3 FEBRUARY 1956, Page 29


The local migration of birds is, I always feel, a subject Upon which we never seem to have enough information. Quite plainly large num- bers of birds move about in their own locality, feeding in particular fields or in woods where they are not found at other times. The fact that they are sometimes missing for considerable Periods does not mean that they have left the country or gone to the other end of it. A great (leal depends on weather conditions which affect food supply. Migration out of the country is connected with the weather and ,Tovements that are more or less local are, I 'ink, prompted by winds from colder parts. I Think that when we know more about the local tovements of birds we may know more about local weather, for although humans may be 4„11' sensitive to slight changes, the birds are not. Inc greatest obstacle to keeping track of birds 's, finding a way of marking and recapturing them. Ringing involves finding the nests and keeping a reliable record of exactly what has L"een done. This sort of thing would, of course, yt,F work for an army of amateur naturalists and ,,Ird-watchers, something that might become Part of a school curriculum with much more appeal than irregular verbs.