FIRST, DO NO HARM

Posted by Roger Lederer   @   29 October 2012 1 comments
7036-Helmeted Guineafowl.jpg

I read in the news about two law students who went into the
wildlife display at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas and caught, decapitated,
and threw around an African Helmeted Guineafowl. I don’t know what UC Berkeley
Law School can do to punish these morons but California has 176,000 lawyers and
certainly doesn’t need two more like these guys.

 The other day I received an e-mail from a psychologist who
was counseling a client who is living at a campsite somewhere in southern
California and, according to him, is being harassed and driven out of his
campsite by House Finches. He’s shot dozens of them but they keep coming back,
he says. The House Finches are being assisted in this effort by orioles and
“fig birds.” He plans to move to the desert where he thinks there are no House
Finches. I suggested northern Canada instead.

 I have received many e-mails from people who claim they were
being harassed by crows, blackbirds, starlings, etc. Some fear they will be harmed and threaten to shoot the birds.
Now, I have been in many bird nesting sites over the years and have even
climbed Osprey nests to band the young, and I have never been physically
touched by a bird. I’ve been dive-bombed by terns and hawks, but none have ever
touched me. The only time I have ever been hurt is in the process of handling
birds – large parrots, hawks, eagles and owls can do a bit of damage to your
hands unless you are careful.

 In Kentucky, off-road vehicles are running over the nests of
endangered Least Terns in a 

7037-birdnestingareasign.jpg

protected area which is off limits to any kind of
human activity, even walking.

 On Duck Island, off the coast of Connecticut, there was a
major rookery for Great and Snowy Egrets, Glossy Ibis, Little Blue Herons and
other species. Campers came and built a giant bonfire, causing many birds to
abandon their nests. Some renested, only to be disturbed a month later by more picnickers
with a bunch of dogs.

 

Off of Long Island, an Oystercatcher chick was taken from
its parents by a teenager. He took it to school to show his friends and
teacher. By the time wildlife officials retrieved it, it was dying of
starvation and could not be saved. I got an e-mail from a young lady last year
who said she found a Killdeer chick and wanted to know all about it and how to
feed it and keep it. I told her to release it immediately where she found it
but I never heard from her again.

7039-AmOystercatcher.jpg

 Birds are totally at the mercy of humans. We have to respect
them and our shared environment. It’s bad enough that we are poisoning and
destroying their habitats; why do some people complain about them or harass
them?  I hope the guineafowl-killing law
students are never admitted to the California bar and are relegated to window-washing
buildings with lots of bird poop.

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Nov 4, 2012
11:24 am
#1 Sarah :

This is wrong! I’m really upset at how people treat birds, and how many birds are killed. I’m shocked that people would kill an innocent, rare guineafowl just to hurl it around for a few minutes, especially one protected and on display. A few years ago, my class did a bar graph on how many species of each class were extinct, and if I remember correctly, birds were the top of the list. Dodos, passenger pigeons……. just wrong. Especially how I read in an article about dodo birds that they were “Gentle, curious, and trusting…..walked right up to [the people] and were killed.” I’ve always wanted a pet bird, but I’ll make sure it isn’t some severely endangered bird caught and sold just for pretty feathers. I did like the facts about hummingbirds in the other post, though. My favorite birds are orioles, and I tried to attract them, but a) I didn’t have any oranges, and b) they weren’t impressed by my homemade sugar-water and jam. Probably because the bowls were on the ground. Something else liked the jam, though, because when I went to check on it after it had been left out all night, the bowl had been licked clean by something with a muzzle. Maybe I’ll find an oriole next spring. Oh, well…..

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