Our changing attitudes towards birds

There was a lot of fun and, of course, the seriousness of the theme of World Albatross Day – Albatross Friendly Fisheries. The purpose of World Albatross Day is to educate us to the challenges and the dangers for these beautiful seabirds. They are also opportunities. For the long line fishing boats to stop bycatch one easy fix that is often free is the use of tori or bird scaring streamers. Many of the conservation groups in South America provide these for free to the boats. The cake is by Gillian Slocum and it is a Southern Ocean Fishing Vessel with the tori or bird scaring streamers. The cake illustrates how simple a solution this is!

I hope that the attitudes of the owners of these massive fish factories change and that we will see the birds protected. Sometimes it takes time – and sometimes there isn’t any time.

A document arrived in my inbox today that I want to share with you. It shows the attitudes towards Ospreys from 1810-1965. At the time, to learn about the birds they were often shot, measured, and drawn. Then they were taken to the taxidermists and placed in museums or on stands in great drawing rooms as trophies. The newspaper articles along with beautiful drawings of the birds were compiled by Simon Kidner in A Fine Specimen. It is enlightening.

This booklet actually gives me hope. The attitudes of humans towards birds have changed and the Osprey with all the reintroductions and translocations is now doing well, I am, thus, hopeful that the world can change how we use the resources of our beautiful oceans. Perhaps we can even clean them up so that by 2050 the ocean will not be more plastic than water! Can you imagine the impact on the surviving seabirds if we do not clean up ‘our’ act?

Thank you so much for joining me on World Albatross Day! I will leave with an image of Idris and his giant mullet. The Dyfi staff believe it is the largest fish ever brought to their nest!

The mullet is estimated to weigh more than Idris! Idris, you are amazing. Telyn and the Two Bobs are really going to enjoy that catch.

Take care everyone. I really hope you enjoy Simon’s Kidner’s compilation of the newspaper articles in the British press. Have a great Friday!

Thank you to the Dyfi Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I grabbed the image of Idris with his amazing fish. And thanks to the FB posting of the Australian Antarctic Division for the image of G Slocum’s cake entered in their staff contest.

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