Saturday, August 29, 2009

Finding the missing birds

The conservation organization BirdLife International has taken up a new cause - searching for 47 species of birds that dwell in the twilight of uncertainly. These are birds which have not seen seen in years and may or may not be extinct. BirdLife wants to nail down their status so scientists can either help the species recover or sadly write it off. The list includes famous avians like the Ivory-billed Woodpecker and its even more spectacular cousin, Mexico's Imperial Woodpecker, Bachman's Warbler, the Eskimo Curlew, and the Pink-headed Duck, along with other birds whose fate puzzles ornithologists, such as the Jamaican Petrel, Hooded Seedeater, and Himalayan Quail.

Naturalist Charles William Beebe once said, "The beauty and genius of a work of art may be reconceived, though its first material expression be destroyed. A vanished harmony may yet again inspire the composer. But when the last individual of a race of living beings breathes no more, another heaven and another earth must pass before such a one can be again."
That's why the search goes on.

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