Monday, June 13, 2016

Red Bird

Wasn't this racist?
To meet the insatiable demand for red canaries, bird-catchers captured red siskins by the thousands, shipping them out of Venezuela—to Germany at first, and then around the world. An official ban in the 1940s did little to block the wave of exported birds. Within decades, siskin numbers had plummeted. Large flocks of them once graced the skies of northern Venezuela, but in the 1960s two eminent ornithologists said that they hadn’t seen a single one in 25 years. By the end of the 20th century, the birds were down to between 250 to 1,000 individuals, restricted to a few isolated groups. They were in danger of extinction, and all because people in distant continents fancied making red canaries.
All birds matter!

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