I am fascinated by wildlife, in particular birds.
The reason I got involved in nature is because of the vast wonder it has to offer. I only have to take a step out of my door and I am surrounded by all sorts of species of birds and other wildlife.
I enjoy all sorts of nature; however most of all I enjoy birdlife. I could give a thousand reasons why I enjoy wildlife, but the main reasons for me are watching it, learning about it and seeing how it all works together. For example, seeing how a bird like a Jay is part of the life cycle of trees, simply by carrying and spreading fallen nuts and seeds.
I am always exploring the countryside and gathering more and more information into my head; I don’t know how it all fits inside there some times. I am learning more about wildlife all the time, mostly by watching it closely, reading books and asking people for information and opinions. You can learn so much just by making simple observations. There is a flock of Canada Geese that visit the field near us each autumn. I know it is the same flock because of a white domestic goose that has flown with them for the last two years.
Another good example of my hands on learning is my recent visit to WWT Martin Mere to watch a ringing demonstration with the BTO. I was able to handle a wide variety of birds including a Great Spotted Woodpecker, Blue Tits and even the smallest bird in Europe, a tiny Gold Crest. I was able to look at the birds closely, learn the names of particular body parts, and even work out if they were young or old, male or female. This is the sort of stuff I want to get involved with more and more. Due to this, I am quite frustrated that I am not considered old enough to do this amazing wildlife stuff just yet.
Even though I enjoy birding so much, there is one thing that worries me deeply and that is the fact many species of wildlife, including birds, have an uncertain future. Climate change, lost habitat, diseases, pollution and even wars are all threatening our precious wildlife. I did a project for school on the Northern Bald Ibis and learnt that there is only a handful left breeding in Syria.
I know there are some successful conservation programs such as the one that has helped grow the number of Avocets. The Avocet numbers have gone up, but will this continue? And who will make sure this increase stays positive in another 30 years time.
Most of my friends are not interested in birds and other wildlife, they would rather be playing on computer games or think wildlife isn’t interesting or cool. I am not saying that they’re not allowed to play on computer games, since I sometimes like to have a go, but they are missing out on so much that nature has to offer.
I got myself interested in nature, but my parents have helped and supported me with millions of things, which I am extremely grateful for. For example, taking me to wildlife places, buying me equipment, making me a bird hide out of the old shed; all this has helped me to learn more and enjoy the most amazing experiences.
Unfortunately as I get older I can’t save the planet on my own, even though that would be cool. So who exactly is going to help?
I think the problem is that a lot of people my age just don’t understand how interesting and important nature is, because no one is showing them. Parents are always busy, roads are too dangerous for kids to go out alone and no-one seems to have any time.
My knowledge of birds and wildlife has all been self taught, but it would be great to have school lessons on wildlife and conservation. It would be great if we could have a Nature Day in school once a month. This could include trips or walks out to wildlife places and guest speakers from groups like the RSPB, Woodland Trust, Wildlife Trust or other conservation groups. This might just get other children interested and make them understand how important it is to protect all sorts of wildlife from small plants to giant trees, and from bees to the 21 species of Albatross.
My hope is that adults and children get interested in nature and birds by getting out and about, and maybe even by putting up a few feeders in their gardens so they can watch, enjoy and unlock the real secrets of nature.
I am sure you have heard that plenty of bird species have declined, for example, since 1980 40 million Starlings from the European Union have disappeared. The House Sparrow population dropped by 71% between 1977 and 2008. I don’t know what the exact answers are for solving these problems, but I do know that if no one else my age is taught to care, these problems will never be solved.
Thank you for reading.
All my studying and findings can be followed on my own blog http://wildeaboutbirds.blogspot.co.uk