The Rio Grande Valley is one of the nation’s top spots for birding. A study by Texas A&M University published several years ago revealed that ecotourism, bird watching in particular, generates over $463 million annually to the Valley economy. Richard Moore explores the fascinating attraction people have to birds.
Since the beginning, birds have elevated our eyes to the skies. They mesmerize us with their flight and enchant us with their songs. Their sheer beauty enthralls us, and they are everywhere and everywhere different.
They soar and sing and fill us with wonder and bring joy to our lives. Life without birds would be desolate. As a vital facet in the intricate web of life, birds are invaluable as insect eaters, pollinators and more.
Birds have always been our biological barometers from the “canary in the coal mine” warning of foul air to the alarm bells raised by the near demise of Brown pelicans and Peregrine falcons who were decimated by the ravages of the harmful pesticide DDT.
Birds connect us to the rhythms of the earth. In the spring Bobwhite quail enthusiastically greet the dawn, and in the fall the primal calls of Wild geese fills the air signaling change in season.
Their heartwarming penchant as mates for life inspires us. The fidelity of bonded birds is nowhere more evident than in the loving attention lavished on one another by a pair of Red-crowned parrots.
Their devotion to offspring is steadfast as this pair of Scissor-tailed flycatchers evidence in their tireless efforts raising young.
But, perhaps it is their freedom that moves us most. With their ability to fly wherever and whenever they represent the very essence of freedom.
They bring an air of wildness to us. And as nature’s most enchanting envoys, they remind us that where birds thrive people will prosper.