Ducks are NOT Easter Toys! Do Not Buy, Sell,  or Release These Birds into “the Wild”!  

from: United Poultry Concerns <http://www.UPC-online.org>
23 March 2018

Dear Friends,

Each year, parents and others buy ducklings, baby chicks and rabbits on
impulse
for Easter. Most of these animals are discarded once the charm of “oh, how
cute”
wears off. Most people have no idea how to care for them, and few if any
buyers
spend money on veterinary care. Millions of Easter ducklings, chicks and
rabbits
are dumped in the woods or near water, where they cannot survive. Many are
already sick, lame, malnourished and dehydrated.

Please read and share the following information. Please print out and
distribute
“*Are All Your Ducks In a Row?*” to libraries and elsewhere, including
shopping
centers and retailers like Tractor Supply, where baby animals are sold at
Easter. Those not sold are trashed. There is nothing cute, cuddly or kind
about
the business of “Easter” ducklings, chicks and rabbits.

*Thank you for helping to educate people. *
*– United Poultry Concerns*

– Are All Your Ducks In a Row? Did You Know…?
<http://www.upc-online.org/hatching/are_all_your_ducks_in_a_row.pdf>

– Ducklings Are Not Easter Toys
<http://www.upc-online.org/ducks/170303_ducklings_are_not_easter_toys.html>

Learn more here:

– School Hatching Projects <http://www.upc-online.org/hatching>
– Humane Education <http://www.upc-online.org/humane_education.html>

Thank you to New Jersey animal rights activist, Suzanne Dragan, for making ”
*Are*
*All Your Ducks In a Row?*” an important part of our Humane Education
program.


United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes
the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl.
Don’t just switch from beef to chicken. Go Vegan.
http://www.UPC-online.org/ http://www.twitter.com/upcnews
http://www.facebook.com/UnitedPoultryConcerns

View this article online
<http://upc-online.org/hatching/180323_ducks_are_not_easter_toys.html

“and the Fear of Thee and the Dread of Thee Shall Be upon Every Living Thing…”

— Genesis 9:2

Yesterday we came across a river otter who crossed the road about 30 yards in front of us and disappeared into our pond. No cars were around so he needn’t have been in a hurry, but still he was very business-like, loping purposefully from one waterway to the next. He didn’t stop and give us any extra time to appreciate his company, and clearly—though we meant him no harm and regarded him with respect—he didn’t seem to appreciate ours.

Similarly, on today’s walk along a road through the neighboring wetlands, a large flock of ducks took flight, putting as much distance between us and them as possible, as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile, several pairs of Canada geese kept a wary eye on us as they

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

honked their warning calls and ambled reluctantly behind the cover of some cattails and tall grass. We spoke reassuringly to them, explaining that we didn’t intend to hurt them, but our mere presence was disruptive. Unfortunately wildlife tends to judge all people based on human nature in general.

Although fewer folks nowadays are out to kill everything they see, destructive behavior has been a hallmark of human nature since the genus Homo first set foot on the face of the Earth. Other traits representative of the species seem to be an over-bearing sense of entitlement (as in “it’s all here for us”) and a narcissistic arrogance that empowers them to see themselves as supreme among all other beings, whom they objectify as resources put here for them by some anthropomorphic deity for their benefit to exploit as they see fit.

It’s always disappointing that the wild animals assume the worst because imagesQB1DEJITof your association, no matter how distant, with the average gun-toting Elmer, when all you want to do is be friends.

Galveston Bay Oil Spill: What We Birders Can Do

The March 22 spill of 168,000 gallons of highly toxic bunker fuel into Galveston Bay can be expected to take a huge toll on migrating, nesting, and still-wintering birds. If you want to donate money to help, Houston Audubon seems to be the go-to organization right now. But whether or not you can make a financial contribution, if you spend time on the Texas coast this spring, you can make a vitally important difference in what happens next, by submitting the sightings of every oiled bird you see into eBird. Enter the species, numbers, time, and place as always, and for each bird click “Add Details,” then click “Oiled Birds.” Provide photos whenever possible.

