Monday, December 20, 2010

...ah, the plight of the Golden Plover...

There is a little bird out here, a coastal bird, that's met with some hard times. I should clarify, not just One Bird, but a species that is evidently threatened with extinction. It's the Golden Plover, and is a fairly large bird, its size from 23 to 26 cm, although I don't know what that is in actual inches; you'll have to do the conversion, but it's probably somewhere along the size of a seagull (which is Not, and probably never will be extinct, beach vultures that they are).

Portions of beach from Bandon (further south than me) to Cannon Beach (further north from me) are being reserved so that the Plover (and his significant other) can lay eggs in designated places, perpetuating the species, and I support that fully. Although, something is funny in Denmark here, and that is, The Plover makes its nest in Dry Beach Sand. On a beach. Where Hawks, Seagulls and Pelicans can swoop in for a delicious 3-Plover-egg omelet. All of the other birds seem to choose nesting locations that are hidden somewhere, but according to the article I read today, the Plover nests right out there, in full view of everyone and everything. Little Kid On Beach: "Mommy, Mommy, LOOK! Real Bird Eggs!" "Junior, PUT THAT DOWN!!!"

It's Survival Of The Fittest out there in the bird world. I've seen different species chasing each other, with the lead bird squawking for dear life. I recently saw the remains of a dead seagull being picked at by Another Seagull. So the Plover NESTS RIGHT OUT IN THE OPEN? HOW DUMB IS THAT? I say that the Plover needs to be re-educated, to establish its home quarters where No Other Bird Species can see it. Case In Point: Near the Cape Arago Lighthouse seems to be where Cormorants nes, in a big grove of dead trees. A big Cormorant community; a bird subdivision, whatever. A case of "safety in numbers" although I'm sure Cormorant nests get raided. It becomes obvious that the bird world isn't the chirpy, carefree existence that we're led to think it is.

So portions of beach up and down the Oregon Coast being converted into Plover-only zones. I wonder, "wouldn't it be prudent to re-locate plover nests in safer places than the Beach?", along with, "Can that really be done or am I delusional?" Perhaps the Plover is so set its ways that it'll suffer the same fate as the Passenger Pigeon, extinct since the early 1900's. I've been around enough birds (wild and tame) in my time, enough to know you can't tell a bird anything. Birds are totally self-centered. Me, Me, Me. Is the Plover smart enough to hide its nest? Obviously not. So federal dollars are being spent trying to preserve areas of flat-ocean-beach so we can lose less Plovers than before. We can only hope the Plovers can be trained to help themselves. But, being birds, that probably won't work. You cannot make a bird sit down and learn something. That's impossible.
I couldn't end this post before mentioning that I just finished watching Monday Night Football. The Minnesota Vikings were playing, and quarterback Brett Favre, who was mangled last week, was knocked out of tonight's game early on.Two injured shoulders, a mangled left hand and landing hard on his head on an ice-covered field. It wasn't pretty. This might just be the last game that Favre plays. Has he learned his lesson or will he turn out like the Golden Plover, unable to learn? I admire Favre, have watched him play for years, but, Brett, hey, it's time. It's over. Please...


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