Waste Affecting Wildlife – Part 1, Birds

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Waste Affecting Wildlife – Part 1, Birds

Bird sitting amongst debris mixed with plastic stretched across a river

Across the breadth of the country we find a wide variety of birds of different sizes and colors, with many interesting species adapted to their particular environment. On the ocean, seabirds grace us with their sleek forms. On farms, birds help keep insects under control, while in our gardens they bring us great pleasure with their delightful songs while they feed on pests. waste affecting wildlife

There are those of us that take an active interest in birdwatching as a hobby, and some even become professionally involved. With so many species to learn about, it’s a never-ending subject of great fascination. 

To be out in nature and to hear the calls of birds and to be able to have them in our lives brings so much more to the experience. This is why so many people are fascinated by birds, and spend hours birdwatching and identifying their calls. 

Whether done or as a hobby or for the purposes of study, these feathered friends of nature occupy a special place in our hearts. 

Many people travel far and wide to see birds, and the subject is well covered. So much so that there are organizations such as the Audubon Society, devoted to the conservation of birds, research, awareness, and data pertaining to their welfare. There is an ever-expanding list of bird species across the USA, becoming threatened by the ravages of the environment. The reasons why certain bird species are becoming endangered makes for interesting reading, and these are mostly due to the harm we cause using pesticides, indiscriminate littering, and the encroachment on their habitats. 

The Endangered Species Act is a piece of legislation brought into existence over thirty years ago to help protect the many species that are becoming endangered, classifying them according to the level of seriousness, and putting into law steps that can be taken to mitigate the situation. This legislation helps guide the many interested bodies involved in the conservation of birds enabling them to put corrective actions in place in order to safeguard the interests of our birds in this country. It highlights their plight and helps concerned bodies focus on correction programs for the good of the birds that we find under threat. 

The York area needs you and it needs us at Little Green Junk York as your junk management company to keep our environment clean for ourselves and also for the birds we love. 

The Dangers of Pollution for our Birds

  • Looking at an example of an endangered species, the California Condor comes to mind. Declared extinct in 1987, it is thanks to some determined volunteers who rescued the species. Today there are some 100 California Condors in the wild. The species died off due to lead poisoning mainly, and even today, those that survive are prone to eat ammunition left in dump sites, where they mistake it for food. To their detriment they also devour electrical wires, plastic offcuts, bits of cloth and rubber, bottle caps, glass shards, and such things of no nutritional value. When they take this junk back the nest to feed the fledglings, imagine the consequences.  waste affecting wildlife

Realizing that the California Condor is vulnerable to lead poisoning has led to initiatives by volunteers to clean up dump sites where they feed to protect them.

  • Floating junk on the ocean is often mistaken for food by sea birds, particularly for ships that are known to throw piles of junk overboard while at sea. This has disastrous consequences. Birds like Fulmars, Petrels, Albatrosses, and Shearwaters are the ones most affected as they peck at floating objects covered in nasty polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). These chemicals that coat plastic, floating on the ocean, lead to a build-up of the poisonous toxins in their bodies which causes the bird to weaken. The toxins attack their immune system and reduce their fertility. Mistaking the junk as food, they often regurgitate the useless materials for their young, who immediately have their digestive systems blocked up with plastic. The rest can be imagined and it’s not pretty.

The well known and magnificent Wandering Albatross and Royal Penguin are two birds on the endangered list because of our careless treatment of the oceans.

Pesticides and Pollution- The Threat to Birds

  • Farm birds in the USA are showing a 74% decline in numbers over the last few decades. And the problem lies with the farmers and the pressure on farming. The pressure is in the form of new land required for expansion, eating away at birds’ habitats, and improving yields through more aggressive spray programs using strong pesticides designed to kill all the pests on crops thereby killing the food of farmland birds. 
  • Some birds like the Whooping Crane and the Gunnison’s Sage-Grouse are so rare that the chance to spot one is exceptionally small. Grass loving birds such as Kirtland’s Warbler and Piping Plover are also suffering the same fate as the space of feeding and nesting diminishes. 
  • Concerned farmers are leaving strips of grassland for birds to occupy and moves are afoot to use eco-friendly herbicides for their crop protection. 

What Can we Do?

Let’s look after our birds by being aware of their plight. Starting with ourselves, just getting to know them by reading and observing them and by joining others on bird outings we can learn a lot. Help by cleaning up their environments and be aware of the habitats that they live in. 

Improving our junk disposal habits and reduction in the use of harmful pesticides in our garden will make a small but meaningful difference. Give the birds a cleaner and healthier place to live in.

Little Green Junk is your local licensed junk removal company working the betterment of our environment. Contact us for a free, no obligation quote if you need service. We offer after hours or weekend junk pickups, and even a same day junk removal service. Let us help you maintain the safety and cleanliness of your surroundings.

Call us at the following number: 717 467 0070

We look forward to hearing from you.

Email: inquiries@littlegreenjunk.com

www.littlegreenjunk.com