Even though eBird can be the perfect repository for this wealth of data, how can entering bird sightings actually help this horrible situation?

After the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989, volunteers and professionals descended upon Alaska in huge numbers. Some volunteers may have gotten in the way here and there, but with all those eyes and cameras bearing witness to the devastation, there was no way that Exxon could hide the environmental damage and the toll on wildlife. The final tally for oiled birds was between 100,000 and 250,000 oiled seabirds and at least 247 Bald Eagles. Thanks to the huge public outcry, the issue of single-hulled tankers was kept alive, and a great deal of pressure was put on Congress to enact legislation to strengthen protections for our vital waterways.

After the BP spill in 2010, I was disillusioned to see how dramatically things had changed. Only a handful of volunteers and very few professionals went to the Gulf. Marge Gibson, past president of the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council and the woman who led the team recovering oiled Bald Eagles after the Exxon Valdez spill, was turned away from helping—literally prohibited from providing her valuable expertise—as were countless other specialists experienced in retrieving oiled pelicans and other birds along the Florida and California coasts. BP, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, conservation organizations, and the media gave out phone numbers for people to call if they wanted to help, and those of us who called were told we’d be notified if our services were necessary, but I know of no one who was ever called back. Qualified people with years of expertise in helping animals after oil spills waited for phone calls or email that never came. Marge Gibson waited for months with her bags packed.

Marge writes:

What changed between the Exxon and BP spills was that the companies learned from what they considered Exxon’s P.R. mistakes.  They learned that preventing access to the area and trying to minimize photographic evidence was the way to go.  If the public doesn’t see it, it does not exist.  Exxon has been judged severely for the Valdez accident, but in fact, after the spill they did their honest best, enlisting top scientists worldwide that were not just suits—they wore survival gear because they were physically on site—in ships and on the ground.  I was there. I worked with them.

That spill was an open book not only for the public, but for the scientists that worked on it.  B.P. decided that was not good because scientists document their work and put the data and their findings in the literature where it is available forever. The scientists who were allowed to produce studies in the aftermath of the BP spill had to sign away their rights to publish any of them for at least 5 years.

Yes, Exxon made mistakes. But it wasn’t Exxon who declared that oil companies could use single hulls again. Exxon allowed every aspect of the spill and the cleanup to be an open book. We could have learned how to reduce the potential for future spills, but all that seems to have been learned is how to do more effective cover-ups to minimize liability as much as humanly possible.

From the standpoint of wildlife conservation, the specific critical change between the 1989 Exxon spill and the 2010 BP spill is in the protocol for counting oiled animals—the only means of assessing damage to wildlife. After the Exxon spill, EVERY oiled animal that was seen was counted. Even though a quarter million oiled birds were documented, this number is considered by most authorities to be a gross underestimate, considering the huge area involved and how many birds, tiny and large, washed away undetected in the vast ocean.

With the BP spill, the new policy was to count only those oiled birds that were physically collected—picked up dead or alive. Minimizing the toll further, only a handful of people were authorized to retrieve these animals. Unauthorized people who found an oiled animal of any species were supposed to call a number and give directions to the animal, but were not allowed to not touch it or remove it under threat of heavy fines and jail.

Even authorized people were prohibited from capturing any bird still capable of flight. And “flight” was defined to include even the most pathetic fluttering. This Black-crowned Night-Heron that I photographed at the edge of Cat Island in Barataria Bay after the BP spill is not included in the official count of oiled birds.

Oiled Heron

Our boat spooked it and it fluttered a few feet into the water and then struggled to shore. Our boat captain told us that because none of us were authorized to collect oiled animals, he would lose his license if we did anything to try to save it. He also said that he was prohibited from calling in people who were authorized to retrieve oiled birds because it was still “flying.” I wish I were making this up.

