Moral dilemma

As if life isn’t perplexing enough these days, here I was presented with a moral dilemma in my actual back yard! I love the Autumn season and besides the colours it’s the migration of birds that I often find spellbinding. The sound of hundreds of geese flying overhead can reduce me to tears as I rejoice in the wonder of this twice annual marvel.

I’m lucky enough to see a lot of these comings and goings in the parkland out of our back window and never tire of observing who’s visiting.

migrating gbh

Great Blue Herons, cormorants and mergansers all mingle with the more common geese and duck species.

migrating cormorant

For songbirds, I put out seed to help them along their way…and that’s where today’s dilemma began! With the snow driving sideways reminding us of the winter to come, I spied a visitor I hadn’t noticed before. With the wet, cold sleet swirling she looked a little sad for a moment…

Chilly falcon

But for just a moment and then her expression changed to something a little less pathetic. This Peregrine, whose name means traveler in Latin, noticed my bird feeder and came in for a closer look…

Spying on lunch

Now I was in fact, thrilled to see her since these magnificent birds of prey were nearly wiped out by DDT – one of the problems with being top of the food chain! They have enough problems in life since 70% of them don’t survive their 1st year because the little ones are favourite food themselves for eagles and owls.

Should I warn those gentle songbirds that they were being considered for lunch? Should I scare her out of the tree or leave well alone? She sat out there for a long time watching… I opted to let nature run it’s course and it seems she was just sheltering from the storm. The songbirds get to live another day.



This entry was posted in Environment, Life, Photography, Puzzles and Contradictions, Thoughts, Winter and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to Moral dilemma

  1. Nancy says:

    I found you on Instagram… I am Nance5210. Hope all is well!

  2. Sue Slaght says:

    Carol i am sorry I missed this post! I think I may have been kayaking in Mexico when it was published. At any rate what a thrill or a dilemma as you point out to have this visitor. I think you were wise in the end to let nature run its course. Great captures by the way!

  3. hermitsdoor says:

    As with human culture, in the long-time frame of history, events and trends seem natural without regard to who is effected by them (e.g. the idea of letting nature takes its course with survival). However, when a specific events effects a specific person or group of people, that is tragic (e.g. the song birds at your feeder getting caught and eaten by the raptor).

  4. Nancy says:

    Beautiful pictures! We have this predicament daily and sometimes feel that I am putting my song birds out there on a silver platter.,

  5. I think you did the right thing by letter nature work its course. However, I do see your dilemma, but this is the way it’s always been. The Peregrine falcon is quite a special bird.

  6. Gunta says:

    Good call! I can’t wait to move south to my little wonderland like yours overlooking a creek and having many of the same visitors.

  7. restlessjo says:

    Hooray for nature! Isn’t she a fabulous creature? 🙂

  8. Denis1950 says:

    Beautiful images Carol, I love the story of the Falcon. Its amazing what happens when one takes time to watch and listen to birds.

  9. Lavinia Ross says:

    Good to see you back, Carol! A beautiful hawk that came to visit you. You made the right decision, leaving the hawk be. All must eat.

  10. Sheryl says:

    This post is very thought-provoking. I don’t think that there is a “right” decision, but I think that I would have done the same thing as you.

  11. Shannon McManus says:

    Good post!

    Sent from my iPhone


  12. mommermom says:

    You have been missed! ♡♡ Such a touching story. Nature is so beautiful but it does have its harsh realities too. Good decision, I have to agree. Lovely photos. It must be such an amazing sight ti see the geese fly over.

    • Glad to be back. I was very pleased to have a happy ending at my bird feeder though… Some people consider geese a nuisance but I can’t get over their unlikely grace and determination in the air. And when their return announces spring – that’s special!

  13. GP Cox says:

    Good to see you back – and you’ve brought us these wonderful pictures! Thanks.

  14. agnesashe says:

    On close inspection the natural world is often overwhelming as Tennyson found – ‘red in tooth and claw’, and at the same time I think many of us find it difficult to reconcile the fact that we, humans, are part of nature’s continuum. Beautiful photos – love the heron too.

  15. Gallivanta says:

    Snow already! Brrrr……. What a beautiful visitor. She obviously didn’t fancy what’s was on the menu this time but no doubt appreciated your hospitality. 😉

  16. I believe you made the right decision, difficult though it is to see little song birds plucked off our seed-feeders by raptors. How exciting to see a peregrine that close up!

  17. never have I seen a peregrine falcon up this close. what an amazing sight – thanks for sharing.

  18. icelandpenny says:

    I appreciate your dilemma & agree with your decision. I suspect that, almost always, any time we humans decide to interfere, we end up making things worse not better.

  19. margaret21 says:

    Yup, I think that’s the way it is. Nature has to do what nature has to do. We interfere enough already….. Tough though.

  20. We do interfere far too much and impose our own values where they have no business being!

  21. Herman Rosenfeld says:

    I’d love to see that in my backyard. But I had to teach a course last Sunday in Calgary for the ATU, and I stole a couple of days hiking in Banff. I’ll send some photos.

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