Mariel Klein

The Everglades

While driving through a sea of grasses and small shrubs, it may not seem like the Everglades is anything special, but give it some time and look closer and the Everglades will surprise you with the chance to see some of the most interesting, amazing, and coolest birds in the United States. Hidden in an algae filled pond are bright pink roseate spoonbills, bright blue and colorful purple gallinules, and jet black cormorants. Peer down a stream and maybe you will see a great blue heron catch a fish and swallow it in one bite! Watch out, because an alligator is lurking in the water, along with an anhinga, its long tail fanned out behind him. Only in the Everglades will you see birds that fly and swim! If you are not scared of the dark, you may be able to spy a Florida panther in the moonlight. Whether you like ponds, the ocean, the jungle, or a grassy field, the Everglades will let you see it all! They are truly an amazing place and I cannot wait to go back!

Bird Reflection

Freedom is what we all crave. We want to be able to do what we want and go wherever we please. It is the knowledge that no matter how far we go, we always have a home somewhere, maybe even two. This freedom is mostly not achievable by us humans, but can be imagined by observing birds. When I watch a common black hawk soar over a mountain range, an anhinga perch on a branch and then slide into a pond, or just notice a tanager flitting among the leaves, I can almost imagine the feeling of freedom. Birds live our ideal lifestyle. They have large, noisy families. They go where they please but always come home. And in the case of migratory birds, they move between the best and most comfortable places to live during the year. They are found everywhere. Not to mention, they are sometimes bright and always beautiful. What would our world be without birds? What would it be like to never hear choruses of chirping or crowing in the morning, to look up and see only blue and white? We would be overrun with mosquitoes and would have almost no flowers on the Earth. When we kill birds, it is like we are killing our own dreams, our hopes of ever being as free and unbothered as them. We can learn so much from them about how to live simply and how to leave our places of comfort. We can learn about endurance and strength from their incredible migrations. They ask nothing of us and watching them gives us such happiness. We take their presence for granted but once you realize how important and numerous they are, you realize that a world without birds, or without all the species of birds, would be a dull and sick world.

 

Content provided by Canisius College students under the direction of Michael Noonan, PhD.