To the Contrary

Let’s work together to protect migratory birds

I am in awe of birds and their fascinating habits and personalities.

In 1918 the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act was passed to protect international migratory birds. This was necessary after the senseless destruction of the entire population of passenger pigeons for sport.

The Migratory Bird Act protects the transitory nature of birds from the lethal destruction performed by heartless individuals. Some countries work together to protect birds.

In some countries, however, endangered bird species are caught in nets to be eaten. In critical stopping, feeding and nesting areas, this can be detrimental to the continued survival of a species. Some birds just need a fish, worm, rest and maybe a drink so they can move on to their nesting grounds. Daily, nesting grounds are lost to development (such as that of the piping plover in South Carolina). With landfills burning and tainted water, the birds just make do as best they can.

The canker worms were not as bad this year as last year. I did not fill my bird feeder as often in hopes that the birds would be hungry and hopefully eat more worms. Yes, there were more black birds and robins in my yard feasting this year. Yes there were fewer worms!

The double crested black cormorants (plalacrocorax auritus) are non-game migratory birds. It is against federal law to shoot non-game migratory bird species. The migratory cormorants are not native to South Carolina. They merely stop and eat.

They maybe a nuisance to some individuals. However, they are protected under federal law. In some places their numbers may seem abundant, but they were once endangered.

Why is it that the state Department of Natural Resources decided it would be OK to kill these birds again this year? It seems utterly ridiculous and pathetic to allow these birds to be shot in the thousands because they eat fish. Their role in the whole balance of ecosystems has not been fully studied and investigated.

The U.S. Fish and Wild life Service should protect wild birds, not permit slaughter. Nature has a way of keeping balance. Last year an unprecedented number of birds were killed in South Carolina alone.

We have no business getting involved. It is lethal culling by shooters who think they are being of service to something other than their own ego. The rationale is absurd.

So, instead of issuing permits in violation of the migratory bird act, we need to educate those with “plalacrocoraxaphobia” on how to build bird houses. Cormorants are survivors just like those dang canker worms.

I feel it is short sighted for the citizens of South Carolina to get an exemption from federal law and be allowed to participate in the termination of this beautiful bird species.

Sarah Cholewinski is a resident of Rock Hill.

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