Last week as I walked into the McLendon Center at Northwest Community College for aerobics, I saw a lifeless Hummingbird lying on the concrete. This is not my first dead bird to find below the glass windows of this building. I love the huge windows that fill the building with light from outdoors all year round.
Unfortunately, big windows that don’t have some sort of markings on them are hazardous to flying birds. Many birds die instantly, but, others continue suffering from concussions and broken bones.
In New York City because of the many skyscrapers with huge windows, many birds lose their lives by crash deaths. The New York City Audubon Society has volunteers that collect dead birds found lying below.
These volunteers bag and tag these birds as part of the Audubon Society’s Project Safe Flight. These Project Safe Flight study participants record the number of birds that are found either injured or dead beneath skyscrapers especially during spring and fall migration seasons.
Many migratory birds fly at night and birds are often drawn off course to the lights of these tall buildings. Weather conditions, human movements inside the buildings and interior lighting blind birds and cause them to unknowingly crash into the windows.
The Audubon Society has had a real influx of participants in the past 18 months, says the online Science magazine – Wired. Bird watching has gained a lot of interest during the pandemic, but also because of the number of Baby Boomers that have retired and begun to enjoy looking “…at the birds of the air…” Matthew 6:26.
Because of this newly found interest in birds, amateur bird watchers have given the non-amateur bird watchers a wealth of avian information that they did not have before for their studies. This additional information can either enhance the Ornithologist’s studies or confuse it. The question is – Has bird behavior actually changed or have we just had more people taking note of the bird world?
Even the counting of birds on The Great Backyard Bird Count raises questions. Has the number of birds increased or decreased or just more people around the world counting than ever before? I feel that even though these are excellent questions, they don’t dismiss the fact that bird interest is needed in order to help preserve birds.
Counting birds and finding either an abundance or lack of a certain bird is very important. This counting is what made people become aware of the Bald Eagle population and that something must be done to stop this species from extinction. There are still whole species that die out daily that the general public may not know about.
At the close of this Sunday’s “Moment of Nature” section of the CBS Sunday Morning program, they told of several birds that recently became extinct. The “Ivory Billed Woodpecker” that used to be found in Mississippi was one of 23 birds, fish and other species that the U. S. government declares no longer exists.
According to an article by NPR.org, “It’s rare for wildlife officials to just give up hope on a plant or animal, but government scientists say they’ve exhausted efforts to find these 23.” What if the day that you see a bird or animal in the wild that it is “THE LAST ONE” that exists? To me that’s a scary and disturbing thought.
Humans are most often the main cause in the loss of a species – too much development, water pollution, man-made climate change or killing for frivolous uses, etc… We are our own worst enemy that can cause us to lose what we love best!
I know that I am on my Soap Box, but we must pause and think from time to time about our worldly actions. What can we do personally to activate change and prevention? This week stop and “Look at the birds of the air…” Matthew 6:26 and remember there is no longer an Ivory Billed Woodpecker…
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