In addition to possessing good eyesight, loud voice, and adaptability, San Diego’s invaders have learned to abide with humans and their trappings. In fact, it’s humans’ trashy ways that give crow populations the ability to increase exponentially. But their best source of protein, by far, is other creatures. Songbirds and small mammals by the millions are being destroyed every year by crows, who rob nests of eggs, devour nestlings, and, when possible, prey on the young of bird and mammal species.
As a longtime environmental activist and avid conservation ecologist, I was extremely disappointed that Mr. Hunefeld shared the “spectator’s distance” characteristic of bird-watchers and most scientists, who feel that humans should not interfere with nature’s way. Staying out of the natural process is no longer an option: humans have jeopardized the planet’s health, permanently disturbed species’ ability to migrate, and destroyed most of the natural habitat of every creature on Earth.
I would remind both Deegan and Hunefeld about the Ninety Percent Tragedy: Populations of nearly every major species native to America (including their habitat for refuge, forage, and nesting) have been reduced by at least ninety percent. All but a tiny fraction of San Diego’s native wetlands, forests, meadows, estuaries, and river habitats remain for nature’s critters. Plant and animal species have been sacrificed primarily for human self-indulgence. Urban lifestyle that provides fast food and other edible waste draws clever crows to Southernmost California. The variety of songbirds that nest in our temperate coastal climate assures that the metallic screech will continue to fill the air.
Hopefully, San Diegans will not wait until the song of spring is usurped by the raucous call of crows. I would ask bird-watchers, and especially the Audubon Society membership, to intercede on behalf of threatened songbirds. Before it’s too late.
The Nature School
Olivia Cassidy’s “Roommate from Hell” (July 31) was one of the best yet. Glad she and her cats got out alive!
Ollie: I have written to PBS before, complaining about their pandering to the bequest hopes from centenarians (“Remote Control King,” April 6, 2006). I am 72 years old. My favorite “oldies” are Rolling Stones, Doors, the Who, Korn, Boingo, Dead Kennedys, and Clash. Sometimes they drag out Clapton or Garcia, who I enjoy, too. But when are they going to bury Lawrence Welk? Eeew!
Dale Ann Thompson