The Kirtland’s Warbler…

…is in trouble.  They were placed on the endangered species list in 1973, and they’re numbers are still very low.  Just 18 sightings have been confirmed in Wisconsin.

I’m not sure how they go about “confirming” a “sighting.”  I’m sure someone sees a Kirtland’s warbler and goes to tell someone else, thereby confirming the sighting, but that’s pretty flimsy “confirming.”  I mean, the other person should probably see the warbler in question before confirming, right?  And if that’s not possible, at the very least, there should be a brief interview full of indignant skepticism by the wannabe confirmer.

But, confirmed or not, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and an article by Paul A. Smith, you’re not likely to see them at the feeder again this year.  The male’s call of “Chip-chip-che-way-oh” will likely go unheard by the female, but it could still be used as backing vocals by Paul Simon to replace Ladysmith Black Mambazo on his next album.

With so few, you’d think the D.N.R. would tell us exactly where they are so we could go enjoy them, right?  Wrong.  The D.N.R. has placed them in the Warbler Protection Program, and is keeping their location “undisclosed.”  Perhaps the Tataglia Family is looking for them.

Actually, the idea is, if they’re undisturbed, maybe they’ll mate.  And by way of aphrodisiacs, the only humans allowed near them are biologists.  And nothing gets birds hotter than being studied by biologists; suave, sexy biologists.

They capture them and tag them, of course, that’s a given, but these biologists also put speakers under nests, pipe in mating calls and hide in nearby trees like alien voyeurs to watch the results.  If I were a lonely, male Kirtland’s warbler, I think this would drive me insane.  I would not only NOT want to mate, but I think that I might just rock back and forth on a branch and slowly pluck all of my own feathers out.

But these are biologists, and biologists always know how to keep the grant money coming in.  Just like with the pandas.  Biologists are always trying to get pandas to do it; I think it’s an aphrodisiac for the biologists.

But you can certainly help, too.  If you see a lone, male Kirtland’s warbler, offer to be his wing-man.  Take him out to the clubs.  Get his beak good and wet.  Even if he only hooks up with a couple of sparrows, the practice is good for his confidence. 

And, if you see a hot, little Chickadee at the bar, and you want to hook up your friend, the Kirtland’s warbler, this line never fails:  “Hey, see that tag on my buddy’s leg over there?  Well, he wants to tag you, too.”


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