2 JUNE 1939, Page 19

The Birds' Trust Lovers of birds do not, I think,

nourish a sufficient interest in the British Trust for Ornithology. It was formed only four years ago, and has done everything well, except perhaps its own publicity. Societies of course are numerous; on the whole, too numerous; and we have the R.S.P.B. and the Bird Watchers ; and the best bird district in England has been marvelously preserved by the Norfolk Naturalists' Trust. Nevertheless, the more general Trust has shown in its open- ing years how much work of particular interest has not been touched by the R.S.P.B. and other organisations. Its Fifth Report (which can be had by application to the Trust at the Zoological Society of London, N.W.8) is full of evidence of beneficent and scientific activity. The surveys concern the topographer almost as nearly as the ornithologist. In the latest nothing is more suggestive than the influence of afforestation on the population of birds. That most hospitable of all trees, the oak, attracts birds in as salient a degree as that un-English tree, the conifer, discourages them. Birds are some ten times as numerous in oaken districts as among firs and pines, though perhaps the contrast would be less in those few favoured districts where the crossbill nests or feeds.

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