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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Save our spotted owl

It was another tough week in the news. Federal biologists said they were ready to pull the trigger on a new plan to save the spotted owl.
It seems that the barred owl, a recent immigrant from Canada has been victimizing the endangered spotted owl by stealing his habitat, nest and mate who is then forced to lay the eggs of an unnatural hybrid.
Canada has a long history of sending its problem birds to America. The Canada goose is a large winged pest whose loud honking is responsible for noise pollution.
Canada geese produce huge quantities of a biohazard waste that pollutes our lawns and waterways with unpronounceable bacteria.
While the Canada goose poses a threat to our environment, another invader from the Great White North, the Canada Jay can affect our quality of life. This rapacious invader will steal anything that isn't nailed down. The Canada Jay has ruined so many American family picnics it is called “The Camp Robber.” 
Barred owl
Now we are faced with another yet threat to our American way of life from the sleeping giant to the north, the Canada barred owl.  Do we have to wait for the day when the ethereal “hoot” of an American owl is replaced by the “eh” of the Canada owl? Or witness the horror of a Canadian owl swooping down to rob the back bacon off our picnic tables before we realize there is a problem? No.   
For years Canada birds have taken advantage of an open-door policy that allows them to migrate back and forth across our borders. While politicians and law enforcement officials have long overlooked the alien bird migration problem, some hard working federal biologists have come up with a solution.
The barred owl had better straighten up and fly right if they know what is good for them.
The last critter that crossed the biologists was the hickory-shirted logger. The biologists whipped the loggers so bad they mostly either went extinct or moved to Alaska.
It turns out the loggers might have got off easy. The biologists plan to deal with the barred owl the old-fashioned way, shoot them.
I know what you twinkle-toed bird-watching types are thinking. How can you shoot such a beautiful, intelligent, trusting creature like the barred owl, that just sits on a branch and watches with their big sad eyes while you pull the trigger? It’s easy that's how, you don’t have to lead them at all.
Shooting the barred Owl however, is not a viable alternative. Because, while one group of biologists is busy shooting owls to save owls, another dedicated group of their biologist colleagues just got done transplanting a bunch of fishers into spotted owl habitat.
I'm sure it's just a coincidence these fishers came from Canada. Unfortunately this tree climbing member of the weasel family lists the spotted owl as its favorite item on the menu!
Meanwhile, still more biologists survey the spotted owl population. They do this by calling the spotted owl during the mating season when many of us sensitive woodland creatures are the most vulnerable. When the spotted owl answers the bogus mating call, they reveal their location to myriad predators, including the fisher and the barred owl.
Still more dedicated biologists put radio collars on the spotted owls to see if they can still fly.
With all the surveying and studying, no wonder the owls are endangered. I'm surprised there is one left.
Maybe if the biologists should look in the mirror if they really wanted to determine the cause of the continued decline of the spotted owl.

1 comment:

  1. You have a way with words to mock a point. Thanks Pat, I didn't know this was happening with the Barred Owls... Sad, but I got a lol this morning...Looking forward to your next blog. In Juneau, Kelly