The timing, during nesting season, made the situation even worse. In the weeks following the explosion, birders and other experts clearly observed that 50 to 80 percent of the 10,000 breeding birds on Raccoon Island were oiled. Yet not one of those birds is included in the official count of oiled wildlife. Thanks to another bizarre rule change, people who’d been permitted to take photos and videos of nesting birds on the island before the spill were shooed away, and even those people authorized to collect wildlife were prohibited from approaching the island, ostensibly to ensure nesting success of unoiled birds. Just the oiled adult birds on Raccoon Island would have doubled the final count of oiled birds, yet not one of them, nor any of their oiled eggs and chicks, nor a single oiled bird on other nesting colonies, is included in the official total.

I rejoined ABA in the aftermath of the BP spill because ABA sponsored and provided a forum for Drew Wheelan, the only birder consistently and steadily out in the field throughout the aftermath. Drew tirelessly and against a great many forces documented everything he saw about the disaster. I spent a few weeks down there in July and August, and saw for myself that everything Drew had written about was true. As far as I’m concerned, ABA proved itself a true conservation organization by using our strength—birding expertise—to document the effects of the spill on birds.

Drew Wheelan

Some people speculate that rehabilitating oiled birds is not worth the cost and effort, when that money and energy could be going to support projects with the potential to help far greater numbers of birds. Even though I strongly believe that rehabilitating oiled birds is worth it, I agree that the subject is debatable. But the timing of the debate always seems to come right on the heels of these disasters, and following the BP spill, that debate played right into BP’s hands. Even some normally conscientious conservationists criticized the effort of retrieving these birds, presumably not realizing why retrieving these birds was so very important.

Regardless of the value of wildlife rehab, under current rules, the only oiled wildlife included in official numbers are ones that have been retrieved, dead or alive. This matters. It’s these official numbers that are used to assess damages against responsible parties. Thanks to the changes in protocol, barely 7,000 birds are in the official total of oiled wildlife after the BP spill. Just 7,000, compared to the quarter million in the official total after the Exxon Valdez spill. The National Wildlife Federation has a webpage directly comparing the two spills, but they present only the official numbers with no mention whatsoever that the method of counting changed so dramatically between the two events.

This is why it’s crucial that we birders document EVERY oiled bird. eBird is the way to do this. It will take a lot of work for scientists to identify and take out double counted birds and tease out the meaning and validity of the numbers, but only with a robust body of data can we establish with any accuracy at all the magnitude of damage from this spill.

For updates on the Galveston Bay oil spill and what you can do to help, please see Houston Audubon’s website.

To sign a petition to encourage access for rehabbers and accurate reporting of oiled birds, go here.

 

Shut Off That TV, It’s a Beautiful Day Out

While most Americans were glued to their TV sets, cheering or shouting at their favorite410557751_d3027a6344 overpaid players in the Super Bowl–refusing to budge during the manipulative, high-tech commercials except to urinate or grab another beer, I was outside enjoying the unseasonably warm day (and secretly praying for snow).

On our daily walk to the river, my wife and I and our dog “Honey” were treated first to the sight of a pair of ravens driving an eagle out of the area. The eagle must have inadvertently flown over the ravens’ former and future nesting site, and they wanted to make it clear that though they weren’t guarding any eggs just yet, that forested hillside was off-limits until further notice.

In addition to the usual mergansers and herons fishing the river, we saw a seal stick his head above the waterline to get his bearings. Seals are a fairly rare sight here on this tidal tributary of the Columbia, twenty miles upstream from the ocean, but no doubt the winter smelt run was making his efforts worthwhile.

Next, upwards of a thousand cackling Canada geese, in four or five formations of a few hundred or so apiece, crossed loudly overhead. Uninterested in fish, they were instead searching for greener pastures and a safe place to bed for the evening.

These are just a few of the wonders going on while humans are spending their valuable yet limited time on this Earth with their ball game.

