Birds Are People Too
by Amy Lignor
More and more data is being collected in regards to the coexistence of humans and wildlife, yet it’s important to keep in mind that the wildlife above also need to be cared for in order to make sure that the variety of species do not disappear.
There are many ways to discover how best to help a baby bird, whether it’s fallen from the nest or is wandering the windowsill. But always remember that old saying about “mom knowing best.” In other words, even if you may not see one of the parents, they are probably near. And if you creep too close to either the baby or its nest, the parents will come back from foraging and not come anywhere near their child. In other words, wait and watch from a distance for at least one hour before taking action! You can then gently place the bird on a low tree branch, or in a small nearby bush for protection and make that call to your local refuge so the bird can be picked up and taken care of by absolute professionals.
But when it comes to coexistence and not the actual saving of an animal or bird, issues can crop up; like how best to protect the backyard fruit trees, garden or vegetables. It’s true that a great many species of birds eat the unwanted insects but they can also destroy fruit and vegetable crops, so by placing things like plastic owls, aluminum foil flags, or even wind chimes nearby, the birds will be scared away.
If you’re worried about a nest being built in the house, placing wire over the top of the chimney in the wintertime stops that springtime nesting of your new neighbor. And if the sun’s glare on windows have the birds hitting the panes, you have to understand that they are not trying to cause you or the house harm. The sun’s reflection simply has them being birds, protecting their territory by attacking the “mirror” image they see. Closing curtains, placing bird silhouettes, statues or even decals on your windows will prevent this issue immediately.
When it comes to the “birds of prey,” humans must also educate themselves on the species in order to best protect the house, windows, etc. These particular birds are hunters at heart. From the hawks to the eagles to the falcons, and so on, they soar with grace, one is even a symbol of the U.S. of A. and should definitely not be harmed.
Birds and people are a great deal alike, considering we are both sight-oriented creatures. The dominant sense organs are the eyes, and most birds have binocular vision in order to be able to successfully hunt down their dinner.
These bird species are under a great deal of threat. Ingestion of poison and insecticides through their prey have greatly and negatively affected the breeding success of many varieties. In addition, the encroachment on their habitat has also reduced territories and changed the environment from one where they thrived to many that are highly polluted.
Another bird to look at closely and try to save is the owl. From myths to legends, this is one bird that’s portrayed as wise – a wizard of sorts that knows all. It was Harry Potter actually that brought back the talk of owls as being fascinating creatures that carried scrolls in their talons to deliver to a legendary castle.
But while the owl makes a perfect mythical pet, they are not so easy in everyday life. Although the creature may be looked at as adorable, the owl is actually extremely dangerous. Being birds of prey, they rely on their freedom, so even attempting to keep an owl as a pet is a bad idea. Food resources are limited and the odds for the owl’s survival become slim to none.
Eighteen species of owls are found in North America, with life spans of 15-30 years. Barn owls are found near humans in farms, stadiums and other open structures. The Burrowing Owl, which weighs only ¼ pound, is one species at risk of disappearing from the South Bay. Their large yellow eyes are watching the land they live in going from open flatland with short grass to development projects every few feet.
In order to make homes for these neighbors, owls require nesting sites and protection due to the constant building. Setting up nesting boxes, whether homemade or purchased, can be found on a variety of websites, and should be placed in locations similar to the owls’ natural habitat. With drainage holes and sawdust in the bottom, owl lovers will be thrilled to save as many as they can.
Planting gardens with nectar-rich flowers, shrubs, and trees can help replace lost habitats for many other bird varieties, such as the hummingbird. But when all is said and done, there are those out there volunteering and working diligently to help rehabilitate and release birds with the help of highly-trained individuals.
So while humans build that coexistence with the natural world, let us just make sure to remember that birds are “people” too!
Source: Baret News