[Tweeters] RE: Range of Anna's Hummingbird

J & B Adamowski LaComa jennandbryan at msn.com
Tue Feb 21 22:28:29 PST 2006

If you want some interesting notes on climatology look at the records for heating days or departure from mean temperatures at Sea-Tac Airport for the last 25 years or so.  If you are looking strictly at the data where is the warming trend?  The averages do not say we are warming.  It does say that we are not getting the number of colder days.  There are only 2 months that really, really stand out and they are August and February.  Weird.  ( I am not saying here that we are not experiencing global warming )  
  In the rush to create backyard habitats we are by our very nature of existence going to alter the world around us.  Insects, a primary food source for hummingbirds as well as nectar, are very scarce in cities as we do not want to be bothered by these pesky critters when we are outside (heck even inside).  A local pesticide application company that will remain anonymous but whose name rhymes with "moo gene" offers Crane Fly Larvae control (a huge farce in these parts) and Arachnid Control to remove spiders from your house and yard.  I have even heard of a few people dousing their yards to remove Earth Worms!  
  We are removing at an alarming rate our lowland habitats so that only a few tidal bays and low, flat lands exist without buildings, asphalt or Blackberries/Scotch Broom/Ivy.  All of our protected lands are generally mountainous forests now.  The habitat loss is tremendous.  Every house that exists sat on once was once very critical habitat for all species.  All of this contributes to the general warming trends that our planet is going through.
  So, we as humans decide to help out and plant things in our yard that attract wildlife.  We hang up feeders that help mitigate the loss of native flowering shrubs and perennials.  We attract them to our yards and adopt them as our own birds.    
  Again, we are altering the patterns of the world around us.
  Where is the balance?  Which practice is ultimately more harmful for the planet?
  The one of loss and habitat abuse or the one of trying to help out in any way we can?   
  One e-mail mentioned 1,000 years of this practice and the implications it will have.  Very interesting line of thinking and perhaps we should take it even further.  If we as humans have made species dependant of us what will happen when we are gone?  There will be a time when humans do not rule the Earth.  1,000 years or 1,000,000 years?  Who knows.  However, if we are discussing the fate of species and the evolution of specific species as they relate to humans it is a very relevant point.
  So, what do we do?
  I tend to believe that the good that comes from people planting native or non-native (but non-invasive) plants to attract wildlife in general or hang up feeders will learn more and care more for the natural world around them.  
  Warming trends by nature will create more habitat for birds and mammals to roam and a greater range of plant species as different elevations begin to accept seeds from columbine, paintbrush, grasses and eventually insects though.  Is this net gain going to off set the impacts at the lower elevations?  Very likely for our resident species but this should allow for our migratory species (and new ones) to flourish a bit more as their food sources grow and expand in range?   
  This is a tough one for sure and both sides have very valid points.  I believe I am even arguing with myself here in this e-mail!  Don't worry, I will win that one though...no you won't......wanna' bet?  Oh, sorry.
  So what is the answer?  Not sure but the likely hood of us stopping "progress" and "development" is very unlikely, so I say hang those feeders!  Plant Cape Fuchsias and Hostas and Trumpet Vines!  Enjoy the connection to nature in your own yard.  Teach your friends, children and neighbors about the cycle of natural rhythms in the outside world and think about what you are spraying when you want to kill those pesky bugs or get rid of weeds.  It will have a longer lasting impact than we as humans will ever have.

Shoreline, Wa.
jennandbryan at msn.com
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