Friday, September 30, 2011

Where Have My Birds Gone?

For years, after having read The Birds by Daphne Du Maurier, I had an aversion to them.  That's powerful writing.  Or a very weak mind! Probably the latter in my case.

Slowly and thankfully I finally got over it and came to love them.  All kinds.  Song birds. Birds of prey.  It doesn't matter.  Perhaps it has come from caring for injured ones I'd find on occasion.  I was enthralled with the raptors I'd see when visiting Washington State when Bacchus was a regular at the vet med hospital.  Members of the Raptor Club would have them in the lobby quite often.

Every spring I can't wait to see the first Killdeer and of course the Robins.  The Quail can keep me amused for hours. The meadow larks cheer me.  Even the non-descript brown and black birds I couldn't readily identify cheered me, especially when they'd converge on our pond for their Saturday nights baths.

So what happened to them?  It's fall, yes, but they've been gone for weeks.  It's so quiet it's eerie.  Even the hawks are gone.

I've read where they are pretty well protected.  Fines are being handed out in North Dakota  for the deaths, no matter how inadvertently, of ridiculously small numbers. To the tune of $15, 000 and up to six months in jail per bird!  No, I don't think my birds went to North Dakota to feel safe.  Actually no self-respecting bird would be party to such an obvious witch hunt aimed unproportionately at oil and gas exploration companies.  Of which this administration has little use.

No.  I fear it's more likely they're  an unintended consequence of the highly vaunted wind power.  You know, the great green industry that's so not yet ready for marketing only the government is gambling big bucks on it.  Those giant wind turbines kill thousands of birds a year, including  golden and bald eagles! Has that been the fate of my birds?  Do their migratory paths cross these turbine fields making an impact on their populations?  Funny, none of those companies are being fined even though it's known there is a problem! A huge problem when you consider the numbers.

I don't know.  The government can't even stay out of the lives of our birds for it is government who decides who to fine and whose technology to invest in.   I had to make some sort of political connection out of it.  Politics impacts everything else, why not our birds?  Ah, that's probably a stretch. It probably has something to do with solar flares or something like that.

All I know is one more aspect of my life, that makes it wonderfully enjoyable, has for the moment gone silent. So what has happened to my birds?

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