Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A message we may have forgotten...

Though this Kirtland's Warbler is on the rise, it's still one of North America's top ten endangered birds.

In 1970, a speech was given at the United Nations by it's Secretary General, U Thant. I think it's very important to think about it once again as the media is saying "All is well in the Gulf!" All is not well...not in the least.

"As we watch the sun go down, evening after evening, through the smog across the poisoned waters of our native earth, we must ask ourselves seriously whether we really wish some future universal historian on another planet to say about us: 'With all their genius and with all their skill, they ran out of foresight and air and food and water and ideas,' or 'They went on playing politics until their world collapsed around them.'"

Piping Plovers are also in the top ten most endangered list.

The Verdin's population declined 85% between 1966 and 2003.

The Short-eared Owl dropped 80% between 1966 and 2003.

The Rusty Blackbird population, according to some studies, has dropped more than 90%!

Can you remember the last time , if ever, you saw a Loggerhead Shrike?...

...Or a Henslow's Sparrow?...

This was my first encounter with a Cerulean Warbler and I hope it won't be the last.

Will the name "Common Tern" need to be changed one day?

Black-throated Sparrow populations have also dropped dramatically.

I recently came across a book titled "Bald Coot and Screaming Loon" by Niall Edworthy. Along with an enormous amount of fun facts and trivia, he has a chapter entitled "The Battle to Survive." Looking back, this is very apropos at this point in our struggle to save what healthy habitat we have left on this planet.


  1. Thank you for this powerful message, my friend. I am honored to fight for birds and habitat conservation alongside people like you.


  2. I hear you, but I have to believe in my heart of hearts that greater good and common sense will prevail. There are people like YOU (and me too) who will ensure it! As we say in the Ottawa Valley (Ontario)..good on ya...

  3. I think too many birders or people in general just want to forget about it or ignore reality. I am often criticized for being too "negative". I wish I could do more, but the same forces that are wiping out our bird life is taking its toll on me as well. Our societal values must change in order for real progress to be made. I can only spread my knowledge and enthusiasm for the natural world, that is all I have.

    Thanks for this important message!

  4. Thanks Kimmay, I only wish there were more people like you in control.

    Thanks Susan.

    Donald is right, until society changes it's values, things will stay the same...

  5. Well said, everyone. Donald nails it with: "people in general just want to forget about it or ignore reality. I am often criticized for being too negative." Agreed...meaning, it is often very tricky to hold conversation with those that can't allow themselves to feel sadness or frustration. And yet, passion and zeal and zest and truth are BORN out of a beautiful (and sometimes ironic) mix of hopeful sorrow, action, responsibility, good and bad experiences... Yet it's too much of a "downer" for those to hear/read such blatent truth. Many of whom simply arrest themselves to exist mindlessly feeling "good" , steering clear of "horrible things" and generally, taking too little responsibility for their own actions and wholesomely, the actions of humans collectively. And yet, I understand why they exist so. It's easy! It feels good! And so it's tricky. It's tough. But as Susan says, good and common sense will prevail. Realistically, it's going to be one hell of a ride, though... it most certainly will not be "easy." Once you've seen so much....too find you HAVE to be all in. It's one of the greatest (compelling) choices you'll ever make... cheers - jen

  6. Well done, Dave, it is the same in Britain. The whole world seems to be in a falling down state.

  7. Hi Jen, you are so right. It's much to easy for people to ignore reality...just look at FOX news.

    Thanks Bob. At least in the U.K. you have the RSPB. They do a lot more to save habitat than the ABA here(useless group) or the National Audubon, they are more interested in getting an attractive magazine published and offering lunch bags and blankets...

  8. Hi Dave,
    Well I kind of hope that people like us will change things by being a bit mroe active for nature conservation. if we all try we might be successful! Beautiful post and nice message with wonderful pictures Dave!

  9. Its a huge shame to see such beautiful birds in decline Dave. Lets hope that trend changes soon....

  10. Thanks Chris and Matt!
    Maybe one day birders will realize that with their great numbers they could wield a lot of power.

  11. A wonderful post, thank you. We CAN make a difference!
    W & L

  12. I like that owl photo. Excellent.