Dear Susan, Judith, & All:

  Keeping in mind that it is against state law to intentionally
  release any non-native wildlife into the Florida environment,
  a law that I fully agree with, I still find myself in agreement
  with you two, but I was wondering what transpired that prompted
  you to post what you did Judith?

  There is no doubt that a number of exotic species of plants &
  animals continue to cause major problems in Florida and elsewhere
  in the country, but measures to deal with these problems should
  always be undertaken on an as needed basis. It's true I suppose
  that a few species of old world birds do cause some problems,
  too many Rock Doves in big city parks pooping all over statues
  of Generals Grant & Lee may actually have the potential for
  causing human health problems. And, there is little doubt that
  many woodpeckers have had to excavate more nesting & roosting
  cavities in their lifetimes than they would have had to do if
  not for some pesky Starlings ripping them off. And Purple Martin
  fans have little love for House Sparrows setting up shop in
  their marten houses. And, I must admit that I get a little scared
  when I see a neighborhood loaded with Eurasian Collared Doves,
  & I can't find a Mourning Dove there to save my life.

  But, are these examples all bad? Probably not. Rock Doves make
  great Peregrine food, & are playing a part in their comeback
  efforts. I know of no proof that woodpecker populations are
  down because of Starlings. Compared to the numbers that were
  shot for the bounty paid by power companies for so many years,
  & the stupid people who cut down any tree on their property
  as soon as it dies, & the decades of bad timber cutting
  practices, (mostly in the past), Starlings seem a little less
  formidable. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that the advent
  of Starlings on the North American scene has caused woodpeckers
  to become stronger & smarter. Purple Marten fans know to pull
  the House Sparrow's nesting materials out of the compartments
  before the martins come back, but it is a bother, no doubt. The
  numbers of Mourning doves that seen to be displaced by collared
  doves can't be much compared to the millions that are shot each
  year. Should collared doves be on the hunting list? why not?
  As a non-native species they aren't protected anyhow. They sure
  do make good Short-tailed Hawk food, & I'm sure are playing a
  part in what I think is an increase in population & in breeding
  & wintering ranges of this species.

  As far as parrots go, I don't know of even anecdotal evidence
  that any of their species are causing any real problems for
  native species or agricultural interests. If they do in the
  future we can deal with it. It wasn't that hard to wipe out
  Carolina Parakeets, & Thick_billed Parrots!!

  Those who don't agree are free to let me know what you think,
  but don't expect any rebuttals from me, I'm usually too darn

  Wes Biggs

Susan Epps wrote:
> Dear Judith,
> I am glad to hear someone voice so much support for the parrots.  Many people
> have forgotten that Carolina Parakeets once thrived in this country.  We are
> supposed to have parrots in the United States.  Since Florida was the last stand
> for the Carolina Parakeets, it is appropriate that Florida is now the host for
> the replacements.
> As for breeding.  It is happening.  We saw 5 species, White-fronted Amazon,
> Red-crowned Amazon, Orange-winged Amazon, Chestnut-fronted Macaws, and Red-masked
> Conure, in nest holes.  A pair of Blue-crowned Conures was sitting in a tree near
> a nest hole.  I also showed the group from Lakeland the holes where the Mitred
> Conures nested last year.
> Later,
> Susan Epps
> Fort Lauderdale
> Judith Buhrman wrote:
> >        For all that I campaign against invasive exotic species, I cannot
> > muster anything but pleasure with the establishment of potential breeding
> > populations of psittacids that are being harried into extinction in their
> > native lands. They are extraordinary beasts, social, intelligent in the
> > extreme (many of the habits humans consider obnoxious are exactly human
> > behaviours, and possibly of extremely ancient lineage). I do not know of any
> > member of the family, including the much maligned monk parakeet, that is
> > displacing any native bird species. But humans are displacing them with
> > development, killing them as "agricultural pests," or collecting them for the
> > exotic animal trade (do 10% survive the ordeal?).
> >        Can we welcome these incredibly complex and beautiful creatures into
> > the landscapes we have prepared for them by destroying Florida's natural
> > plant communitie? Perhaps in the future, they might provide a slim hope for
> > restoration to their ancestral lands. Slim, because they must learn the
> > business of being who they are in the place they are, but not impossible,
> > because they are making do here.
> >        Disclaimer: Three years ago after much, and maybe not enough,
> > soul-searching, I adopted at great expense, a parrot. An African grey. O, my.
> >
> >        I am off my soapbox now.
> >
> > Judith Buhrman
> > Seminole FL
> > [log in to unmask]


 Wes Biggs
 Florida Nature Tours, Orlando  407/363-1360  [log in to unmask]   ABA sponsored