2011/02/18

Sparrow's School

More birds are visiting our yard including a Jyobitaki (Daurian Redstart), some Uguisu (Japanese Bush Warblers), and Eurasian Tree Sparrows - in addition to our brown-eared bulbuls and dusky thrush.

I put out seed on our old bench in the garden with a (year of the) Rabbit feeder. Here's a clip of the sparrows feeding. (about 5 minutes). I put the clip to some Japanese children's music: Sparrow's School; Rabbit Dance; Evening Sunset; and Spring is Coming.



There is an interesting story about tree sparrows in an article by Michael McCarthy of The Independent:

"Fifty-two years ago, Mao Zedong, Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the People's Republic of China, decreed that all sparrows in the country were to be killed. He had decided China was to make a sudden surge in its economic development, which came to be called The Greap Leap Forward, and sparrows, which Mao thought ate too much grain, were getting in the way."

skipping down

"in 1958 Chairman Mao decided they had to go."

skipping down

"Millions of sparrows, maybe hundreds of millions, were killed. But the following year, 1959, it was noticed that insect infestation of crop fields had soared; pests such as locusts, which the sparrows ate, had lost a major predator. China's Academy of Sciences produced reports on how many insects the birds ate, compared to how many seeds, and it became clear that killing sparrows was cruelly counter-productive; presented with the evidence, Mao called it off, but not before the already failing harvest had been even more reduced right across the country."

"It was one of history's most notable acts of hubris over the natural world."

Go to the link to read more.

1 comment:

K and S said...

wow I had no idea about the sparrow. thanks for sharing this.