Text and Photography Copyright Jim Robertson

Text and Photography Copyright Jim Robertson

Don’t Miss the Premier Episode of Black Sheep Robertson: “Revenge of the Ducks”

Tune into NDC’s newest reality series starring Exposing the Big Game’s Jim Robertson, the black sheep of the duck dynasty. You’ll learn true respect for wild ducks and geese, who are featured living as they naturally do along with their wetland brethren on Black Sheep Robertson’s sprawling sanctuary, in peace and harmony as God intended.

No animals are harmed during the filming of this program, unlike on Duck Dynasty, which is all about hurting and killing. And rest assured, although Jim is a compassionate man who would no sooner blast a duck than he would members of the camo-clad clan, he is an atheist so you won’t have to endure any cheesy, half-assed references to salvation and all that stuff.

On the premier episode, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at the special breeding facility where giant, mutant man-eating mallards are being fitted with armor outerwear and readied for their release into nearby hunter recreation areas and “sportsmen’s” playgrounds.

(If this sounds shocking, consider that as I write this I’m hearing the recurrent noise of shotgun blasts, resulting in the wounding and deaths of untold numbers of ducks and geese.)
______________________
(This has been another installment in EtBG’s “Headlines We’d Like to See.”)

Also See: I’m Not One of those Duck Dynasty Douchebags             

And: Expressing My Freedom of Speech 

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2014. All Rights Reserved

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2014. All Rights Reserved

Duck Dynasty guns? Yep, but will new product line actually revive hunting?

By Patrik Jonsson, Staff writer / January 3, 2014

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Just about everyone in America now knows that Phil Robertson and the “Duck Dynasty” clan are a rare breed, indeed. But even as the bayou-based reality TV family has morphed into a marketing and cultural commodity – note its new line of Mossberg shotguns and rifles – there’s another angle to ponder: Until now, hunters like Phil Robertson had actually been disappearing from America’s duck-dotted wetlands.

“Duck Dyasty,” a show about a band of self-described rednecks and their kin straddling the gulf between rural values and fabulous wealth – built to a TV viewership crescendo this past summer, during its fourth season. It captured even broader attention more recently when Mr. Robertson, the clan patriarch, became embroiled in a corporate spat with A&E executives over his views, expressed to a GQ reporter, that homosexuality is a sin like bestiality, and that homosexuals are akin to drunkards and terrorists.

The Robertsons’ subsequent decision to break away from their TV licensing to sign the Mossberg shotgun deal independently – not to mention the multitude of TV and newspaper stories about the “Dynasty” clan’s red-state attitudes and values – speaks to what some call redneck commoditization. That’s an appeal to primarily white Southern fundamentalist Christians that has translated into financial (some $450 million in merchandise sold in less than two years), as well as cultural and political, payoff.

More: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2014/0103/Duck-Dynasty-guns-Yep-but-will-new-product-line-actually-revive-hunting

Also see: https://exposingthebiggame.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/duck-dynastys-evil-is-spreading/

And: https://exposingthebiggame.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/im-not-one-of-those-duck-dynasty-douchebags/?relatedposts_exclude=4210

Duck Dynasty’s Evil is Spreading

Some folks may be wondering why we let ourselves get worked up over a stupid faux “reality” TV show like Duck Dynasty; what harm are they doing by showing their hairy mugs for money and attention (and a lot of both). Well, I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it: their idiocy seems to be catching.

In all the years I’ve lived by this waterfowl wintering area, people have been respectful of the No Hunting Access sign. Now you find spent shotgun shells along the road overlooking the bay–a sure sign that bozo Robertson wanna-bes are shooting out at ducks who take refuge in the calm waters there.

And just today a boat full of duck hunters motored their boat through a flock of 100

—Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved

—Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013

trumpeter swans, driving them across the river to an island infested with hunters shooting from their duck blinds.

It only takes a few boneheads to ruin it for everyone–especially if they have their own TV show.

