I usually try to share positive zen with readers but every now and then I hear a story that just needs to be shared and our sensibilities questioned. Like this story that was recently shared on our Facebook page by a local volunteer wildlife rehabilitator. Read on...
"A sad story from the North Country Wild Care Hotline.....We received a call about some baby birds on the ground (we get alot of them this time of year) but what was different about this one was that when we got there, we found 3 dead babies and the parent were also dead, all within a few feet of each other, near their nest.
We questioned the finders, are there any cats? Did they see any other predators? And finally, had they put any chemicals on their lawn? The finders answered 'no' to all of the above - however, their neighbor had just done some extensive landscaping and had put alot of chemicals down (weed killer, grub killer, etc).
It is nice to have a green lawn but please think about what you are using and be sure it will not cause collateral damage. Apparently the parents had fed their young some of the poisoned insects and then ingested some themselves - a beautiful family of catbirds died as a result of this incident. Personally, I would rather deal with some weeds and grubs."
A zen principle I embrace and attempt to weave through the posts I present on The Zen Birdfeeder is "Zen RESPONSIBILITY". I espouse that "Birdfeeding comes with responsibilities to the birds and the environment we share with them."
We are content to live our lives in silos, but unfortunately the world doesn't exist in silos. The decisions we make about the chemicals we use, the trees we cut, the coffee we drink, the purchases we make, the companies we support...I could go on and on...can impact the environment we share with the birds and other wildlife.
We love "our" birds...but we want weed-free, green lawns. So we coat our yards with chemicals to kill the weeds, green the lawn, and eliminate the insects. But we never stop to think that when we put poisons on the yard and the bugs, we poison the animals that forage in the yard and eat the bugs. We're poisoning our birds.
We take the word of the lawn care "professional" that the poisons they apply will not affect wildlife or other animals that pass through the yard. But think about this: The Gray Catbird diet is primarily insects; how long can we expect birds that weigh only 2-ounces and their even smaller babies to live after eating meal after meal of poison-coated insects?
We make choices every day that impact the birds and our environment. And with information so readily available to us today, we cannot claim ignorance of the pros and cons of the alternatives before us.
I have chosen, and will continue to choose, to live with the birds in a chemical-free yard. I'll deal with the weeds; the birds will help us deal with the insects.