FLICK OFF for the Birds

I was putting up posters East on Eglinton when something extraordinary caught my eye. In retrospect, it really shouldn't have been so shocking and yet as I taped up yet another advertisement, I couldn't avert my eyes from it. I kept thinking that if I looked away, it would clamber up and fly away. But it didn't.

Yes, it was a bird. A pidgeon, actually. The most common sight on the dingy Toronto streets, besides garbage. Some people view them as vermin and disease carriers, but did you know that they are a strain of the highly regarded dove? Talk about living in someone else's shadow.

And yet people don't even blink an eye at the sight of a crippled wing or a puddle of dried carnage on the road. It's just the reality of city life. I admit that I have tried to harden myself to these "realities", but I am only human.

It was even harder that day. The pidgeon was fully formed- it had obviously not been run- over. It lay still on its back, vertical to the curb. Alright, you're thinking, a dead bird- get over it! But it did get mt thinking...

How did it die? Now this is important because it brings up a slew of problems inherent in our city. I recalled FLAP (Fatal Light Awareness Program). This association addresses the issue of countless birds slamming into the windows of high-rises and either dying of shock or broken bones. Lights are needlessly kept on over night in many buildings for aesthetic purposes. Birds can't see their own reflection and can not distinguish the glass from the sky. They fly head-on into the glass.

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