Saturday, October 13, 2012

Birds and Voters on the Move

The days are growing short, temperatures cooling and the birds are on the move.

Now that almost all of the duckweed at Harlem Mere is gone, it appears that the large flocks of mallards who had been recently feasting on it have moved on to presumably greener pastures

It was surprising last night to find only the familiar resident ducks at the Mere. -- The 30 or 40 who are there most of the year. (This number includes the two domestic flightless ducks, Wiggly and Honker for whom the Mere represents their home regardless of weather or food supplies.)

The number of mallards had been almost as high as couple of hundred over the past six weeks at Harlem Mere.

But, still there are no Canada geese -- a situation that would be utterly shocking in past years during the early fall.

But, in light of recent goose massacres that have especially escalated throughout New York City in the past three years, the sight of few or no geese in Central Park is no longer a surprise. 

It has rather become the "new normal."

(Though it cannot be stated with proof or certainty, based on simple, personal observances, I would guess the resident goose population in NYC to have been wiped out by nearly 90% over the past three years.)

This year we have Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D) NY to particularly "thank" for our much depleted goose population in the five boroughs.

Gillibrand's personal crusade to round up and slaughter more than 700 geese from Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and other areas this summer resulted in a resounding "success" whose impact is now felt around the city.

Oddly enough, the Senator humbly fails to brag about this "accomplishment" either in her TV commercials or on her FB page.

But, I for one will not forget Gillibrand's lofty crusade and its ultimate success this Election Day.  It is one of the prime reasons for turning against both Gillibrand and her party this November even though still being a registered democrat.

(The only democrat still supported is personal city councilman, Dan Garodnick because a goose cull has not occured in Central Park and his office was responsive and supportive to  requests for their protection.)

It is one way to demonstrate extreme dissatisfaction with what has occurred over the past 4 years (though there are other reasons for the decision).

It has been a depressing experience watching geese slowly vanish in Central Park over the past 3 years even though the park itself had nothing to do with goose massacres.

The hand of the federal government reaches far beyond the halls or buildings of DC.  It in fact reaches into the ponds and lakes of our urban parks much to the dismay of many of us attending those parks or surrounding areas. 

And then they send us a tax bill for goose massacres at a time our national debt is 16 trillion dollars.

Change is desperately needed in Washington. 

The question is, can it come in time to save either the few surviving geese in NYC and a fiscal economy going over a cliff?

Perhaps those 100+ mallards had good reason to leave New York City over the past few days that had nothing to do with duck weed.

It is, simply put, no longer a bird friendly town. -- PCA


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