19 OCTOBER 1929, Page 14


Last week, two or three days after writing that I had found no birds, save a single thrush, killed by the new electric wires, I. came upon two partridges killed dead, one actually decapitated _by a new line of wires. But the birds in general grow wise by experience. It was noticed that coveys flying over these same wires (which have not been installed more than six months or so) invariably rose over the top. The danger that bigger birds may be electrocuted by spanning the distance between two live wires or between the ironwork and a live conductor has been foreseen ; and proper precautions taken by the companies. Apart from humanity, they would be liable to lose a great deal of money by such short-circuiting, which might divert the county supply for hours. One or two instances have occurred in the past, even in England, but the most elaborate means of prevention have been found necessary in countries where very big birds are common, such as storks. One would expect that those tame and attractive cranes, called " native companions," would be the most likely victims in Australia, as the storks undoubtedly are in Palestine. Generally on this subject there is still need in Britain for a much wider distribution of the corks, which the Post Office are ready to affix to telegraph wires over reaches where the need is greatest.