For Betty

Martin Bailey cmbb at
Mon Mar 18 11:07:31 EST 2002

For a number of years I was involved with banding birds of prey.  The
possiblity of being called to account for my behaviour was everpresent.  Who
gave me the right to harass the innocent!

Yes, I would say.  I am like some Gonzella grabbing a beast that is much
smaller than I am by a leg and turning it upside down.  Ane then putting a
band around it that it could never take off.

Unfortunately, humanity does have dominion over all and our behaviour
impacts on all things.  It has become our responsibility to understand all
that is around us.  For we leave nothing unaffected.

And it did matter that I disturbed hawks that were too young to fly.  For
when I started, in what was just an adventure to me,  one particular species
of hawk was very plentiful.  Suddenly, there was a change - Swainson's Hawks
suffered massive losses in their wintering grounds in the Argentine.  It now
mattered that I and others had a feel for the numbers of SWHA in their
summering grounds.  What would be the actual affect of the winter die-off
on summer breeding?

So bugsters.. go forth: collect and observe systematically.  It is with
sadness that your knowledge is needed.

Martin Bailey


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