This Is Disturbing


While on Cape Perpetua, another visitor noticed my American Birding Association gear and we started talking birds. They ended up giving me directions to Heceta Beach where I spied a few birds that I had never seen before. This bird, however, caught my eye because he is in a very bad way and there is not much that can be done about it.

While I was at this park, a lady parked nearby and proceeded to do two things that annoyed the heck out of me. First, she fed the birds bread by hand. Second, she then took her two dogs for a walk unleashed.

Why am I so bent out of shape? Feeding birds by hand may seem cool and nice and gentle, but what you are really doing is training the birds to associate humans with very easy food (and usually food that it not healthy for the birds, although they do not know that). When I got out of the car at this park, several birds immediately flew over and walked around behind me. Some were so close that I could not take their picture with my 100mm lens. They were obviously not very afraid of me.

Back to this lady. After she fed the birds (which caused the bird I was watching in my scope, a species I had never seen before in my life, to fly over to her for a quick meal of bread) she unleashed her dogs and took a walk along the shore. Birds fly in for food, and then fly away as dogs chase them.

The bird in this picture was more than likely not afraid of humans, came nearby and decided that the thing flying out from the human was just another piece of easy food. He had no idea that it had a hook in it and was attached to a fishing line. The line has been cut, but the hook remains. Who knows how long he has been this way? I have a feeling that his beak cannot open enough for him to feed and he will eventually starve to death.

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