Back to Back Issues Page
A World Without Birds
August 10, 2015

Thank you for the time off.

What a glorious yet short time we spent in Northern Michigan last weekend.

My heart is totally at home Up North.

Pictured is the Bed & Breakfast we stay have stayed for the past 23 years, and with the same proprietor.

We have become close friends with her.

Every room has a view of Little Traverse Bay, and the water and sunsets are 150 feet (40 m) from the house.

At the bottom is a picture of a 'Memorial Garden' set up for friends and family.

Be sure to read the sign too.

The lake was so blue, and the sunsets are always captivating.

Yolanda did well in her respite too.

Besides some resting, there was plenty of shopping and good food to be had.

Sadly, the sun now sets before 9:00 PM in west Michigan.

August brings the familiar sounds of Cicadas, and other insects.

Growing up, Cicadas were often called heat bugs, as they seem to come out in the heat of summer.

Fireflies are still rather plentiful.

I'm actually seeing a couple of butterflies now and then.

Pictured on this page is a Giant Swallowtail, I usually see one a year in my yard.

A few more bees are present, but I haven't seen any Mud daubers this year.

While some birds are still present, the yards have pretty much gone silent.

At times there are several birds and a handful of species.

Yes, there is still a tweet or a chickadee-dee-dee now and then.

And the House wrens make a ruckus as they feed the not yet fledged babies.

Gone are the morning and evening songs, however.

I miss that.

You too?

It makes me pause and wonder........

What would it be like if we lived in a world without birds?

What if they were suddenly gone?

No more Colorful orioles or cardinals.

My beloved Chickadees and robins were no more.

The waiting and anticipation of the first hummingbird of the season.

No more hawks to watch as they soar with little effort.

Birds are more than you may think.


Birds can tell us what time of year it is, without looking at a calendar.

American robins and Red-winged blackbirds are the harbingers of spring for us people living in the northern regions.

The arrival of Hummingbirds lets me know that May is upon us in Michigan.

When Barn-swallows arrive, I know that it is must be late May/early June.

Fledged goldfinches mean it is late summer around here.

Dark-eyed juncos, winter is just around the corner.

Nomadic flocks of Cedar waxwings, it is mid winter.

Migrations and bird activities allow for the experienced bird enthusiast to know what month and week of the year it is, at any given time.

Now, add the music, activity and blood pressure lowering enjoyment, and we need birds.

What would it be like.........

A world without birds?

Think a moment...

Birds make any place a chance for discovery.

They make the garden seem like a wild setting, year round.

They are a little bit of wilderness coming into our parks and yards.

If you enjoy birds, every walk is filled with anticipation on what bird might drop out of the sky next?

Birds are important because they keep ecosystems in balance.

They pollinate plants, disperse seeds, scavenge carcasses and recycle nutrients back into the earth.

They also feed our spirits.

Birds mark for us the passage of the seasons.

They move us to create art and poetry.

Inspire us to flight and reminding us that we are not only on, but of, this earth.

I love birds.

As far back as I can recall, I've had a fascination with birds.

Birds have the ability to take off and go wherever they please without limit and land constraint.

They can travel the world and go places where we can't can’t.

I think from my earliest moments, it had to be the freedom of flight that impressed me the most.

Birds represent a link to both our natural environment and to the possibility of freedom to soar without boundaries.

We need birds.

You and I Care for birds, not because it is the thing to do.

We care for birds because they play an important role in our lives.

What would you do in a world without birds?

Face it........

Birds amaze and delight us.

Their beauty captivates and captures our imagination.

Their ingenuity and ability impress.

Yet birds play many other important roles in our lives and the world.

Have you ever wondered what the world would be like without birds?

Well beyond their beauty and splendor, birds are important.

Their impact on the natural world and our own history should not be underestimated. Birds contribute to the diversity of plant life through pollination and seed dispersal.

Birds control insect outbreaks and create important nesting cavities for other species.

They help rid the world of disease through scavenger “clean-up” services.

Birds help shape our culture, and provide important economic benefits.

Birds also serve as important indicator species for naturalist and scientists about the state of the environment.

Birds played an important part throughout the bible and the history of man.

Birds of the Bible.

What can you do?

The Trees on Your Property:

Because old dead trees provide important sites for woodpeckers to drill cavities and burrow nests, don’t cut down a dead tree, if possible.

If it isn’t a safety hazard for people or property, consider leaving it alone.

Not only will woodpeckers potentially benefit, but other cavity adopters will take advantage of the nest long after the woodpecker has left.

Plant more trees to provide protection, food, and a place to raise a family.

Feed the Birds:

At a minimum, all birds must have food, water, shelter, and nest sites.

The easiest way to attract birds is to put out bird feeders.

Remember this, busy feeders are great places for diseases to be exchanged amongst birds.

Provide the proper menu to avoid waste.

Clean feeders regularly, and rake up hulls underneath the feeders to help keep visiting birds healthy.

Create Backyard as a Wildlife Sanctuary:

As more and more land becomes developed, consider your backyard as a wildlife sanctuary.

Creating or enhancing your property to include food and water sources, nesting site, and shelter for birds will help provide critical habitat where development has eliminated many natural areas and important “corridors” for successful migration.

Not to mention the enjoyment for you and a chance to educate neighbors, children and grandchildren.

Keep Your Cat Indoors:

Scientists estimate that cats (both domestic and feral) kill four million birds each day (one billion annually).

Read that again.

Common victims include Robins, Northern Cardinals, Blue Jays, Chickadees and House Wrens.

Not only common birds fall prey, but also endangered and rare species.

In addition, cats may out-compete natural predators for food and have a detrimental effect on wildlife.

You can find out more about why it is important to bring your cat indoors at

Cats In The Garden.

I would like for you to share with me a little something.

How do birds fir into your life?

Enjoying the songs with a morning cup of coffee?

Harbingers of spring?

The first hummingbird of the new season?

Flight and movements of birds?

Anything that warms your heart, or makes you pause.

If I get enough responses, I want to share them with all readers.

I would like to hear from the UK, Thailand, Nepal, India and other countries, as well as from America and Canada.

Drop me a line with your snippets along with your:

First Name (last optional).

Your location (city or town you live in or near)

State, province and country.

You are here because you enjoy gardening and wildlife.

Please share with us.

Well, it is time to fly for now.

Before I go, here is your positive thought for the week.

God Bless.

"No other creature can transcend earth, evoke beauty, inspire dreams, and ground us in nature as does even the smallest bird."

Julie Sacco

Birds are mentioned throughout the bible.

Here is one of my favorite verses.

"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run, and not be weary;
and they shall walk, and not faint."

Isaiah 40:31

"Treat the earth well:

It was not given to you by your parents,

It was loaned to you by your children.

We do not inherit the Earth from our

Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."

Ancient Indian Proverb

Your friend indeed,

Ron Patterson

PS. If you enjoy these letters, please forward them to friends, family and co-workers.

Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.

Gardening For Wildlife.

Back to Back Issues Page