Monday, January 19, 2009

Thoughts for Inauguration Day

As if we needed more proof that birds have long permeated our culture and society: the word inauguration is actually related to birds.

Inauguration comes from the word "augur." Augurs were priests in ancient Rome who were consulted when any important decision had to be made--like going to war, signing a peace treaty, etc. And how did augurs get their magic powers? By looking skyward!! They studied the flight patterns of birds.

In a way, I guess, that makes all of us birders augurs, or potential augurs of the future.

I like this take from the website of the United Church of Two Harbors (Minnesota):

"As we inaugurate a new leader I think it's important to look skyward.

And if we did look skyward, what signs would we see?
• Migration patterns altered by climate change.
• Bird species going extinct at the rate of 10 a year.
• Air pollution, noise pollution, water pollution, and ground pollution all heavily impacting avian life.
• Natural habitats and nesting grounds being destroyed.

What signs, indeed?"

So there you have it. Here's another take.

P.S. - Thanks to Paul B. for passing this along....


dAwN said...

Very interesting indeed...
very good points you make about what is happening to the bird populations.
Lets hope this new administration can change the direction the environment is going in.

Warren and Lisa Strobel said...

Dawn - hope you guys are having a blast down there in sunny Florida! Looks like you are seeing some interesting birds.

All the best!

- Warren (in frigid Washington, DC)

Greg said...

Hi Warren and Lisa,

I'm happy that you enjoyed my post on inauguration. Thank you for linking to it. On another note, I have recently gotten involved with the conservation of the NJ Osprey population. My friend Ben works for the state and has a website called, New Jersey Osprey Project. Hope you enjoy.