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Duck Dynasty Gun Ads: Blowing A Duck’s Head Off Makes Phil Robertson Happy

Duck Dynasty Gun Ads: Blowing A Duck’s Head Off Makes Phil Robertson Happy

The Connecticut based weapons manufacturer Mossberg & Sons announced a partnership with the self-proclaimed “rednecks” Duck Dynasty last summer to sell a line of 12 DD themed weapons. The weapons are coated in camouflage and have the words “Faith. Family. Ducks.” displayed on them.

A series of ads featuring the Duck patriarch, Phil Robertson, aired right before Robertson made anti-LGBT and racist comments in a December GQ interview.

In one of the ads, two of the DD sons prepare to kill ducks as Father Phil recites the opening lines from the Constitution.

 “Those are rights that no government can take from you to live, be free and pursue happiness,” Robertson says in a voice-over. “You know what makes me happy, ladies and gentlemen? To blow a mallard drake’s head smooth off.”

In addition to the DD weapons that kill ducks dead, Mossberg’s website also advertises .22 caliber weapons that are “perfect for small game, plinking (and) target shooting – or cleaning cottonmouths out of your duck blind.”

Of course no Duck Dynasty weapon advertisement would be prudent without utilizing a biblical reference: “Where there is a design, there is a designer. We were designed to kill ducks.”

The DD themed weapon collection also includes military-style designs with large capacity magazines that hold at least 25 rounds that are too powerful for small game. The entire line consists of nine different shotguns, as well as two semiautomatic rifles and a semiautomatic pistol.

Mossberg says each gun will come with an American flag bandana.

After Papa Duck made his homophobic and racist comments in the GQ article, A&E announced the suspension of Robertson. Conservatives flipped out. Days later, Robertson was reinstated. …coughcoughpublicitystuntcoughcough….

Article and Video here: http://samuel-warde.com/2014/01/duck-dynasty-gun-ad/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+SamuelWarde+%28Samuel+Wynn+Warde%29

I’m Not one of those Duck Dynasty Douchebags

Make no mistake; though my last name is Robertson, I’m no relation to those imposters from that stupid “reality” TV show, “Duck Dynasty” whose ugly mugs grace the front of a new line of T-shirts for sale at Wal Mart.

How do I know they’re ugly when I don’t get cable and have only seen their show once, for less than a minute? It’s true you can’t really tell what they look like under all that facial hair, but like I said, I saw their show once—for almost a minute. That’s all it took to see how ugly they are on the inside.

Before I realized what I’d stumbled upon and could flip the channel away from the enticing ignorance, I was forced to endure a tactless, feeble joke about roadkill and the approving chortles that followed.

The attitude toward wildlife exhibited by the “cast” of Douche Dynasty is an insult to the Robertson’s good name and a blasphemy to ducks and geese everywhere.

My great grandfather didn’t immigrate here from Scotland only to have the Robertson name sullied by a bunch of celebrity-wanna-bes or ZZ Top impersonators, sans the fuzzy guitars.

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How Do I Hate Thee, Let Me Count the Ways

Now before you go taking offense to this post’s title, let me reassure you that it’s not directed specifically to you, dear reader. I know human beings are not infallible, yet only a few are irredeemable. No, the title is meant for the species Homo sapiens in general, as in…

Humankind, how do I hate thee, let me count the ways:

– I hate that whenever I walk quietly past a local pond, all the ducks, geese and herons rise up and take flight in mortal terror at the sight of a possibly armed and potentially deadly human.
– I can’t stand that the fear of man has become so prevalent that many of our fellow mammalian species have had to adapt by becoming nocturnal.
– I hate that there’s almost nowhere left on the planet where you don’t hear some annoying human noise during the day or see their lights at night.
– I loathe the fact that soon the only species in existence will be those that are forced to serve humankind.
– I hate that the only time wildlife can catch a break is when humans are busy warring with each other.
– And I find insufferable that the most evil genes over the ages keep getting passed on to future generations.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved