Yesterday morning I took a very early drive along some back roads near my home in southwestern Saskatchewan, looking for songbirds. Nine of ten will fly off the fence post at the approach of a vehicle. Then there's the tenth...
As Trevor Herriot points out in his wonderful book Grass, Sky, Song, it's difficult to get people to care about nondescript little brown grassland birds. They will not attract busloads of tourists. To lovers of wild prairie, though, they are one of the essential ingredients of these intensely beautiful and increasingly rare ecosystems, their song and their presence a good indication of biodiversity persisting in the face of the immense forces of industrial agriculture. Essential like the sky, like the clouds, like the wind.
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