We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Among the many causes she took up, one was protection of raptors from the mass slaughter of her era. She bought Hawk Mountain in Eastern PA and created the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. A high point on the Eastern raptor migration flyway, Hawk Mountain had been a popular site for the slaughter of raptors by gunners who believed they were going some sort of good while having fun.
Hawk Mountain is now a foundation engaged in conservation education programs. It remains an excellent viewing spot in fall migration season. (Photo from the Hawk Mtn website.)
Great post, thanks. One question, what role, large or small, do these raptors have in declining game bird populations. Not that I think we ought to go back to killing raptors, but I do think they've helped thin the game bird populations. I raised pheasants as 4-H projects & saw many of them killed on our farm, some, no doubt, killed by the many hawks and owls that patrolled the place.
1. Pen-raised birds have no chance against raptors. They had no Moms to teach them caution and wariness and street-smarts, and they lack wing strength.
2. For most Eastern US wild upland game birds, like Bob-White, Woodcock, and Ruffed Grouse, it's an issue of habitat far more than predators and hunters (altho the recent infestation of Coyotes probably has a real effect on ground-nesting birds). Sloppy old-time farming was great for Bob White and Pheasant - clean farming is not. Grouse like edges - edges of forest fires, clear-cuts, Alder swamps, generally, first-growth spots. Woodcock also. When you get second-growth (real forests), the Grouse and Woodcock tend to leave.
i hav e a couple of those kinds of burned-in image memories --both at work, once in a jungle in s america when a flock of hundreds of parrots flew overhead but under the canopy, picking up a lone broad shaft of late-day sunlight, and sparkling irridescent in a tumbling audible rush quickly come and gone. Another time, another place, choppering in off a rig in the gulf of mexico, flying low along the white beach as thousands of hammerhead sharks in a cloud a hundred yards wide and a mile long swam along the coast in the transparent sky blue water, just out of sight of oblivious bathers on the beach.