Alex Hofner

The Everglades

The Everglades National Park is one of the most astonishing things I have experienced in my life so far. Walking along the Anhinga Trail and seeing American alligators, Great Blue Herons, anhinga, turtles, and countless other species of plants and animals, it is undeniable that this area is beautiful. There is really nothing better than seeing a great blue heron catch a fish while standing among remarkable plants. All of this beauty and diversity helps one truly understand the need for conserving the natural world. Experiencing the world is what life is all about, and places like the Everglades help us realize that there is more to life that what we have created. These healthy, beautiful, diverse ecosystems are absolutely worth visiting. And it is undeniable that they are worth protecting.

Bird Reflection

The diversity of birds is more remarkable than you could ever imagine. Looking through binoculars for the first time and seeing a beautiful bird gliding in the sky makes your heart race. Flipping through pages in a field guide and stopping at the swallow-tailed kite is almost as satisfying as spotting the bird in the first place. Watching birds whether it be a swallow-tailed kite, a tree swallow, a scarlet ibis, or a great blue heron, helps you truly understand how flawless they really are. I am so thankful that I have had the experience to really learn about birds and strengthen my love for them. I can now help others understand these beings and work toward protecting them and their homes because those mangrove swamps that were beautiful in my eyes are vital for the birds. Places like this allow for birds to perform all of their perfect natural behaviors.

The wonderful thing is that you do not have to travel halfway around the world to see birds. They are in our backyards, the parks, nesting on the buildings, and singing in the trees. These same birds migrate across the globe in precise patterns using the wind, sun, and Earth to guide them. It is these birds that help pollinate our plants, disperse seeds, and decorate our yards. By watching birds, their beauty, importance, and grace is only reiterated. By learning about birds, people begin to care about birds. This is why I will share all that I know. Birds do matter. We have taken their homes and replaced them with buildings. We have taken their breeding grounds and replaced them with roads. It is time to watch, learn, and care about birds and move toward a better world where we protect them from being hunted, keep their swamps and trees safe, and watch them from a distance while helping one another learn all we can about them.




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