Few animals have been allowed to remain in the human-centric concrete jungle, not including those that call research laboratories home or are identified using the phrases "fresh" or "Grade A." That leaves rats, squirrels, cats, dogs, cockroaches and birds. So much for biodiversity.
In an ecosystem where teddy bears outnumber the great grizzly, man still indulges birds, even though they crap on our freshly washed cars. Heck, we even try to attract birds to our homes, courting them with feeders, baths and special kibble.
Bird watching is even considered a pastime, though it has become more demanding and challenging in recent years as bird populations have decreased in both number and variety. Flying above it all--once adequate to remain out of harm's way--isn't so effective now that there's nowhere safe left to land.
The Dallas County Audubon Society, which has been documenting bird populations in North Texas, is trying to increase bird awareness and appreciation by sponsoring Beginning Birding Adventures Saturdays in April for people of all ages and from beginner to experienced hobbyists.
The sessions kick off this Saturday with an introduction and "birding briefing" at Wild Birds Unlimited; participants will receive a bird guide and learn how to spot different types of birds. The following weekends' events are bird-spotting walks around White Rock Lake and Bachman Lake that will be more scientific and adventuresome than just throwing bread at the already overfed ducks.