you meet us near water. we love to nest in vegetation along rivers and streams or other wetlands, across the american west we have been listed as endangered since 1995 under the endangered species act. that’s a while ago now, you may think. well, we endure. they say identifying and protecting habitat will help our survival and recovery. that’s what they say.
we are protected from take which means any harming by
in winter we migrate from our southwestern breeding grounds further down the americas. in spring we return here just in time for the riparian woodland insects to hatch. oh we gorge ourselves. we — and other insectivorous animals consume huge numbers of insects, including mosquitoes which otherwise could grow out of control. we love the insects, they are crunchy and tasty. by conserving us and protecting our wild places you help ensure the benefits we provide — like grace and beauty, healthy air and water and keeping down the creepy-crawlies.
when you change riparian ecosystems, reduce water flow, alter flood flows — all your physical modifications to watersheds and streams — all this changes things for us as well.
these are the changes from your engineering of the landscape:
the groundwater depletion
all that you call culture
we live through this. adapt to this. we are still here. though loss of wintering habitat and stopover places for our migration do seem to take our breath away. adding agri-chemicals and pesticides sure makes it a rough ride. but we fly. we build our nests, breed, incubate and hatch our eggs
we appreciate your designation of critical habitat, identifying areas for conservation of endangered species, yes — though we merely wanted to be birds. just birds, as we are.
we love to do as birds do
we love trees and shrubs —the willows and boxelder
we love dense riparian understory foliage, from the ground level up to approximately 13 feet
we love dense patches of riparian forests that are interspersed with small openings of water or marsh
we love how this creates sweet places. of richness
we love richness, a richness of insect
we don’t need any fixed garden of eden. we are already here — exceeding
(a richness to share)
(a richness of friends)
bees and beetles
butterflies and moths
we love the world as it is
we love it altered too. you humans expect endangered species to transform your designated new habitats into replicas of the ones we lost, and when we do not achieve this exactly, we disappoint you
—while you have come to perceive your cities as environmental deserts, and the countryside the only proper place for wildlife, nature doesn’t live only where you expect to find it. we see a new wild you see, what you perceive as ecosystems may remain distinct by geology and climate, but we species come and go, according to both human and natural forces. in the oceans you can’t say what is alien and what is not. so it is on land, too — and in the air. we love the air. the air that moves and is
change is the constant
— you see, everyone is visiting. no one is native here.
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