the friday files (for the birds)

I'm always a few months behind when it comes to reading the New Yorker which I find doesn't really matter that much. The other day I was reading the July 26th, 2010 issue and came across a story by Jonathan Franzen called Emptying the Skies. It's a harrowing story about the widespread killing of migratory songbirds in Europe. I actually had to put the article down a few times before I could finish the whole thing. I've never been much of a bird watcher. Actually, I should rephrase that, I know absolutely nothing about birds! However, when we were up in the country a few weeks ago shooting Paul and Rachel's Hello! Country Neighbor post I got the chance to go for a walk with Paul who is an avid birder. (Avid might not be the right word to describe him, let's just say that this year he plans to tattoo the latin name of every bird he sees on to his body. At the moment, the count is at 84 species!) Walking and talking with Paul has given me a new found appreciation for these small, melodic creatures. They're a constant part of our every day life lurking somewhere in the trees or sky filling our day with song. The morning we were up there, Paul made me a cup of coffee and I commented to him how good it was. He got to telling me about the beans he used which were from a local company called Birds and Beans. It turns out that migratory birds in North America are also threatened (for other reasons) and that one of the things we can do is be more cognisant of where our coffee comes from. It was something I was totally ignorant about. Are any of you out there avid birders? Did you know that buying shade grown coffee actually helps provide habitat for migratory birds?

Just something to think about as you open your windows and doors this weekend to let in April and the beginning of spring. Have a great weekend!

Image Credits:

1 and 3 - Leslie Williamson
2 - Twig Hutchinson
4 - Jason Schmidt
5 - Martyn Thompson