We report. You decide!
There appears to be a serious bird health crisis on the Broward. The birds are just gone! Sightings are few and far between. I decided that since my lens is still in the shop I would do some investigating into this crisis. I have three observations on the situation. Here is what I found.
Photo number one is a healthy male Northern Cardinal taken shortly before implementation of the Unaffordable Bird Care Act (UBICA). Note the summer plumage is not as bright as the bright red winter garb. The bird appears healthy. Previously I had seen lots of these healthy male cardinals around. Photo number two was recently taken by a fellow photographer (thanks Michael Sugden! ) just a few months after UBICA was implemented. Note the severe loss of plumage and mangy look of the young male cardinal. It can’t even fly now. Is it just a coincidence that the mating season ended also? Or is something terribly wrong? Photo number three is a photo of a young male Laughing Gull taken shortly before the mating season started. Photo number four is the same male two weeks after implementation of UBICA (which just so happened to coincide with the end of the mating season also). Photo number five shows a young mallard hen with five ducklings. Sure they are cute but that is a lot of beaks to feed. The Drakes are no where to be found. Thankfully they have free UBICA corn provided by the government each day. Photo number six shows the same mother with the fully grown "young ones" still trailing and at home. Under UBICA they can stay on mom's health care plan so why fly away with the other young ducks. Here are my startling conclusions below:
1) The cost of UBICA has so severely impacted the male bird population that they are pulling out all their feathers to pay the taxes and aging them beyond their years or,
2) These young males had such a good time during mating season it will just take a few more months to recover fully. So is it severe "molting" caused by having to pay feathers for the UBICA tax or just too much exhaustion from the mating season?
3) Under UBICA the young ones stay on the family health care plan, still get free food, and don't have to leave home. So why fly? We report. You decide! Be Blessed. Harry