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"British Wildlife is the pulsating heart of the UK nature conservation movement"

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"Packed with readable, thoughtful, up to date articles; written by ecologists and naturalists for ecologists and naturalists"

Nick Baker, Presenter and Naturalist

From issue:   Issue:   British Wildlife 29.3 February 2018

Seeds and seed-eating birds: casualties of agricultural change

By - Ian Newton

Large mixed flocks of seed-eating birds used to be common on farmland, but they are now an increasingly rare sight. Changes in agricultural practices have greatly reduced populations of arable weeds, and this has been bad news not only for the plant species involved, but also for the birds that feed on their seeds. Ian Newton explains why seeds have been lost from the farmed countryside, and describes the effect that this has had on bird populations.

Among the various farmland birds that have declined in Britain over recent decades are the small seed-eaters that feed largely on the seeds of farmland weeds. The widespread use of herbicides, especially on arable land, has by now removed many broadleaved weeds from most of our fields, and has steadily depleted the seed bank in the soil.

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"British Wildlife is the pulsating heart of the UK nature conservation movement."

Matthew Oates, National Trust

"The most important and informative publication on wildlife of our times"

Michael McCarthy, The Independent

"Packed with readable, thoughtful, up to date articles; written by ecologists and naturalists for ecologists and naturalists"

Nick Baker, Presenter and Naturalist