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Birds and boys

Paper type: Essay
Pages: 2 (433 words)
Categories: Bird, Nature
Downloads: 50
Views: 3

Birds and boys with BB guns don’t mix well. Growing up on the farm in western Nebraska in the 1970s, my four brothers and I all had BB guns. When we weren’t shooting at beer cans or each other (yes, we were stupid enough to do that) we were often shooting at birds. I hate to say it, but we killed a lot of sparrows, pigeons and barn swallows as well as a few killdeer, meadowlarks and kingbirds.

We became pretty good shots. Which wasn’t a good thing. Looking back now, I cringe at what we did. I remember our grandmother telling us to quit shooting the birds as we headed out the door with our guns. We didn’t listen and we didn’t realize that we were likely changing the ecosystem of the farm in a bad way. At the peak of our BB-shooting prowess, the bird population at the farm fell significantly.

The birds learned to stay away. Fewer birds likely meant more mice, grasshoppers and other undesirable pests-and much less enjoyment from just having them around. I wish we would have listened to our grandmother. Fast-forward to today and although I’m VERY tempted to take out some of those pesky starlings that invade my birdfeeders each spring, the only bird hunting

I do now is with binoculars. As with other birders, I’ve started keeping a life list and I’m now up to about 50 different species that I’ve seen, many of which were in my own backyard. Although my list pales in comparison to those of avid birders, it does reveal how diverse a bird population can be even within a town. Some of my favorite backyard birds include the black-capped chickadee, white-breasted nuthatch, brown creeper, orchard oriole and various woodpeckers. It’s also quite a sight to see a large cooper’s hawk hanging out in the yard looking for a meal. It can have all the starlings it wants! Although I’m no Jason St. Sauver, the ‘Birdnerd’ of Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center (see his article in this issue), I’m happy to be considered a budding bird nerd. Birds are certainly fun to watch, but they’re also fun to listen to with their amazing variety of songs and calls. One of my favorites is the two-tone call of the black-capped chickadee-high and then low. Another good one is the melodic notes of the cardinal in late winter signaling that spring is on the way. I swear I can hear him singing ‘give it here’ within those notes. For years while working in my backyard I wondered what the gurgling noise


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Birds and boys. (2019, Nov 25). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/birds-and-boys-with-bb-guns-don-t-mix-well-growing-up-on-example-essay

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