Page:Bird Life Throughout the Year (Salter, 1913).djvu/273

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wilder hilly districts towards the Welsh border, or parts of the Midlands or North Country too industrial to allow of successful game-preserving, these predominate, and their overflow population restocks the low country with hawks and ground-vermin. Amongst the Welsh uplands the carrion-crow almost replaces the rook, and may be seen in bands thirty strong. It is a curious fact that round London and each of our large cities there is a zone in which pheasant -rearing is impossible, and where, in consequence, such birds as the crow, magpie, jay and brown -owl are particularly numerous. Only careful observers, who are early abroad, know what a large variety of birds find shelter in the London parks.

From what has been said it might be inferred that game-preserving fosters the favoured few at the expense of dealing death and destruction all around. This is far from being the case; with more justice it may be likened to the arm of the law which descends with crushing force on the evil-doer while promoting the happiness and security of the general public. Myriads of small birds, such as the various warblers, breed in safety in the game-covers, protected from intruders and from the attacks of their natural enemies. The mistle-thrush affords a case in point; it has greatly increased in numbers owing to its habit of nesting in the plantations. Comparison with the state of things which prevails upon the Continent brings