Britain sees decline in Christmas birds like doves

LONDON — Just try finding a partridge in a pear tree in Britain these days.

Britain’s Royal Society for Protection of Birds said the two icons of the Christmas song — grey partridges and turtle doves — are in alarming decline. It said authorities should act to prevent them from becoming just distant memories within the famed ‘‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’’ song.

The society said the number of partridges have dropped 30 percent. Turtle doves are even worse off, with a 60 percent decline in numbers.


Society spokesman Grahame Madge said Friday that budget cuts by the British government and the European Union threaten programs that support wildlife like the birds.

Associated Press