08 September 2019
Just Kevin and I met to do a little bird banding and as is my normal practice I am showing below pictures of birds we have not previously trapped this fall.
Our very first bird in the nets was a Veery (Catharus fuscescens), perhaps the most beautiful of all the Catharus thrushes, although I confess that this assessment is entirely subjective. The photograph does not do the bird justice.
It should be noted, with a good measure of consternation, despair and disgust that these birds, along with other species covered in this post, are winging their way southwards to spend the northern winter in Amazonia, which is burning, entirely due to political ignorance, indifference and human greed at its worst, and the willingness of the voters of many countries to elect right wing ideologues who dismiss climate change.
What will happen to these migratory species when they arrive at their wintering grounds? Where will they go? What will they feed on?
All of these questions remain to be answered, but it is clear that they are going to be in serious trouble and many will not return next year.
Our warblers are now embarking on the hazardous business of migration, this Tennessee Warbler (Leiothlypis peregrina) being among them.
The state of Tennessee seemed to feature prominently this morning with the capture of this Nashville Warbler ( Leithlypis ruficapilla) also.
The third warbler captured was a female Black-throated Blue Warbler (Setophaga caerulescens).
These tiny gems, these little jewels that brighten our lives every year, were already in substantial jeopardy due to habitat loss and numerous other factors. The widespread conflagration in Amazonia will only exacerbate already precarious conditions and at some point they will cease to survive.
All species banded 08 September: Grey Catbird (3), Veery (1), Song Sparrow (7), Tennessee Warbler (1), Nashville Warbler (1), Common Yellowthroat (1), Black-throated Blue Warbler (1). Total: 15 individuals of 7 species.
Please click on the link below.
If this does not shock you then I think you have pretty much lost the capacity to be shocked. The scope of this problem is enormous and our environment, both on land and in the oceans is being affected by plastic pollution.
Yet you can do something about it. Easily. Tomorrow. You can't solve the problem entirely, and you can't remove plastic from your life entirely, but there is a great deal that you can do; indeed you must do.
You can refuse to use, ever, under any circumstances a plastic water bottle. It is very easy to fill your own bottle. You can refuse to eat at restaurants that use disposable plastic cups and lids, plastic straws, styrofoam plates and the like. Please tell the owner of the restaurant why you are doing this and you will see that changes will start to take place. When you go to a takeout coffee chain insist that they fill your reusable cup and decline their plastic lined paper cups and lids.
Take your own cloth bag to the grocery store and use it instead of plastic bags. There is no need to put a tomato in one plastic nag, an avocado in another, an onion in another, and so on. Take your own bread bags to the bakery and refuse their bags.
You can start on all of this right away and you can set an example for your friends and family. The time for excuses and rationalization is past.
If you are unwilling to do this you have effectively signed a pledge that you do not care one iota for the health of the planet, the state of the environment, the future of your children and grandchildren. You have made the declaration that you are a willing contributor to the tide of pollution entering our oceans and clogging our landfills (and some of these materials leach toxic substances and will be around for 500 years). The decision is up to you.
But this issue threatens the very future of life on the planet and the quality of our food. I hope that you will be on the right side of history.