Birds fed up with Stanstead !
The Rotary Club of the Boundary, as a centennial project to celebrate the founding of their club, chose to place bird houses along the 7 kilometers of bike trails located in Stanstead. The aim was to attract bluebirds, a species in decline, as they prefer to settle near open fields. The bird houses have been successful in attracting the bluebirds, as well as many other bird species, such as chickadees, swallows and wrens.
Originally the Rotary Club installed 102 bird houses, primarily along the Rock Island-Beebe trail. Unfortunately, many of these houses have been removed or vandalized, which necessitated their repair and replacement. Volunteers clean the houses annually and have built more houses to replace those missing. Despite this, over half the houses on the Rock Island-Beebe trail were once again knocked down and several dam- aged. Sadly, two of the houses were knocked down while nesting birds were inhabiting them and the birds were subsequently killed when their homes were vandalized.
The fallen bird houses have been retrieved again and they will be reinstalled in the Fall with 32 new houses. Autumn is the ideal season to replace the houses, as the occupants have vacated them to fly South for the winter months and the ground is still frost free, facilitating installation. Unfortunately, given the dismal history of abuse and disrespect offered this project by those individuals who repeatedly destroy bird houses on the Rock
Island-Beebe trail, this location no longer seems a good choice for placing the houses. Alternative locations could be in Vermont along the trail from the border to Newport, or on the old railbed trail from Stanstead to Ayer’s Cliff. The Rotary of the Boundary Club welcomes suggestions as to where new houses could be placed.
One has to wonder what pleasure someone could derive from continuously knocking down birdhouses. Since moving to this area in the last year I have encountered a curious phenomenon, whereby I hear many locals complaining about the negatives in this community without recognizing the positives. Perhaps a little bit of insight into the state of the ‘grass on the other side of the fence’ may be in order here. In cities you have nobody setting up birdhouses in your neighbourhood so you can enjoy watching bluebirds and listening to their calls. You certainly don’t have anyone paying for them out of their own pocket and cleaning them every year. What you do have are a ton of annoying pigeons. People in your neighbourhood are just as likely to contrive ways of killing these, and they lack the luxury of being able to attract more attractive species, such as bluebirds. You don’t have bike trails behind your homes with a pretty river running by. You do have dirty alleys and the smell of car fumes and a lot of traffic through which you must navigate to ride your bike. When you find a green space you have to share it with one individual per every fourth square metre, and you have to vacate it by 10:00 PM or face municipal fines. This is to prevent vandalism. You don’t have many communities where neighbours know each other. What you find are people who pay a lot of taxes for very little services, they have never met their mayor, they have little say in what goes on in their neighbourhood and no local groups trying to beautify anything.
So this leaves one question begging to be asked: When you have a good thing, and others are devoted to taking money from their pockets and time from their day to make your world more beautiful and save the lives of beautiful animals.... Why would anyone put so much energy into destroying this with absolutely no personal gain from having done so? If we see someone destroying these houses, or any other public property, maybe we should have the courage to ask them what they are doing and why. When they cannot offer an intelligent excuse for their behaviour maybe they will reconsider repeating it in future.
– Passed away in the presence of her loving family at the C.S.S.S. Memphremagog on Sunday August 14, 2011 at the age of 88. Cherished wife of Ramsey and loving mother of Lorna (George) and Dolan (Sandra). Adoring grandmother of Leanne, Brad, Jennifer, Sarah and Annabelle. Precious great-grandmother of Henry. Deryl will also be sadly missed by other relatives and many friends. There will be visitation at the
Cass Funeral Home 545 Dufferin, Stanstead 819-876-5213/www.casshomes.ca on Wednesday August 17, 2011 where friends may visit from 7 to 9 p.m. A celebration of her life will be held in the chapel on Thursday August 18, 2011 at 2 p.m. with Reverend Doreen Moffat officiating followed by interment in Woodside Cemetery. As a tribute to her memory, donations made to the Woodside Cemetery, c/o Geraldine Shelden, 7 Woodside, Stanstead, QC JOB 3E5 or the Palliative Care Unit of the C.S.S.S. Memphremagog, 50 St-Patrice Est, Magog, QC J1X 3X3 would be greatly appreciated by the family.
A member of the local Rotary Club installing a bird house along the bike trail.