To the editor:

After a long, windy winter, we look forward to mild days of spring. Migrating birds drift up watersheds towards their breeding grounds. Earth Day reminds us that we can participate in the well-being of these creatures, and the larger systems that sustain them and us.

There are 2.4 billion birds killed by domestic and feral cats in the U.S. each year. Keep kitty indoors, or put a colorful bird warning collar on her if you must let her out. Nestlings and fledglings are especially prone to fall victim to cats.

Consider also the vital food for baby songbirds: insects. Avoid using any sort of insecticide in areas where nesting birds forage. Weed killers such as Roundup, even though they target plants, have been shown to harm birds, fish and humans. Unfortunately recent tests find that many nursery plants, even those promoted as “pollinator friendly,” have been treated with systemic insecticides. These make all parts of the plant toxic, and can persist in flowering woody shrubs such as fruit trees for many years. For more information on how to attract and protect pollinators, check out Xerces.org.

(s) linda raynolds

Cody

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