’s a bunch of money, but how about a little due diligence beforehand, like…math?

We’re not experts on red grouse, black grouse and whatever other grouse are over there, but 2,000 birds/year probably means at least 5,000 birds on that property, which is an average of 1 bird every 2.2 acres. Sounds pretty dense to us.

Make That 10K/Yr

On the other hand we have a situation where a wealthy gent took his 20,000-care grousin’ estate off the market after it produced 5,000 brace of grouse (10,000 total) this year. Wow! More here.


If a plant professor has his way, the great Scottish grouse moors will be reforested. Excerpts from here:

He says the moorland used for grouse shooting currently “make no realistic contribution” to the economy and replacing them with trees would “mop up” carbon.

“Grouse shooting makes no realistic contribution to theUKeconomy. It’s a preferred benefit for a rather select few individuals who happen to be the owners of large tracts of unproductive land.

“Planting trees in an economic and biological context, that context being carbon dioxide sequestration, it is a far more preferable enterprise.”

Outraged landowners have called Read’s claims that grouse shooting is unprofitable “wildly inaccurate.”

[Landowners] said that…grouse shooting raised millions for the economy. A 2010 report by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust found that £23million is raised annually by the sport. Additionally 1,072 full-time jobs are created by grouse shooting.

And here it says that this season alone grouse shooting in Scotland generated “more than £30 million for the rural economy since the Glorious 12th of August” [when the grouse season starts].

Roadkill Pheasant Rocks

This British gal eats roadkill, and loves roadkilled pheasants. Here’s part of a brief article:

Q: We have to know—how did you start eating roadkill?

Alison Brierley: I first ate a piece of roadkill when a friend hit it about eight years ago on the way home from work. It just bounced off the car and it landed, and I thought, “I’m going to check that.” When I went out it was dead, luckily. I just thought, “I’m going to eat it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. It’s exactly the same bird you’d get at the butcher’s minus all the lead shot.” So I took it home, prepared it, and it was fantastic. Then five years ago I started eating roadkill regularly and experimenting more and learning more of the taxidermy side of things for my artwork.

Q: And what was that first animal?

Alison Brierley: A pheasant.

> A vid of her cooking one such phez is here (can’t be embedded).

Our Take

Some (all?) of this sounds kind of silly, but hey, bird hunting makes the major papers there, in the news sections, apparently pretty regularly. Wish that happened here.


Category: Pheasants, Red grouse, UK

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