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A World Without Birds II
August 17, 2015
The heat is on.
Plants that thrive in heat are finally happy.
Tomatoes, peppers, and corn are finally showing us something.
Last week I wrote a article on "A World Without Birds".
Can you imagine how dull that would be?
Many of you are excited to wake up to the sights and sounds of birds.
Especially in the spring and summer months.
I mentioned how birds can pretty much let you know what time of year it is (without a calendar).
I even told you how I've adored birds for as long as I can recall, and mostly for their freedom of flight.
Allow me to mention just a few other things about birds that tickle my fancy, or awaken my senses.
You see, birds are much more than song and colorful feathers.
Birds are indicator species.
The healthier an environment, more birds and species of birds exist in that particular system.
Take some time to really watch your birds.
You will discover a hierarchy.
Not just one species over another, but within the species.
Birds with bright colors like cardinals, it is simple.
The brightest colored male is mister high and mighty.
For a dull colored bird, like juncos or sparrows, there is definitely an aggressive personality in the leaders of the pack.
Often times, there is a bird or two that gets beat on, just like in wolf packs there is the whipping post.
Birds do sooth my soul.
Black-capped chickadees are my favorite.
Partially because they are year round birds, but mostly because they are so friendly, and almost trust people.
Hand feeding chickadees is a treat for me.
Robins, because of their parenting skills.
Hummers for the obvious reasons.
Since the 1960's and hearing how these majestic birds were endangered because of man's foolishness.
I went on, and still go on quests to spot these creatures of wonder.
Resident Red-tail hawks as they soar, kite, or play in the wind.
A special treat is a late winter, aerial mating dance.
The call of the Loon.
The first time you hear this haunting call, you will remember it the rest of your life (in a good way).
There are countless other reasons.
Then there are the little things, or the blessings "Nature" gives us.
Various birds that choose my yard to raise a family, or when the young fledge, they bring the fledglings into our yard to feed and learn to hunt for bugs and such.
A few years back, we were blessed to have a Green heron nest in the Norway spruce trees that lined a portion of the back yard.
Here are the three fledglings, Karen and I referred to the Three Stooges.
They were so entertaining for a good two weeks until they finally flew off for good.
We considered that a chance f a life time.
Birds are good for our health.
They can also teach us.
I could ramble on and on, but I must keep it short.
You get the general idea.
A world without birds is unspeakable.
We must do whatever we can to make sure the rest of our birds don't go the way of the passenger pigeon
Last week I offered an opportunity for you to share with all of us what birds mean to you, and what a world without birds would be like.
Here are the few responses sent back.
Lory Smith, Trinidad, CO (near the NM border next to the eastern foothills of the Rockies).
I grew up on Long Island, N.Y. My grandmother was an avid birder who taught her daughter and her granddaughters to love them as well. I remember as a child sitting under the feeder in Rhinebeck NY with my grandma coaxing chickadees to eat out of my hand. My mother says the cardinals are my grandmother (loved red, flashy dresser) and the blue jays are her (loves blue, mouthy). After my grandmother died we saw MORE cardinals than ever, it was comforting.
I met my 2nd husband, Bob, in VT where he lived beyond the power lines in the woods. It was a real blessing to discover he loved the birds as much as me. We had a special relationship with a great blue heron that Bob named the Grey Ghost. We would often come upon the Ghost standing in the middle of the road as we took our early morning walks and tell him how gorgeous he was. He would watch us approach and then silently lift off into the air and fly away.
The 1st year Bob saw him was also the 1st year I was up there and the Ghost hung around till Christmas Eve at which time he circled our trailer several times as if to say goodbye before migrating. The following spring he returned with a mate, again circling the trailer as if showing off his wife. We are crafters by trade & spent 2 years making bird jewelry - Bob cut out the tiny pieces on his scroll saw, I painted them, then Bob made them into earrings, pins, & tie tacs. It was a joy to see a new bird in the area & be able to identify it from having painted it - the american kestrel in the backyard was the most exciting.
We live in CO now & really miss some of the eastern birds, especially the cardinals but also eastern goldfinches, chickadees, and nuthatches but have been blessed with a multitude of hummingbirds - broad-tails, black-chins, rufous, and calliope (another identified from having painted it). We sit on the front porch in the early evening and watch them feed over our heads. Back east everyone watched birds and knew the basic ones by sight but here in CO. nobody has a clue what they are - just "birds" - it is sad.
We cannot imagine a world without birds! Bob is going deaf in some of the higher frequencies and cannot hear the morning birdsongs any longer but thanks to computers he can listen to bird songs with headphones. My eyesight is not good so we play Jack Sprat - I pinpoint the sound and he tells me who it is.
Thank You Lory.
I think birds are more a part of all our lives than most even realize.
I enjoy feeding the chickadees as well.
Susan Bullock, of Roseburg, Oregon.
We love birds.
