Connecting for Nature

A Biodiversity Partnership for Ryedale, Scarborough and the Howardian Hills

Springtime – the season of life and death

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Inspired by a deceased Common Shrew at Brompton, here’s a blog musing on springtime mortality

A little bit of wild...

At this time of year, life and death are often very near at hand. While we see plants growing in fecund profusion and birds’ frenetic activity feeding hungry chicks from dawn until dusk, look around and I am sure you will see mortality too, like this shrew I came across on a footpath or a blackbird squished on the road, so intent on the biological imperative to deliver worms to clamorous offspring in the nest that any road-sense or caution evaporates.

In recent weeks I have seen a young rook, dead on the ground beneath a tall ash tree, presumably having fallen from the nest; and another not far away which had made it safely to the ground, hunched and vulnerable among the bluebells. Did it succumb to a local cat or hide long enough to fledge? These are daily and eternal struggles of this season of life and death.

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Author: Tim Burkinshaw

I work in ecology and biodiversity in North Yorkshire. I'm often found outdoors snapping nature and landscapes or spotting birds. In the garden I enjoy having my hands in the earth and striving for the perfect mix of greens and browns in my compost! As a Daddy I'm used to endless questions about the world around us, and generally have an answer up my sleeve for most things. If you spot me and my hat in real life or on social media do say hello!

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