Thursday, January 19, 2012

Starlings Dying---What Can Be Done?

Dear Madame L,

I was disturbed to hear in the news last week of the death of about 400 starlings in a park in Clearfield, Utah. The state agencies responsible for checking into such things have said that someone must have put poisoned them, but that they are not the ones that did it, and they have no intention of trying to find the guilty culprit because starlings are a nuisance bird and are not protected.

I know you are a bird lover, and are concerned about our earth and its environment and the politics that govern our societies. Do you think I should do something about this? Is there anything I can do?


Concerned Citizen

Dear Concerned Citizen,
Madame L thanks you for your question and apologizes for taking so long to respond.

As long as the birds killed in an incident like this are not protected by federal or state laws, which starlings, house sparrows, and pigeons are not, you can't do much. 

Madame L thinks this is very sad. She understands why these three common species are not protected: they are non-native, invasive species and have taken away habitat of native species. Yet she finds them all to be charming in their own ways, and she remembers that her own ancestors are non-native invaders of this continent. In fact, Madame L gets mad when she hears people from the Audubon Society talk about how to destroy starling and house sparrow eggs. 

Madame L has found a couple of websites for people like herself, and you, Dear Concerned Citizen, who would like to do something for birds that would otherwise not be cared for:

Starlings are very intelligent birds, and Madame L thinks they're quite beautiful. She would raise some, herself, if she had any energy left after taking care of herself and her current menagerie. She always enjoys the antics of house sparrows, and she even likes the pigeons that hang out everywhere. 

Madame L loves this quote from the Starling website:  

"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow man." ~St. Francis of Assisi 

So, Dear Readers, let's take care of all these creatures, and God bless us all,

Madame L


Ellen said...

Thank you for your research and explanation. It helps.

AskTheGeologist said...

I would listen to Francis. On this if not everything he preached. This is part of what "Charity" is all about. Killing defenseless creatures is just a very small step from cruelty towards children and other helpless people.