On birds, humans and the planet

I guess birds have always been an easy way to commune with nature. They are an utterly foreign creature from ourselves, which makes them intreresting, with their unlikely concoction of feathers, beaks and claws, and the innate ability to fly. We can very quickly lure them into our surroundings by offering food and water – they almost always accept. We often though are disappointed at the overall lack of variety that we attract to our little oases, just sparrows, or just dove. We crave the more showy, colorful bird characters, the painted bunting, the vast variety of warbler, oriole, yet almost every other action that we as humans engage in, effectively limits our ability to ever see these standouts among birds. Here in Texas, we have launched a full-scale attack on the native cedar (juniper) trees because we need to put houses there instead, the cedar are scrubby, and we don’t appreciate the havoc the pollen wreaks on our sinuses. The Golden-Cheeked Warbler, which nests exlusively in the central part of Texas, depends on these cedar trees. They make their nests out of long strips of cedar bark held fast with spider web glue. Should we expect or suggest that to survive in this overly fast-paced, changing world, the Golden-Cheek better adapt to a new kind of tree to use for its nest? Change its behavior that has been fine-tuned for ages, just so that we as humans can make this world entirely and selfishly our own?

I am reminded over and over of all of the science fiction that I have read – scenes of terra-forming planets to suit our purposes, the need to search out new planetary resources because we have depleted our own in our recklessness and our shortsightedness. Is it even possible, with our human population as immense as it has become – to turn back now? Or is it all just a matter of waiting for the inevitable planet-recycling event that will wipe humanity off of the face of the earth in order for nature to start the process all over?

I also can’t help but stop and think about how our vast race of humans, will someday be the fossil-fuels for future beings. All of our bodies will lay in the ground for eons, pressure, heat and time, slowly being converted into just the precious resource that we crave so badly and use with such wild abandon.

One Response to “On birds, humans and the planet”

  1. Kate Says:

    Very well written piece; your grammarian mom thinks you deserve an A both for well thought out content and a definite improvement in style!

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