THE NORTHERN BOBWHITE – NEW ENGLAND’S LAST QUAIL
The quail population in New England has dropped by 85% during the past 20 years. Once a common bird, it is rapidly vanishing from hunting and now, as the places it called home are plowed under for one reason or another.
The reasons we give for destroying natural habitat are always in the public’s best interest. Who doesn’t want a wider road or another mini-mall or better yet, a sprawling solar farm? That there are plenty of already destroyed areas that could easily and safely be reused never seems to matter to anyone because buying existing land is more expensive than tearing up fresh land. Will they ever learn? I doubt it. I’m not sure why they can’t see that the way the do things is killing our world, but they have some kind of mental shudders that close out reality.
Anyway, when I really zeroed in on this birds, I could actually see the feathered crown and the colors are more “quail-like” than I could see before heavily cropping the pictures.
Finding a flock of quail — these are called Northern Bobwhites — is a find as they are disappearing at an alarming rate.
New England is one of the last places for many birds to survive, the only place in the U.S. where the amount of “treed” land exceeds paved ones. But that’s changing. Ironically, not because of lack of knowledge but a kind of casual governmental stupidity. Because spending a bit more money to do something right is always on the back burner and, after all, it’s just this ONE woods we are flattening.
Just this one, then just that one, then just one more until finally, none are left. It is demoralizing.
I feed the birds and take their pictures and hope someone, somewhere, will stop, catch his or her breath and think: “Maybe we should NOT cut down this woods. Maybe we can put this solar farm on that dead mall over there or at the school no one uses anymore.” It would take a very small miracle, but it would be a miracle nonetheless.