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“Where have our birds gone? » this Sunday, June 5 on France 5

“On the front” returns this week with a new number. Why have sparrows disappeared from our cities? Why do we see fewer and fewer birds in the countryside? To save them, you must first understand the reasons for their disappearance. Hugo Clément investigates the threats hanging over our storks, our goldfinches and the most beautiful species that live in France. See you this Sunday, June 5 at 8.55 p.m. on France 5 for an edifying investigation.


© Winter productions

Editorial by Hugo Clément, journalist

Not long ago, witnessing a flight of sparrows was part of everyday life in our city centers. I am struck by the fact that today, when we come across a sparrow in our everyday life, it is a much rarer event. Where did they go? We are all ready to do something to save them… we still need to know why they disappeared.

Does noise prevent our sparrows from breeding? Are they victims of the junk food they find in our garbage cans? Would they have new predators? Do they collide with modern glass buildings? There is no shortage of hypotheses: we have studied each track to understand their history.

Another figure alarms me: 40% of field birds have disappeared in 25 years. It’s a slaughter that nobody talks about, while we have all noticed that we hear much less birdsong in the countryside, in the midst of intensive crops. What threatens them? agricultural machinery? chemical products ? The disappearance of hedges? Again, I sought to understand the reasons for this decline and I discovered incredible fighters. They fight, among other things, to save the magnificent Montagu’s Harrier or the Migratory Bustard. This rare bird lives in Poitou-Charentes and there are now less than 300 males left.

Each bird species faces specific threats. Some are obvious, such as hunting or the disappearance of their habitat area, but others are much more surprising. We have learned that goldfinches, threatened with extinction and so beautiful in nature, are still caught in glue in Marseille, caged and sold so that Internet users can show them off on social networks. The bearded vulture is threatened by the ski lifts of ski resorts. The birds do not see the cables in the fog. Again, fighters find solutions to save these birds of prey. And it works: we have witnessed an extremely rare birth in the Alps.

During this long investigation, I discovered fascinating species of birds that live very close to our home and that we have never heard of. They must be preserved at all costs.


strong sequences

Robins are hunted in France to… eat them

We learned of the existence of this practice by chance following a search with the environmental police where we discovered a whole stock of robins in a private home. They are eaten on skewers in the south of France!

The great battle to save the sparrows in town

In Paris, the number of sparrows has decreased by 73% in thirteen years! The only way to save them is to install nesting boxes. More and more French people are embarking on this adventure so that future generations can benefit from it.

Goldfinch Trafficking Investigation

This bird with breathtaking plumage is the victim of poachers and hunted with glue even though it is a protected and endangered species: in less than twenty years, 30% of goldfinches have disappeared in France. Survey with the French Office for Biodiversity.

Montagu’s harriers victims of combine harvesters

It is a magnificent bird of which there are only 5,000 pairs left in France. Because, every summer, young families are mowed down by combine harvesters. A group of activists deploy mad energy to save the nests in the middle of the wheat fields.

Storks no longer migrate

This is a consequence of global warming: there are several hundred storks in Charente-Maritime and Alsace which no longer leave our territory, the ponds no longer freezing in winter…

The teaser

This magazine is broadcast Sunday, June 5 at 20.55 on France 5. On the front: “Where have our birds gone? can be seen and reviewed on

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