That's interesting. I'm just beginning to develop a deep appreciation for birds. Not in a birdwatching sense, but just for birds and the torment humans have put them through. Birds are very underrated. Without them caterpillars would deforest trees, and all kinds of other bugs would have no enemies. Plus birds are beautiful and they sound beautiful. I live on the edge of a wildlife preserve, about 100 feet from my house, so I tend to have a lot of birds. Lately, though, I don't know if it's my imagination or if it's real, but it seems kind of quiet. One early morning I heard a lot of birds, but other times you could hear a leaf fall.
Anyway, birds are a case of you don't know what you got till it's gone. Like bumblebees, who cares, bumblebees, but bumblebees are the world's #1 pollinator, without whom pollination is much reduced. Pollination, big deal right? Yeah it's a big deal. It means food, it means life on earth. Likewise bats. Bats eat virtually tons of insects and there's a bat blight going around New York State. Nobody knows quite what it is but bats are perishing.
The animal kingdom is an amazing treasure chest, and all humans can think about is money or killing somebody for money. No coincidence I'm sure that Grand Theft Auto is such a hot seller at the pinnacle of humanity's stay on earth.
If you watch 11th Hour by Leonardo DiCaprio you'll see examples of other treasures, or maybe like most humans, you won't care if you even bother to watch it. Here's a link from National Geographic. Unfortunately, it probably spells persecution for alligators now.
--- On Mon, 5/12/08, Paul Stone <pastone@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
From: Paul Stone <pastone@xxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [lit-ideas] Birdwatching
Date: Monday, May 12, 2008, 7:55 PM
Okay, so this weekend marked the yearly migration of not only birds,
but thousands of bird-watchers to our small town of Leamington,
Ontario. Because of the early instance of both Mother's Day and
Victoria Day, this has made things even busier than usual. There's not
a B&B or motel within 20 miles that isn't booked solid. The question I
have is: WHY?
I don't see the fascination. I'm not trying to lessen the importance
of people's decisions to invest thousands in cameras/binocs, tilley
hats and vest, beautiful hiking boots and flights from the UK,
Germany, Netherlands and a dozen other European nations (all of whose
languages I heard at the local grocery store yesterday), but I just
don't get it.
I'm pretty sure there are at least some amateur bird-watchers on this
list. Can someone tell me what the fascination with our little
feathered "friends" is? Quite frankly, the birds at my house are
positively nuisance and I love it when I see one of my cats has done
his job. Starlings are squawking annoyances and if I had a pellet
gun... The robins eat 90% of the grass seed. The sparrows shit on my
car and corrode the paint. The crows chew the roof up. Other than the
blue-jays and cardinals (who are both quite beautiful -- well, the men
anyway -- and have joyous calls), I wish the birds would just get the
hell out of my yard. My scare-owl and cats do a decent job, but those
damned birds just come back year after year.
p.s. see, I told you I hate everything, especially birdwatchers and their muse.
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