I am livid and in tears. I just read my Wisconsin Society of Ornithology newsletter and learned, in a short paragraph that appears toward the end, that WSO condones the trapping and killing Cowbirds. Seriously? KILLING birds? I was shocked and horrified and sent them the following letter... I doubt it will change their policy or that of anyone who is doing this. But if my words shed a tiny ray of light on this heinous practice and how wrong it is, it was worth my time...
Dear WSO Officers:
I just discovered that the WSO condones Cowbird trapping and KILLING. I just found a reference to it in the most recent newsletter and am completely mortified, disgusted and in tears. I just paid for a membership this year, and after hearing this, I will NOT be renewing my membership nor supporting your organization in any way.
I have very strong feelings regarding the killing of any animal. What makes mankind think he can control nature or decide one animal should die because it's not as "pretty" as another one? I'm well aware of the massive fatalities of the songbird population due to Cowbird parasitization. However, it is NOT up to us to control it. Only God and nature has that right. I truly believe that if we left nature alone, and that includes no more banding and other invasive control/observation procedures, it would figure itself out. Maybe we would lose some songbirds. Maybe we'd even lose entire species. But so be it. I'd be sad, but at least I'd have a clear conscience and know that the will of nature was the reason.
But then again, maybe songbirds would figure it out. It's amazing how, if left to its own devices, whole species adapt and survive (ie. look at the yellow warbler which ignores the parasitized nest and builds over it). I believe that nature is chaotic and also systematic. But in the end, it will work itself out, without our constant supervision and control.
It really fries me when I learn that an organization that says it is devoted to the preservation of wild birds condones and even celebrates KILLING them. To be more exact, those who kill Cowbirds are practicing "selective preservation," and/or playing God. And though it might be referred to as "euthanizing," the meaning of the word is to painlessly kill something which suffers from an incurable and/or painful disease. Since the cowbirds being killed are not suffering, it is simply KILLING.
To my blog readers: I love birds. All birds. And I love animals. All animals. It is wrong to kill. Period.