Being a nature photographer, I'm constantly reminded of the value of birds. Sometimes when I drive through my neighborhood in the late afternoon, I watch a Great Blue Heron wading by the shore. For those few moments, I am transported from life's petty annoyances into a peaceful calm. At other times, when I see a family of wood storks crossing the greens of the golf course, I marvel at the similarities to human child rearing skills they display.
Since birds feed and breed in these environments, their longevity is threatened. Water levels, climate changes and the amount of wetland habitats impact how birds survive and human consumption is the reason. Even though several federal, state and local agencies and conservation commissions are making plans, the average citizen needs to be thinking and acting, as well.
I know what some people say. What can I do? I'm only one person. Well, let's just think about water for a minute. Did you know the average person uses about 124 gallons of water a day? Multiply that by eighteen million people (just in Florida) and that's 2 billion, 232 million gallons of water!!! The number is so high, you can't even picture it in your mind. Just imagine, it's enough to fill every swimming pool, every two seconds, all day, every day.
Just by making a few changes in your home, you can help save water for our environment. Here are some ways:
1) Repairing a dripping faucet, can save 30 gallons a day.
2) Repairing a leaky toilet, can save 100 gallons a day.
3) Well maintained and efficient clothes washers can use 27 gallons
of water a day. Older less maintained washers, use 56.
4) Rinsing fruit and vegetables in a bowl instead of under a running
faucet, saves 250 gallons a month.
5) Turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth and shaving,
saves 1000 gallons a month.
6) Running a hose uses 9 gallons a minute. If you leave it
on for an hour, you use 540 gallons of water.
These are just a few facts to put human water consumption into perspective. But how does conserving our water supply help birds?
Water conserving efforts result in diverting less water from rivers, bays and wetlands which allows more water to remain in its natural setting. Since fish, wildlife and birds depend upon these water resources to nest and make babies, the less we use, the more that's available for future generations.
Well, that's my opinion on one aspect conservation. For now, just remember. When you, your children and your children's children have the time to enjoy your surroundings, make sure there is something to see. Birds are amazing creatures and we should do everything we can to protect them. Enjoy the images!
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