Hoots, Howls, and Hollers
I am so horrified by the article I recently read that I have decided to reprint it. I found this in the Endangered Earth On Line No. 761, Feb.12, 2015. I couldn’t think of a way to say it better, and I didn’t want to leave anything out, so it was best to just pass it on and make a plea to all of you to make sure we don’t lose the words that name our wildlife and wild places in exchange for the likes of broadband and celebrity…please! This is why our education program is SO important….know it!
Lost Words, Lost Creatures: Nature Disappearing From Dictionary
“In the beginning was the Word,” reads the Christian Gospel according to John — just one example of how the primal creative import of words is acknowledged by religions and cultures all over the world. Words and names, both spoken and written, are the building blocks not only of self but of history and human society.
Since 2007 Oxford University Press has updated its prestigious, widely used Junior Dictionary (which has a limit of 10,000 terms) by getting rid of the names of some 30 kinds of plants and animals central to our relationship with nature — words like acorn, beaver, beech, blackberry, boar, cheetah, clover, fern, ferret, heron, kingfisher, lark, leopard, lobster, magpie, otter, panther, porpoise, willow and raven. In their place are new words deemed more worthy of page space: celebrity, MP3 player, analogue, broadband.
A group of prominent authors, including Margaret Atwood, has publicly requested that the removed words be reinstated in future editions. “We … are profoundly alarmed,” their letter begins, by the replacement of words associated with nature with those “associated with the increasingly interior, solitary childhoods of today. … There is a shocking, proven connection between the decline in natural play and the decline in children’s wellbeing.”
If we allow our animals to disappear not only from the wild places they call home but even from our children’s books, it’s only a matter of time before they’re lost to human memory.
This Week @ Liberty
The intake total for this year now stands at 401.
Last week was pretty sad around the facility, as 2 golden eagles died despite heroic efforts to save them. Then we lost a peregrine falcon a couple days later followed by the death of another California condor (pictured last week in TW@L). The saddest part of all this is that all of the fatal problems these animals suffered were caused by human activities including the four eagles that came in that were all involved with automobiles, and the condor who was yet another victim of stubborn ignorance in the guise of lead poisoning. The week was at least ending on a happier note – the bald from the snowbank was about to be released (on his way home as I post this – hope somebody is taking pictures!), the third golden had a somewhat brighter prognosis, and we are preparing to do another Intersession at Phoenix Elementary. Plus, next week we launch Orphan Care 2015 with another Baby Bird Shower. Have hope folks, life isn’t for the feint of heart. If it was easy, everybody would be doing it!
After our favorite (and oldest!) educational animal – Grandpa – had his surgery a couple of weeks ago, he is doing well. The only addition to his regimen is his medication that is administered every other day. Not bad for a 75 year old who has been through as much as he has!
Now on the other end of the age spectrum, we have three Red tail eggs in our whiz-bang high tech incubator from a nest up near Bagdad. This note is to alert the ICU volunteers as to their presence so they keep an eye on them for future “activity” namely, hatching! Ahh the baby bird season is getting off to a rousing start!
A couple of eggs we took in from an abandoned barn owl nest have hatched and the babies are in the care of Tytus and Alba, our foster parent barn owls. Mom and dad are doing a first rate job brooding, protecting, and feeding the little birds who are doing well, thank you very much! I’ll try to keep you posted on their rapid growth.
The fourth eagle of last week – a golden with another automobile induced injury – got a break as we were able to get some good X-rays via Dr. Sorum’s portable X-ray unit. There is nothing like getting good digital radiography early in the process to confirm the actual injuries and guide proper treatment. This is why we are going to try to fund the acquisition of a digital X-ray unit as soon as possible. This would be the single greatest addition to the equipment list at Liberty Wildlife right now.
As Carol Suits was conducting an orientation for new volunteers last Saturday, Tony Sola came out and asked if anyone wanted to help feed some babies. After nearly getting trampled in the rush to the ICU, these lucky volunteers got to help with feeding baby birds and baby bunnies. This is probably an unfair sales technique, but whatever works, go for it!
Both bald eagles in the 60ft flight enclosure are doing well. The young kid from Wilcox is flying well as is the 5 year old who crashed into the snow bank near Lake Mary. The older bird was banded recently (see last week’s TW@L) and will soon go back north to be released. Wilcox will remain with us for a while yet as his condition is monitored.