Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Wisconsin Birdland

Today's edition of the local daily newspaper had a front page story on birds in Wisconsin. It touched on the importance of the state as a migration route and some of the things that have been and are being done to protect our resident and migrant species and their habitats. The article mentions a recent report from Birdlife International detailing the declines in many bird populations. I discovered BI only recently via The Scout Report. It's a rich source of articles on birds. Some of them are outright depressing, but they're interesting to read.

One of the birds in decline noted by the WSJ is the Red-Headed Woodpecker. When I was a kid I saw them often on the wooden telephone poles along the road. Only this summer when I got a glimpse of one flying over the highway as I rode along did it occur to me how long it's been since I've seen one. It saddens me to think such a beautiful bird might disappear forever, but it's happened before. (Image courtesy of birdfreak.com)

I've been reluctant to face the upcoming winter. It's a while off, but I've gotten so used to being able to just be outside--when it's light out!--that I'm worried about adjusting to the end of a great birding season. Maybe I'll spend some of my time looking into some concrete actions I can take to help protect, preserve and restore the species that need help.

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