Sus Scrofa). There was a trail of freshly discarded cans, plastic sauce containers, and paper boxes. The debris extended from the beach on Galveston bay at least a half mile through the woods and wetlands. This debris was obviously deposited purposefully - not by accident. There were several convenient, empty park trash containers along the way. We happened to have a bag with us and picked up as much as we could before being overwhelmed by the volume.
You might assume then that this was the scat of an aberrant and morally deficient band. But, some years ago I heard an explanation that may make more sense. An older colleague told me that this sort of behavior was quite natural for the genus Homo and probably coded in our genes. It is a manifestation of territoriality. As dogs pee on every post to mark their territory, humans scatter their trash. The purpose, however unconscious, is to tell others "This land belongs to me. I defile it as I please".
E. O. Wilson's work on sociobiology and its application to the human species - and the longer I observe these behaviors - the greater sense this explanation makes. To a further extent than we would like to admit, we are slaves to our evolutionary instincts. It takes an extraordinary effort of free will to break these genetic behavioral shackles.
<--- Sus scrofa in the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
These birds are also interesting in that they came to South America from Africa in the late 1800's This was apparently a natural dispersal via storm winds, not the escape of an introduced species. They first appeared in Florida in the 1940's, and in the last 70 years they have spread throughout the US.
We see them here in TX near cattle and, at times, elsewhere. Their increase doesn't seem to be having a negative effect on other bird species, perhaps this feeding behavior is a niche that was not effectively filled before their arrival.
Many people associate Texas with cattle and think the abundance of cattle and these egrets quite appropriate here, even in the outskirts of Houston. Most, however, are not so aware of the enormous impact of the chemical and refining industry on Texas.
American Acrl 09/12/2009).
Unfortunately, these incidents are not rare occurrences. We hear on the news of similar incidents in this area every few months. In 2005 as I sat at my desk at the house in San Leon, the house shook as in an earthquake, some seconds seconds later the sound of a large explosion arrived, and I looked out the window to see a black mushroom cloud rising over the BP refinery in Texas City where 15 people were killed.
It seems curious that we often see dirty yellow flares like this when we are birding on weekend mornings (is that when the inspectors are off duty?).
Posted by Jaybirder at 7:56 AM