Vultures devouring corpses deliberately left in a public place to have their bones picked. And that’s a good thing. So I hear in this remarkable story about Mumbai, and how residents are trying to restore a ritual that was lost because the Advil patients got in hospitals before they died was killing off the raptors that were supposedly feeding on them… it’s a bit convoluted, but brings me to a question I’ve had in the last couple of years. Has the number of raptors in our region changed? Specifically, has it increased? We walked out to get the mail yesterday and a big, fat hawk flew low over our heads and perched on a branch, preening. There are always so many hawks and vultures in the sky, along the roads. I don’t remember noting their presence in the past. Or was I just insensate?
Filed under Jean Zimmerman, Nature
2 responses to “The Raptor”
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Here in the Pacific Northwest we have been encouraging ospreys, bald eagles, redtail hawks, various owl species and other birds of prey since the 1970s. It was touch and go at first, but now they are been flourishing thanks in part to, of all things, the feral cat population. You can work that one out for yourself.
The birds mentioned were killed off by well meaning outdoors-men as well as DDT during the ’30s through the ’60s. When I was young I do not ever remember seeing a single bald eagle or other bird of prey. My mother told me about how they were everywhere when she was growing up, but that a lot of hunters thought they were ‘taking all the small game’. When my mother began taking myself and my siblings on hikes all over the area during the ’70s we began to notice them. Back then there was a great deal of interest in encouraging their numbers, and now there is a healthy and happily watched population all around the lower Columbia and environs.
I remember the interest in helping these populations was originally sparked along the Eastern seaboard where the environmental movements of the 1960s got started.
The flower children did some good after all!