Wednesday, January 26, 2011

War breaks out - again

'Tis the season for war to break out again between the Vineyards and the Avians. The sound of guns fills the Awatere Valley daytime hours with the occasional misfire heard at dawn.  Some (responsible and intelligent) vineyard owners have realised that birds ain't stupid and have opted to drape their vines in anti-bird netting which foils (most of) the pesky critters.  I say 'responsible' because that takes into account the fact that there really are other people living in the vicinity and who need their rest and sleep as much as they themselves do (at least those that aren't absentee owners living in the big cities).  I say 'intelligent' because they have realised that despite the small size of the bird brain (compared with the human one) it is still capable of remarkable thinking and can pass onto their chicks that, just because there is a loud noise it doesn't necessarily mean that there is a chunk of metal rapidly following in their direction.  All it does is manage to disrupt their feeding for 15 seconds and they are back on the job again.

In the Wairau Valley (the next one over) attempts have been made to reintroduce the New Zealand falcon in an attempt to control the (mainly) starling population.  This is to be applauded as the NZ falcon is on the endangered list (like a lot of other NZ birds), but they'll need quite a lot of them to get real control since the starling population is pretty big -and growing. We ourselves suffer from them attacking the higher reaches of our fruit trees but seeing as there's no way we can reach some of those heights we are happy for them to have the high ground so long as they leave some for us on the lower branches. 'Live and let live' is our motto (with the exception of mosquitos -nasty little pests, they are and I refuse to eat Vegemite or Marmite which is supposed to repel them.  I know it certainly repels me!).

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