Birds fed up with Stanstead !

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Made­line Mul­hol­land 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/ 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.

Photo cour­tesy

A mem­ber of the lo­cal Ro­tary Club in­stalling a bird house along the bike trail.

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