I guess this is really an obituary of sorts. This picture of a Great Blue Heron was taken in Arkansas in 2009. It is pictured here because I didn't get a chance to see the Great Blue Heron that showed up on the Avalon in March of this year because someone took it upon them self to shoot the great bird on March 9 in Flatrock, as the report goes. In this case, someone must have seen the bird, gone home to get a gun and purposefully, took the bird out. It is just too much to imagine any sensible reason why that happened.
Also pictured here are two Blue-winged Teal which may be among the last pictures of the teal that showed up at Second Pond last year. Why? Well, again because, as the report goes, a hunter decided to take them out.
Why would anyone choose to shoot rare birds? It just doesn't make sense. Perhaps, it was a case of mistaken identity with the teal but no such excuse can be given for the execution of the heron.
As far as I know, no birder was able to view the heron. Many of us travelled to Flatrock once the report was made of the bird, only to find an empty field. What can be done, if anything, to educate the public about rare birds and how to report and preserve them. The truth is many people do just that. When a rare bird shows up in their yard, they learn about the bird, report its presence and do all they can to keep the bird alive. In some cases, the bird becomes one of the family for the duration of its visit.
Yet, there are the few individuals who have no appreciation for our rare visitors and use them for target practice. It was a very sad day when I learned of the fate of both of these species.
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