Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

"Quick Takes" Continued...

Issue: "Effective compassion," July 27, 2013

Cutting it close

After word spread that a bird watcher had spotted a White-throated Needletail, the world’s fastest flying bird, ornithologists and amateurs from across the United Kingdom rushed to the Isle of Harris in northern Scotland. And on June 26—just two days after the first Needletail spotting in the U.K. since 1991—about 40 bird watchers were on hand to spot the rare bird taking flight. But the delight turned quickly to dread. “We were absolutely over the moon and thrilled to see the bird. We watched it for nearly two hours,” British ornithologist John Marchant told the Telegraph. “While we were watching it suddenly it was a bit close to [a wind turbine] and then the blades hit it.” In an instant, the bird was struck from the sky and fell to the ground dead from the windmill’s blades. Windmill turbines each year reportedly kill millions of birds.

Stinging reminder

Tens of thousands of honeybees accidentally killed by landscapers at a Wilsonville, Ore., Target store in June will not go unremembered. An Oregon activist is planning a July 30 memorial service for the perished pollinators. An estimated 50,000 bees died in the Target parking lot after landscapers sprayed blooming European linden trees with insecticide during the very time the trees were offering nectar to local bee populations. Wildlife activist Rozzell Medina told the Los Angeles Times he is organizing the memorial service “not to bury the bees or build little bee coffins” but rather to talk about the nation’s declining bee population.

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