The Waterfowl

I’m making it bird week! It’s almost spring and today I basked in the resplendent honks of Canada geese as well as some cheery birds in the morning, and the cackle of crows in the afternoon. It has been a very bird-y day and I’m excited!

I love all birds; they lift my spirits and put me in the best mood. One of my favorites is the Canada goose

The Canada goose, commonly mistaken as Canadian goose, is one of my favorite birds. Although they are often seen as a pest, dirty and aggressive, they are very beautiful creatures with their sleek fight, outstretched wings, and long graceful necks. From their annual journey to and from Canada and the U.S., to the chorus of honks overhead when you least expect it, I find them to be a joyful sign of Autumn as well as Spring. Their appearance assures me that there’s beautiful weather ahead.

While these birds aren’t anywhere close to endangerment, when I enjoy them my mind wanders to other species of waterfowl.

The nēnē, official state bird of Hawaii, is a large goose with varying colors of tan, brown, and black spread across its feathers. It is quite a beautiful bird, designed with lightly webbed feet to walk over the lava flows. Sadly, over hunting and collecting of eggs after the arrival of James Cook in 1778 drove the population of the nēnē down to only 30 birds in 1951. The population that lived on Maui was extinct before 1890. Fortunately, there is motion to protect these gorgeous geese from dwindling even further down, but it is still a problem for many other water fowl.

The swan goose, native to East Asia, is another graceful bird. It is on the brink of extinction. Poaching as well as habitat loss is contributing to the steep decline of these peaceful creatures. Farming in Northern China and the building of dams has reduced the amount of safe breeding grounds.

You may ask, “why does this matter?” The answer is: these waterfowl, just like any other organism, play a vital part in keeping their ecosystem in check. Biodiversity is lessening as a result of human development, which is harming the environment. Without the amazing spread of wildlife, we won’t be able to thrive on this planet.

If you’d like to learn more about biodiversity and how different organisms play a part, feel free to do some research. Here a few links that will lead you to good reads.

Biodiversity

How you can help

If you’re interested in helping to preserve different species of birds or mammals or plants, consider donating to:

The American Bird Conservancy

The Wildlife Conservation Society

Thank you for reading! There is more to come; I’ve been swamped with school work so this past week I haven’t put up much to read. Like I said at the beginning of this post, this whole week will be dedicated to birds, so get ready!

~Micaela~

http://www.fws.gov/pacificislands/fauna/HIgoose.html

http://www.konicaminolta.com/kids/endangered_animals/library/sky/swan-goose.html

http://www.schmoker.org/BirdPics/DomWaterfowl.html

Nene or Hawaiian Goose

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