Written by an area Landscape Architect and birdwatcher with over 30 years of experience with landscaping in north Texas: what works and what doesn't. Emphasis on attracting birds to north Texas yards, and reducing required yard maintenance. Tips, trivia and proven advice for a natural, low-cost approach for this unique and sensitive part of the country.
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Sunday, April 14, 2013
Bringing the Passenger Pigeon back from extinction ?!
not so long ago, the Passenger Pigeon was one of the most abundant birds in North
America. There were billions of them. Now they're gone. Extinct. Due to
rampant hunting, and development of its habitat, the only people who have ever
seen a live one are now over 90.
science has reached the point where it’s (theoretically) possible
extinct species back from the finality of extinction. In the Passenger Pigeon’s
case, it involves identifying the genetic “bits” that make it a real Passenger Pigeon -
creating a “genome” from DNA found in museum specimens. Next, synthesize the DNA fragments
that make the bird unique. Then the modified DNA fragments are exchanged, in
place of the corresponding fragments, in the genome of the common Rock Pigeon
(a close cousin). The new “stem cells”, converted into “germ cells” are put
into the eggs of a Rock Pigeon (I apologize in advance to all true scientists,
who may see this explanation as vastly oversimplified). Then breed the
the result is a true Passenger Pigeon. Or is it?
that it can be done, should it be done? Several scientists think that, if the specie’s
extinction was caused mostly by mankind, we have the responsibility to
“re-create” it. That’s good for the Passenger Pigeon, but bad for things like
the sabre-toothed tiger.
Would we want a 'Jurassic Park' of Wooly Mammoths and flesh-eating birds, anyway?
Are you paying for weeds!?A recent university study examined ten popular brands of birdseed and found
that half of them contained seeds of at least six species of weeds. SO, not only
are you paying good money for the weed seeds, but they’re likely to sprout and
spread in your yard; and wild birds rarely eat them. Personally I have no absolute proof of the following opinion, but I'd bet good money that the cheaper birdseed brands contain the most weed seeds.