We enjoy hummingbirds all year round. They let us know when one of the feeders is empty, they peek in the window. Looking forward to April when the Bullock orioles come and eat from the hummer feeders, and the Red hot pokers. The beautiful songs of the Mourning doves.
What a sad place it would be without birds.
We love sitting outside in the early morning having coffee and watching the jays eat peanuts, as they stuff four peanuts in their mouths.
Susan, I am jealous, hummers year round................ Yes, anna's hummingbird is a year round resident of the mild temperatures in the Pacific northwest.
Thank you for sharing.
Jean from NW. Georgia.
Birds have been an important part of my life since childhood. One reason is I always wished I could "Fly like a bird". How freeing that must be.
Over time I have come to greatly appreciate their songs and calls and funny antics. I have thought about a world without birds and it saddens me. That is why I follow Ron's advice to create a bird friendly area. Because of this I have been blessed with many different species of birds.
I do this for the future generations. Hope my grandchildren's grandchildren will be able to enjoy our native birds too!
Jean, you make me blush.
The freedom of flight still captivates me today Jean. I am teaching my grandchildren as much as their city dwelling brains can handle about birds and wildlife.
Jo, near Wellington ,Ohio.
I so love birds also, I realize already how much I will miss these wonderful creatures as the days grow shorter and Fall draws near. We dotted our 3 acres with trees and shrubs for all our wonderful feathered friends to enjoy, then added a sign that reads " Nature's Haven" and it sure is.
This year we added four chickens to our property, they have truly become affectionate pets and will soon be giving us their fine gifts of healthy eggs. These chicks will never have to worry about being "Chicken Soup" living with us. As I sit on our patio these days sipping my morning cup of coffee, I so often wonder what the world would be like without the sight and songs of all these beautiful birds. I always think , what a void there would be.
God Bless & Peace To You All
Thank you Jo. Birds fill our lives in many ways, even insect eating, free range chickens that do provide healthier eggs.
Deloris Stone from Georgetown, KY.
I can’t begin to imagine life without birds.
Not a day goes by that I do not relish in seeing the offspring of the ones that either stay around my house or come back year after year. My favorite right now is a baby nuthatch (so tiny) and a juvenile male cardinal whose beak is still gray but his head looks like a punk rocker and he is so forceful he smacks my feeders against the window when empty and makes me smile.
So many hummingbirds this year I have to fill morning and night and have friends who when they see them close to empty know where I keep the sugar water and go fill my feeders while I work.
Yes, the birds make me smile every day of my life (and frown when Mr. Juvenile Coopers Hawk comes to peer at my flocks). I have to say I Love the Costco bird feed that has nuts and berries in it. I’ve even had a small blue bird be at my feeder this year, which is a first since I live in town.
Deloris, birds are full of surprises. I like that god gave us so many species to enjoy, and like people, they do come with different personalities.
Judy in Clio, MI.
It is difficult to imagine a world without birds. I never gave them much thought until I brought my mom here in the hospice program. We put feeders outside the window so she would have something to look at besides television. Little did we know the birds would become our respite as we alternated turns relaxing while Mom slept or watched tv. At one time we had 23 feeding stations and were going through a fortune in bird seeds. But it was worth it as we attracted some 40 different bird species to our yards.
We've cut back in the past few years but we treasure the birds we still host. I love watching the fledglings "try out their wings" and other skills. A fledgling hummingbird flying inquisitively near a Chickadee, a fledgling woodpecker clinging upside down on a wire while it tries to feed from the suet log. There is the first time a fledgling tests the water in our tiny bird baths, just like a toddler putting in one foot and pulling it back out. A parent feeding a fledgling, the nest building process, checking on the eggs....
Live without birds?
You touched on so many interesting topics about birds. So many things that so many people ignore or just accept.
One important topic is juvenile birds and bird baths.
It is important (wise even), to have a shallow bath, or at least something course or rough surface, in the bath for young and smaller birds to step on. Bird baths should always be made of a rough texture for birds to stand on. While shiny, glazed baths look pretty, they aren't so functional..... stones or pebbles on the bottom may help.
Always go with functional.
Martie, of Youngstown, OH.
I am with you, no birds would make the yard very dull. I would miss the colors and the flight they have.
Thank You Martie, no birds make a dull yard.... what an understatement, and think of this..... no Bald eagles flying around.
Well, it is time to fly for now.
Thank you for your responses to a "World Without Birds"
How scary would that be?
Waking up one day and no more song.
No flitting amongst the flowers and trees.
How sad indeed.
Before I go, here is your positive thought for the week.
b>"Watch your thoughts for they become words. Watch your words for they become actions. Watch your actions for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become your character. And watch your character, for it becomes your destiny! What we think, we become.
Here is from the word of god.
“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”
"Be careful what how think; your life is shaped by your thoughts."
"Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become "fools" so that you may become wise."
1 Corinthians 3:18
"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,
Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.
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