For the Birds

For about ten years, Pete has been getting National Geographic Magazine. I look forward to it each month, mostly for the pictures, which are always so remarkable. But one story in this month’s issue caught my eye. It was about how songbirds are being destroyed in the Mediterranean. Here’s a link to the story, but be warned, the short video with the story was, at least, for me, very difficult to watch.

In a nutshell, song birds are being killed by the thousands. Some are being killed for food, but most are just hunted for sport or poached. Many are shot, others are caught with traps that look like mouse traps, while some get stuck on sticks covered with sap. The birds are varied: golden orioles, Ortolan bunting, chiffchaff, garhaneys, Europena robins, turtledoves, blackcaps, wheatears, warblers and raptors.

Even those that kill these birds are noticing that their numbers are declining to the point where they comment, “There are no birds around.” I can’t imagine a world that doesn’t include the sound of birds singing.

Until next time.

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