经济学人:鸟类数量锐减 是天灾还是人为?
日期:2016-10-25 08:46



Britain Bird numbers
英国 鸟类数量
Out of the woods
Good news on the bird population—but not for everyone
City Slicker
British birdwatchers are used to bad news. House sparrow numbers have fallen from an estimated 30m to 10m since 1966. Curlews have become a rare sight, their numbers plummeting by 50% in 15 years. Cuckoos, once-frequent visitors from Africa, have declined by 63% in the south-east in the past two decades. Earlier springs that confuse migratory birds, more efficient farming and the conversion of dilapidated buildings (good for nesting) into modern homes have all contributed to these woes.


But data released by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), a research charity, suggest some are soaring. Tracking bird populations by means of regular surveys, the figures give the clearest picture yet of 49 species acrossBritain.
Blackcaps, small woodland birds native to Germany and eastern Europe, are lingering after their summer sojourns: since 1967 numbers have increased by 177%. The little egret, a white heron-like bird, arrived from continental Europein 1989 and now numbers over 5,000. Wood pigeons, once found shyly cooing in forests, have boldly moved into cities and suburbs.
黑顶林莺是来自德国和东欧地区的一种小型林栖鸟,在它们的夏季之旅后仍然流连忘返。自1967年以来,它们的数量增加了177%。小白鹭,一种白色的鹭科鸟类1989年从欧洲大陆而来,现在它们的数量已经突破5000. 原先只敢在树林里低吟浅唱的斑尾林鸽已经勇敢地迁移到了城市和郊区。
Environmental and agricultural changes have helped as well as disoriented birds. Modern farming techniques allow grain to be sown in the autumn rather than the spring; that helps wood pigeons feed in winter. Warmer winters mean rivers and ponds are less likely to freeze, providing the little egrets with food. James Pearce-Higgins of the BTO says that blackcaps benefit particularly from the increasing popularity of berry bushes (such as rowan and yew) in people’s gardens.
These species and others benefit from the British love of bird feeders. “I would be amazed if anyone feeds garden birds inEuropeas much as we do,” says Stephen Moss, a nature writer. First sold in 1964 by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), a charity with over1mmembers, bird feeders took off in the 1990s when food such as sunflower hearts and nyjer seeds became widely available and the RSPB began to encourage people to feed birds throughout the year. (The bird tables found in other northern European countries, such as Finland and Germany, tend to be stocked only during the winter.) In 1987 only 17 species availed themselves of British feeders; these days 86 do.
Birders grouse nonetheless. Some of the species prospering, such as carrion crows and buzzards, are disliked. And migratory birds that extend their visits may provide competition for some avian natives. They are “muscling in and getting the first claim on breeding sites”, says Richard Cowser of the Sussex Ornithological Society. Like their human counterparts, residents of a small island buffeted by global winds, British birds will have to learn to compete.
然而怨声随之而起。一些不遭人喜欢的鸟也开始泛滥,比如食腐乌鸦和秃鹰。同时,逗留时间更长的候鸟也可能对一些本土鸟产生竞争。据苏塞克斯鸟类学社团的理查德 考瑟所说,它们“强势插入,占领繁殖地。”就如它们的人类伙伴一样,小岛上的居民被全球风席卷。英国的鸟类要学会竞争。翻译:袁航



1.tend to 趋向;注意

例句:In our culture we tend to be bashful about our talents and skills.

2.bird feeder 喂鸟器

例句:Enjoying nature can be as simple as taking a walk in the woods or putting up a bird feeder.

3.benefit from 从...受益

例句:A stammering child can benefit from speech therapy.

4.moved into 移居;迁入

例句:Venus, the Sun and Earth all moved into line.

  • grousen. 松鸡 n. 牢骚 vi. 埋怨,发牢骚
  • protectionn. 保护,防卫
  • globaladj. 全球性的,全世界的,球状的,全局的
  • carrionn. 腐肉 adj. 腐肉的,以腐肉为生的
  • nonethelessadv. 尽管如此(仍然)
  • tendv. 趋向,易于,照料,护理
  • rareadj. 稀罕的,稀薄的,罕见的,珍贵的 adj. 煎得
  • migratoryadj. 迁移的,流浪的
  • competitionn. 比赛,竞争,竞赛
  • charityn. 慈善,慈善机关(团体), 仁慈,宽厚