This section is from the book "The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation", by George Abbey. Also available from Amazon: The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation.
The peewit is the most useful of all wild birds to the marsh, meadow, arable, and moorland farmer. It eats not any of his crops, but devours the enemies of his grass, legume, cereal, and root crops. The benefit conferred cannot be estimated, but it must be immense, and as almost all luxuries of the table in wild fowl are derived from the farmer's land, is it too much to ask for the protection of the eggs of the peewit as well as for the bird in close time?
We plead for an enactment by Parliament that would prohibit the killing, as well as taking the eggs, of all the birds before referred to as "insectivorous and harmless," not only in close time, but throughout the year, on the ground of their conducing to the best interests of arboriculture, agriculture, and horticulture, which appeal to the nation's declaration as most promotive of its welfare. The angler may object to this as interfering with the presence of "flies" for his sport inconsequence of their destruction by insectivorous birds (migratory included), while the lapwing shooters wax furious over the preclusion of killing the birds in October when in the highest flavour as an article of food. But what does the angler and the lapwing shooter, also its eggs-taker, give to forestry, farming and gardening? The flies (some of them) are land reared, and lapwings spread over the country for breeding, therefore the fen districts and seacoast sportsmen reap harvests at the expense of the tillers of the soil.