The Third Ladybird Book of British Birds – #8 The Whitethroat

I’m currently reading the third volume of the Ladybird Book of British Birds and their nests from the 1950s.

The Third Ladybird Book of British Birds-7476

Times have changed:

Whitethroat - Ladybird Book of British Birds

“England”? They also come to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. They’re here to breed in the brief period we have enough insects to sustain them. They live most of the year in the Sahel, south of the Sahara desert. If there’s a drought there our population can crash, as it did in the late 1960s when 75% of the population failed to make it back to the UK.

Whitethroat - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

It’s an 11,000km round trip with two crossings of the Sahara desert a year.

I like the name Nettle-Creeper as it’s very descriptive. I dislike the Ladbybird book’s insistence that Whitethroats are ‘useful’. Birds are useful to themselves and there’s no obligation upon them to be useful to us. However, since we became sentient it’s incumbent upon us to be useful to the rest of the natural world.

Whitethroat - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Here’s a Whitethroat singing. According to the book, there should be a ‘flimsy affair’ nearby.

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