Owl Shack - scops owl Christmas

We all get upset when we see an injured or dead bird, especially when it is the result of human actions, like getting hit by a car or flying into a window. Most of us will try very hard to help that injured animal by contacting a certified rehabber, as we should. Sometimes we get so focused on the trees that we fail to see the forest. What I mean is – as individuals and as a society we make decisions every day that severely impact hundreds, thousands, or even millions of birds and other wildlife – decisions like clearing land for development or pastures planted in non-native grass, building houses or offices with highly reflective windows, overwatering our lawns, driving gas-guzzling vehicles, and even letting our pet cats roam outside. We aren’t intending to injure wildlife by doing these things – it’s what biologists refer to as incidental take or the military refers to as collateral damage. There’s a reason that we have seen a national decline of 3 billion birds, as cited in an article published in September 2019 in the journal Science and highlights shown here.  While some of these larger-scale activities are unavoidable, some are within our control – consider energy-efficient appliances, planting native plants to offset our turf lawns, contributing money to organizations that conserve land and birds, and contacting your elected officials when you see actions or policy decisions you know will impact our native wildlife. Sometimes all the bad news in the world can make us feel like our small actions will never make a difference, but they will. Do it for the owls.

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