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Chris Packham admits stealing kestrel started his love of nature
HAMPSHIRE wildlife expert Chris Packham has admitted he stole a kestrel chick from its nest when he was a teenager.
The Southampton-born star of Springwatch and Autumnwatch revealed that the illegal act had sparked his lifelong interest in the natural world.
The 52-year-old was speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs in which he also disclosed that he does not want to have children because he dislikes himself too much.
He revealed that he illegally took the young bird in 1975 when he was 14 and cared for it for months before it died.
Chris, who has a degree in zoology from Southampton University, said: “I think that what happened as a result of me taking that bird out of the nest was incredibly important and defined the rest of my life. I loved that bird and that was the first time that I learned to love something.”
He told how he nurtured the bird and would get up early to feed it and run back from school to feed it.
He said he only took the chick after he was refused a licence to have one legally.
However later that year the kestrel became ill and died in Chris’s arms.
He said: “It affected me profoundly. I could not speak for days.”
On his lack of desire for fatherhood, he said: “I don’t like myself enough to want to reproduce myself. I am very self-critical and I think that is a healthy thing, because I want to continually improve what I try to do.”
Chris’s music choices were:
- David Bowie - Rebel Rebel
- T Rex - 20th Century Boy
- Undertones - Teenage Kicks
- Penetration - Shout Above The Noise
- The Jesus and Mary Chain - Happy When It Rains
- Billy Bragg - A New England
- The Smiths - Girlfriend In A Coma
- The Lightning Seeds - Pure
His choice of book was the collected works of F Scott Fitzgerald and binoculars were his luxury.
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