Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Corinna Downes: Interviewed by Mark Antony Raines

What inspired you to get into birds? 

Birds are, quite simply, magnificent. And the fact that some migrate thousands of miles, year after year, just boggles the mind. They come in all shapes and sizes, colouration and beauty, and from the smallest to the largest they fill this world with their songs, their displays, and – in some cases - their downright stamina: annual migration, living a life on the wing, or roaming the oceans, and only coming to land to breed. 

What is the aim of your blog? 

Many birds across the world are facing the same fate as elephants, rhinos and tigers – to name but a few – and their plight needs to be publicised far and wide. The human race needs to learn that killing for fun is not acceptable; who exactly do we think we are? Killing for feathers to adorn hats and such like is obscene. And if we are supposed to have evolved into such great beings, why is it that some cannot accept that the old ways are defunct? Not forgetting those creeps that trap to sell to the illegal wildlife trade. We - as the so-called intelligent species – are systematically destroying the world around us and it just seems to me that the dilemma of birds is largely ignored. Wind farms, for example, may be the way forward for us, but for a lot of birds they are merely another form of execution. High rise buildings may be a way of solving our problems of over-population but to one heck of a lot of birds their windows are a death sentence. People are beginning to wake up to these problems, but we need to continue to drive home the point, lest it shrinks into the background once news of such things begins to fade. 

What plans do you have for the future? 

To continue to bring stories of their struggles to light. And the successes, of course, and there are some. But for the sake of the birds there should be more. We need to educate the future generations that the sight and sounds of birds alive is more important than seeing pile upon pile of them laying dead, watched over by a smiling hunter who appears to have had a fun day killing. Or nets full of dead ones after a day out trapping. Those snapshots of our world should be erased once and for all. But, of course, they never will be. We are humans after all. 

All in very simplistic terms, but I think you get my drift.

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