October 2005 Report:  Give the Gulf Coast back to the birds and the turtles.
Without restoration and protection, we will lose the migrating songbirds of North America.

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Male Scarlet Taninger, A Forest Bird
Picture © J.E. Sutter

The Gulf Coast of the Eastern half of the United States is the choke point for the twice-yearly flight of our neo-tropical songbirds and numerous others - in the millions - from Canada, from the Mississipi flyway, from the mid-Atlantic states and from the Eastern coast, to seek winter food and shelter south of our borders. To be practical, they are insectivores - insect eaters - not seed eaters. At the least, they prevent humans and vegetation from being overwhelmed by bugs. Debarkation to Mexico and return access to the States is through the Gulf Coast and its barrier islands, and inland habitat. These are resting points before the long haul across the Gulf to safety. Last chance to feed and fatten for the flight (insects, fruit, berries and nectar) is 40 to 100 miles inland in America. Florida, Alabama may still afford this, post-hurricanes, but will vanish with the rest if human encroachment continues or is replaced by more casinos and human "development." Our migratory birds are a National Treasure that belongs to all of us.

Why Birds at all? Can't we keep them in a cage or zoo?

Blue Eggs The answer is no, not without harming ourselves.

What do wild birds do for human beings?

They are living, breathing symbols of liberty and beauty, grace, precision, excellence -- frequently so exquisite as to be dumbfounding;  frequently and, reassuringly, very plain. Historically symbols of sky and freedom for earthbound animals like us, who must still envy and study their easy, aerial acrobatics. 

Origins of song, poetry and myth. Living descendants of the dinosaurs. Most efficient insectivores in the world yet harmless to us and the earth. Major pollinators, essential predators and scavengers. "Our" wild birds are a major link in the food chain that sustains us all as fellow creatures. Symbiotic protectors of trees. A living early warning system to humans of the health of our environment; considerable additions to property values as well as family values. A multi-billion dollar industry, worldwide, for tourism and gardeners.

More?

Our fellow creatures known as "wild birds" are a gift of God and Nature; crucial to the web of life that supports our own. They are happy harbingers of Spring and the seasons; an endless pleasure to the observing eye, ear and intellect. Unexpectedly -- to some -- they are proving to be intelligent and sentient beings, worthy of respect and protection as valuable members of our extended family. Will human population expansion, rapacious profit, unguarded markets and technology, be allowed to destroy them?

Another Why - Why Try to Save The Natural World?

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Habitat is a hard thing to lose

 


Click Here to help landscape restoration:
  Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
  National Garden Club
  The Garden Club of America
  The Arbor Day Foundation
  American Forests


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