TCS: Ecology, Blue Beads and Honey Buzzards

Good Morning!

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Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers on Monday mornings.
This is an Open Thread forum, so if you have an off-topic opinion burning
a hole in your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.

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You would have thought that our first priority would be to ask what
the ecologists are finding out, because we have to live within the
conditions and principles they define. Instead, we’ve elevated the
economy above ecology.

– David Suzuki

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I think of ecology as the “Saving the Earth” movement  — Earth Day, lobbying for Clean Air, Pete Seeger’s campaign to clean up the Hudson River, confronting Climate Change deniers . . . and scientists working on ideas like this one:

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I did notice that they just brushed by the ‘safely storing it underground’ part, and phasing out fossil fuels as an energy source was also left hanging, but if dirty energy power plants can put out less carbon dioxide, that would certainly be better than doing nothing.


But there are two definitions of Ecology. The other one is “the branch of biology that deals with the relations of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings.”  This bird migration project in the Netherlands is an example.

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But after watching this video, I’m afraid I had an entirely unscientific reaction.

I really wanted to talk to that second female Honey Buzzard:

“Honey, if he wouldn’t wait for her when she got caught in a dust storm, what makes you think he won’t dump you for some other buzzard-babe the minute things get a little  rough? Then you’ll find yourself, just like his ex, trying to make it work with some lame buzzard-guy who got passed over by all the other buzzard-honeys because he flunked Nest-Building 101. 

Think about the future, when your feathers aren’t so shiny and you don’t fly so fast.  I’m just sayin’ — Sisterhood . . .  Loyalty . . . Y’know?”

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About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 45 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband and a bewildered Border Collie.
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6 Responses to TCS: Ecology, Blue Beads and Honey Buzzards

  1. Terry Welshans says:

    Speaking of buzzards, I was flying with a few of them this afternoon. About 1,000 feet up two of them were lazily circling in an updraft, soaring in a large circle. As I approached them they moved out of the way and waved as I flew past.

    • wordcloud9 says:

      Hi Terry –

      Sounds like a glorious experience!

      Although really ugly to the human eye when seen up close, the California Condor is spectacular in flight – something I got to see once, although I was at ground level, cricking my neck and squinting against the light.

    • When flying a glider, I love buzzards and red-tailed hawks. They are true masters of the air. They tell the observant glider pilot where the good thermals are.
      It always made me grin when I would get behind a red-tailed hawk and follow it in lazy circles. They keep looking back over their shoulder to see if the giant bird is gaining on them.

      • wordcloud9 says:

        Must be a novel but anxious experience for the hawk, wondering if they have suddenly become the prey instead of the predator.

  2. Malisha says:

    I’d kind of like to educate the non-honey-buzzard female population by the actions (as a good example) of the FIRST female honey buzzard: If that guy doesn’t provide, don’t have any babies. Another form of Lysistrata. First principles: If all they can do is fight and create danger for your kids, no sex (at least with THEIR gender). If they don’t want to labor to “bring home the bacon,” you don’t want to “labor” to bring forth the next generation.

    • wordcloud9 says:

      My comment was tongue-in-cheek.

      Unlike the Honey Buzzards, human females can be aware that they have choices to make, in their own best interests,and also in the best interests of our planet, and everything that lives on it, including people. That so many Americans, both men and women, are choosing to remain ignorant or selfish in the midst of a global crisis is disheartening to say the least. But it’s usually easier to get a point across if you can make people chuckle – a little laughter seems to energize the brain.

      Honey Buzzards are a “least concern” species, meaning their numbers are good, and increasing. It didn’t say on the video, but I’m guessing they were picked for study because of their success at migrating such long distances, and the huge amount of data that can be collected on long-distance flying, wind and weather patterns, and so on. The study could be ongoing over a number of years, since the test subjects are among the most likely to continue surviving.

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