(New York State Tower Kill Survey)
I read about the recent iPhone application that
helps users know where to look for specific birds and to get recent bird
spotting reports. Here once again I am
reminded of the ambiguity of technology.
On one hand communication towers,
which iPhones rely upon, kill from 4 to 50 million birds a year. They endanger
or threaten at least 50 species.
Technology might also shift brain processes so that when we see birds we
are not being in open, heart communion with another being, but have shifted
into "left brain" thinking that is largely cognitive and might see
birds as objects, and not subjects worthy in their essence without being part
of a bird list. On the other hand,
applications such as this can help draw us out into nature, communicate and
share that experience with others, and also use our cognitive functions to keep
track of the range and status of numerous species.
I am not arguing for either/or in our relationship
with birds, but to put as many tools as possible in our hands for the good life
for our communities of mixed species.
Then we can choose what we feel is best for us and others.
Let us have in our hands iPhones, bird recordings,
field identification books, binoculars, cameras, and spotting scopes so that we
may know the world around us.
Let us have in our hands a child's hand, listening
and attentive to them as we share the experience directed outward so that we
may know one another and the whole of nature.
Let us have in our hands books, keyboards, internet
articles, newspapers, scientific journals, scripture from faith traditions,
conference proceedings, journals, and nature writings so that we may know our
inner world, and how humanity impacts the outer world.
Let us have in our hands, tenderly held, the needs
of life expressed in bird and human.
Let us have in our hands injured, sick, or captive
birds so that they may be healed and fly free.
Let us hand in our hands the millions of people who
appreciate birds so that we, in solidarity, may know the power of what we may do
For we have in our hands the future of our feathered