Took this picture earlier - squirrels and dove in the wind-driven rain... The storm has only worsened since then; we've had brownouts twice. For obvious reasons, I'm going to make this post a quick one. (Thank heavens this is only rain.)
On a completely different note, there is something I do want to touch on - that of the handling of wild animals. Two days ago, a trainer (Dawn Brancheau) was tragically killed by a killer whale at SeaWorld Adventure Park. Obviously, this isn't the first time that this sort of thing has happened... Steve Irwin's death and Roy Horn's (of Siegfried & Roy fame) mauling leap to mind.
Look, no one questions the love these people had/have for animals. And no one questions the need for parks and refuges and zoos. But it is unfortunate that the public continues to be inundated with "shows" that promote close human/wild animal interaction. Wild animals (including birds) are just that - wild. Here on the Cape, many harbors have signs warning people not to feed the geese, and it seems that every day, there's someone out there trying to hand feed a goose. Sigh...
I'm not saying that we should stop feeding the birds. (In fact, just the opposite... We humans have managed to mangle the natural environment and at this point should be providing roughly 20% of birds' food source.) But I am saying that attempts to "play" with wild animals is just a terrible idea. In my very humble opinion, activities like backyard birding are fantastic so long as we keep our distance. Wild birds are not pets, "buddies", or "pals" no more than whales or tigers. They are wild animals and should be treated as such.
See you by the feeders,
Cornell Ornithology Laboratory: Inside Birding
Cornell Ornithology Laboratory: All About Birding
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eBirdseed.com bird cam