About the Birds and the Bees
Have you seen any lightning bugs lately? Have you noticed that the grill of your car is no longer plastered with dead insects? When you walk in the woods, have you noticed that there just aren’t as many birds around as there used to be?
The hard truth is that insects and birds are disappearing at an alarming rate. That could be disastrous for our planet.
Studies show that since the mid-70s, the insect population has fallen by over 75%. This number includes the pollinator family which is instrumental to our food supply.
During roughly the same period, we have lost over 3 billion birds (around 30%). Birds are not only beautiful and interesting. They are also important pollinators and “seed-bearers.” Their declining numbers tell us that as stewards of the earth, we are doing Very poorly.
We can help the insects by diminishing the amounts of insecticides and herbicides applied to lawns, fields, and orchards. On average, lawn maintenance companies apply twelve times the amount of chemicals needed to ensure a “comfortable” outdoor experience. You can help greatly if you stop spraying altogether.
The American Bird Conservancy recommends a variety of measures to help the birds: 1) keep cats indoors, 2) turn off outdoor lights especially during spring and fall migrations, 3) reduce the use of pesticides, and 4) keep your property as “wild” as possible by planting trees and reducing the size of your lawn.
We are not at the tipping point yet, but we’re getting close. Try these ideas to help the birds and the bees. Who knows, you might even see some lightning bugs!
Contributed by Gary Petty, TLPA Board Member