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A World Without Birds?
July 06, 2020
Saturday night's Full Moon rising over a water tower.
July's full moon is called the'Buck Moon' because a buck’s antlers are in full growth mode during this time of the year.
Thank you all for the well wishes
I hope you enjoyed your country's birthday as well.
In the heat, and little, if any celebrations, it was different to
This past Wednesday, we took a day trip up to Traverse City, MI.
It's about a 2.5 hour drive, and 125-140 miles (one way), depending on the route you take.
A few hours up north and back home.
We took Yolanda and Karen's sister.
For me, it was just getting out and going somewhere.
I enjoy the drive, it was something we needed.
Yolanda is doing well (thank you), even better now that her new bedroom furniture finally was delivered on Friday.
Keeping flowers watered right now is a full time job.
Making sure the wildlife has a fresh drink in the process as well.
A tip for you.
Don't mow lawns when it is so hot, especially when it's dry.
This stresses lawns out.
Also, as tempting as it might seem to fertilize, minimize feeding lawns and your plants right now.
Especially if you can't water on a regular basis.
(Chickadee harvesting Lupine seeds.)
If you have been a reader for any length of time, you know one thing about me.
I Love Birds.
As far back as I can recall (maybe 6 years old), there has been a fascination about birds.
I think it is the freedom of flight.
I'm enamored of their ability to go just about anywhere they choose, at a moment's whim.
I have learned a few things along the way, but far from a scholar.
I simply enjoy all things about birds in general.
Well, most things about most birds.
They also give some great photo opportunities.
At times I wonder, what would a world without birds be like?
I know we need birds, do they need us?
Birds have a rich history.
From the beginning of time, birds played an important roll.
Birds are also used metaphorically in the Bible (several Times).
Then Noah sent out a dove to see if the waters had receded from the surface of the ground.
But the dove found no place to rest her foot, and she returned to him in the ark, because water still covered the surface of all the earth.
So he reached out his hand and brought her back inside the ark.
And behold, the dove returned to him in the evening with a freshly plucked olive leaf in her beak.
So Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth.And Noah waited seven more days and sent out the dove again, but this time she did not return to him.
Genesis 8: 8-12
(Fledged Red-Belly Woodpecker.)
Can you imagine a world without birds?
The benefits birds bring us aren't just cultural.
Birds play an essential role in the functioning of the world's ecosystems, in a way that directly impacts human health, economy and food production - as well as millions of other species.
As it turns out, from an environmental standpoint – as well as from a societal/cultural perspective – birds matter quite a lot.
Birds occupy every continent, utilize all habitat types, and display incredible variety in behavior and appearance.
They are hunters and gatherers and scavengers, with diets as varied as their vocalizations.
Nectar, fruit, seeds, insects, amphibians, small reptiles, mammals, fish, carrion and even other birds.
They range in size from the tiny bee hummingbird, to the immense ostrich.
Feathers reflect a palette of color.
The result of a kaleidoscope of possibilities incorporating every hue, shade, and tone imaginable, producing plumage as wildly divergent as the subtle beauty of a sparrow's humble browns and grays to the beauty and brilliance of birds of paradise.
Nests run the gamut from the simple, barely functional scrapes made by killdeer to the complex, highly decorated designs of bowerbirds (boudoirs meant to woo and seduce).
Birds are masters of flight (or not).
Some species migrate thousands of miles each year (Arctic terns, red knots), while others remain in the same locality year-round (blue jays, northern cardinals).
Some species spend months at a time on the wing (European swifts), while other species can barely fly (turkeys).
Others are completely incapable of flight (kiwis, emus, penguins, penguins).
THE VALUE OF BIRDS:
Birds give you and me year round movement.
Something o look forward to in the depths of winter, when not much else is moving about.
Birds provide song to sooth the soul.
Sometimes raucous noises to let us know they are around.
Oh the photographic opportunities they provide.
The tremendous diversity of birds contributes to their importance within ecosystems.
Ecosystem services refer to the benefits that humans derive from the natural world, and birds are key players in providing many of these benefits.
Ecosystem services provided by birds can be broadly grouped into four categories:
Provisioning services, regulating services, supporting services, and cultural services.summer line
(Daddy Oriole Feeding fledgling.)
A recent study has shown that worldwide, birds eat 400-500 million tons of insects a year.
Birds Pollinate Plants:
When we think pollinators, bees and butterflies flutter to mind – but bird pollinators such as hummingbirds also make a big contribution, especially in high altitudes or hot climates.
Their role as pollinators benefits us directly – around 5% of the plants humans use for food or medicine are pollinated by birds.
And when they disappear, the results can be drastic:
According to 'Bird Life International, 31 species of Hawaiian bellflowers appear to have gone extinct along with the birds that pollinated them.
(I just happened to catch this Blue jay peeking of the branch. As if it is saying "You Talking To Me?)
Birds Spread Seeds:
When birds travel, they take the seeds they have eaten with them and disperse them through their droppings.
They bring plants back to ecosystems that have been destroyed, and even carry plants across the sea to new land masses.
Birds have helped to shape the plant life you see around your region, and around the world.
Think of the volunteers that pop up in your gardens every year, without birds you would miss out on a few treasures.
Birds Transform Entire Landscapes:
Besides depositing seeds, habitats like forests, marshes and grasslands affect people across the whole planet.
Birds maintain the delicate balance between plant and herbivore, predator and prey.
Here are a couple pictures of a Northern Flicker that visits from time to time.
In the east they are refereed to Yellow Shafted Flickers.
Notice the yellow shaft.
In the western regions, they are Red Shafted Flickers, because the shaft is red.
I can't imagine a world without birds.
While there are thousands of different species of birds on planet earth,
Here Is A Glimpe At A Few Common Birds.
Well, it is time to fly for now.
Before I go, here is your positive thought for the day.
(Verse 31 is a favorite of mine.)
28. Do you not know?Have you not heard?The Lord is the everlasting God,the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,and his understanding no one can fathom.
29. He gives strength to the wearyand increases the power of the weak.
30. Even youths grow tired and weary,and young men stumble and fall;
31. But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
Isaiah 40: 28-31
"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,
Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.
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