viceroy at anu.ie
Thu May 25 01:26:02 EDT 2000
Whenever you deliberately jigger the wildlife population of an area,
whether by putting out a bird feeder, adding a butterfly garden, or just
putting in a little pond, you are going to impact the lives of a lot of
I think the bird feeder is the most likely to damage the local ecology,
as it attracts "trash" birds such as starlings and grackles, which feed
their young on your caterpillars.
The bluebird houses merely replace the dead trees (snags) that used to
provide housing for these nice native birds. But of course they will
also eat your butterflies.
The gardener at one school I've worked with proudly added a martin house
at the center of the butterfly garden the children had painstakingly
designed and planted. That seemed to me poor strategy.
Most people don't know enough about botany, biology, the life of the bee
and so forth, yet we muddle in, all sails set, in the hopes of mending
the environment. Any garden is an assault on the integrity of the local
system, after all. And I'm reminded of the teacher who planned to
bulldoze the native saw palmettos in order to plant pentas for her
I promote butterfly gardening in order to provide plenty of caterpillars
for the birds I love. Naturally I also foster moths, spiders etc.
I think, after the first few years of fanaticism (as Lana Edwards
reminded us) most of us relax and enjoy nature even when it's a squirrel
eating our monarch caterpillars. We're fattening him up for the owl, and
what goes around, comes around.
We can't "fix" nature so that we'll like it better, but we can "fix" our
gardening practices to be more life-affirming. I guess. Bluebirds are
surely better than pesticides. But I dunno.
Just killing time till the next ice age, anyway.
Cris Guppy & Aud Fischer wrote:
> Interesting thought ... bluebirds are highly insectivorous and presumably
> love "collecting" butterflies, including rare species. An dilemma: Is the
> act of increasing populations of birds that kill butterflies, the same as
> people directly killing butterflies?
> -----Original Message-----
> From: wanda <be496 at lafn.org>
> To: NABA <naba at naba.org>
> Cc: leps-l at lists.yale.edu <leps-l at lists.yale.edu>
> Date: May 24, 2000 10:48 AM
> Subject: Re: Florida Traps
> >Thanks Jeff, for representing us so graciously.
> >I'll certainly vouch that traps of all kinds get damaged, removed, etc.
> >and don't mean just by the weather! There has been a big push for
> >bringing bluebirds back to the area and numerous birdhouses have been
> >built and placed in parks toward that end. If a birdhouse makes it
> >through the year, it is amazing!
> >Wanda Dameron
> >LA-NABA, Lep Soc, Xerces, Lorquin, ATL
> >Flutterby Press, San Fernando Valley, Ca.
> >> NABA wrote:
> >> Earlier today, the following message was intended to be copied to this
> >> address, but an empty message was inadvertantly sent instead.
> >> Dear Mr. Koehn,
> >> Alana Edwards forwarded to me your email in which you state that you
> >> have received telephone calls informing you that a NABA member
> >> destroyed a trap and removed others that you had placed near Port
> >> Mayaca.
> >> Please be assured that if such actions did in fact take place, they
> >> were in no way encouraged nor condoned by NABA. I have seen some of
> >> the same second and third hand information that you have seen, stating
> >> that a NABA member did interfere with one of your traps. If you do
> >> have convincing information that a particular individual destroyed
> >> your trap, I encourage you to take this matter up with them directly,
> >> if you so desire. If a NABA member participating on one of these field
> >> trips did destroy or take a trap belonging to you, then I sincerely
> >> apologize on behalf of NABA for their behavior.
> >> A few groups of NABA members did visit an area near Port Mayaca in
> >> conjunction with the NABA Members Meeting being held in nearby West
> >> Palm Beach, Florida. I, myself led the first group of approximately 16
> >> people to this area on Friday, May 18. You mention that you had placed
> >> a number of traps in this area, but I noticed only a single trap
> >> placed in a tree. Since my group was the first NABA field trip group
> >> to visit the site, it is entirely possible that other, non-NABA people
> >> removed some of them. As you probably know, bait traps can attract all
> >> sorts of attention. The first traps that Bob Robbins and I placed near
> >> the Amazon River in 1970 were cut down and stolen the first day out.
> >> Very few of the people in my group remarked about the trap and
> >> certainly none did anything to disturb it. Personally, I had no idea
> >> as to whom the trap belonged or for what purpose it were there, but
> >> assumed (apparently not entirely correctly) that any butterflies
> >> trapped would be released. A few other groups visited the same area
> >> when I was not present.
> >> To reiterate, NABA does not condone the destruction of others’
> >> property and if a NABA member was involved in such destruction during
> >> a NABA-led field trip, then we apologize for that individual’s
> >> unwarranted, unauthorized and unacceptable behavior.
> >> Sincerely,
> >> Jeffrey Glassberg
> >> President: NABA
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