A few years back I was asked to raise three newly hatched starlings that had been found at the foot of a big tree by an old lady.
Reluctantly, I took on those birds, and lo and behold I was able to raise and release them successfully. Whenever I see or hear starlings since then, I like telling my daughter that those are our three starlings saying thank you. Today, a extraordinarily big flock of starlings landed around the house and well beyond the creek. They were so loud it was both amazing and a little bit intimidating. Afterwards I thought about writing about this, as in “I had rescued the starlings and they came back with all their friends to thank me”, when I remembered that European starlings are considered an invasive species in North America. That made me think about invasive species and the similarities to what humans do all over the world. So, this is what I want to write about today.
Starlings were moved from Europe, their ancestral habitat, to North America in the late 19th century, where they are now one of the most abundant birds.
Starlings are said to be very adaptable, eating a wide variety of foods and nesting in many different locations. Bottom line is that European starlings infringe on native species’ habitat. That affects the balance of the web of life, and so starlings end up with a bad reputation (Forgive me for bottom lining this so bluntly).
Stepping out of the problem zone and onto a meta-level, I am thinking that those birds do just do what birds do. They simply happen to be at the wrong place (human judgement).
It occurred to me to compare this scenario to human activity. Are we doing the same thing? If so, what makes us different? We do after all come with the ability to reflect on our own behavior and the effects of our actions on the world around us. This ties in with what I’m writing in my new book (“Freedom Within Reach” about living as part of nature and not trying to govern nature).
Some thoughts you might want to ponder over are:
- In what way do we (as humans) behave like an invasive species?
- In what ways do you behave, and affect the habitat and the species around?
- In what way do you fit in with what’s around you?
That’s all for today thank you very much! Please drop me a note with your thoughts and answers.
Manuela Zeitlhofer | Mental Fitness & Nature Coach | https://creeksideinspirations.ca/blog