12.6 C
Byron Shire
June 15, 2024

The ironic sparrow

Latest News

Housing waiting lists jump over 100 per cent for Northern Rivers

Crisis response needed from NSW state government as listings for priority housing increase over 100 per cent in multiple Northern Rivers regions.

Other News

Help save the Big Scrub rainforest with science

There is only one per cent of the Big Scrub rainforest in Northern New South Wales remaining. This has left what were once mighty rainforests now critically endangered and facing the threat of extinction because of a serious lack of genetic diversity.

Illawarra and Tweed in NSW police sting

NSW Police say they have arrested five people and seized over $3 million worth of MDMA across the Illawarra and Tweed regions as part of a multi-agency investigation into the manufacturing and mass supply of illicit drugs.

Cynical Swivel

I was utterly horrified to hear Cr Mark Swivel touting a ‘community land trust for conservation’ concept as his...

Ongoing roadworks

In response to Scott Wilson (Echo 29 May) questioning Byron Council’s spending on roads and infrastructure, the truth is...

A deeper dive into plans to abandon Mullum’s local water supply

With Council seeking community input on its proposal to disconnect Mullumbimby’s local water source and instead be reliant on water supplied by Rous County Council, local Greens candidate and water engineer, Elia Hauge, has added her concerns around the lack of meaningful consultation and process.

Laura Tingle

To the Most Honourable Professor of Good Sense, David Lowe, I’ve just read your opinion in our beloved Byron...

Reading last week’s Echo, I was struck by the image of a sparrow apparently wearing one of those Santa hats, which have become ubiquitous during the season to spend (and for some) make money. I suppose from the perspective of an advertising agency this would be a palpable hit. But I found the photoshopped image ironic. I hear some now saying, ‘Get a life’, but here is why:

For years there were always numbers of house sparrows in the environs of Byron Bay. I always liked to see them, even though they can be pugnacious little birds that would grab nesting places from other birds sometimes. I knew that populations were dwindling in Britain, and as far as I know no one could offer a conclusive explanation. But I felt that here at least they were still around in modest numbers. But over the last few years they seem also to be so reduced in their numbers I have not seen a single specimen, even where I would once spot them. 

It is possible that other pugnacious interloper, the Indian Mynah, has replaced them; but I rather doubt it.

I knew a few years ago a colony roosted in a clump of bamboo. This was cut down during a development. But I felt the birds might find an alternative.

I am prepared to believe these observations mean little to many people; but to my mind they are part of the increasing warnings that the planet is demonstrating of the situation we are all facing. The drop in bird populations is not limited to the sparrow.

I am currently reading a book about the insect crisis, the huge (estimated) drop in all insect populations around the world. I do not need the experts to tell me of these changes. It is not just the honeybee that is in dire trouble, it is almost all the insect biomass. This includes other valuable insect pollinators, such as flies and wild bees and wasps. The intricate web of interrelations and knock-on effects of all the ramifications are truly disturbing.

Of course, climate change, human populations, agribusiness etc. are all interrelated factors.

There is a certain irony in my mind in the humble sparrow made to don a Santa hat. It is the whole extravagant consumer culture, while supporting capitalism that is a major contributing factor to the planet’s grave problems.

David Morris, Byron Bay


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Editorial – Should Mullum’s water remain locally sourced?

The push by members of Council’s Water and Sewer Advisory Committee (WSAC) to retain Mullum’s local water supply is heating up...

Relocalising to find the life we all dream of

Everywhere we look we see signs of economic downturn, environmental destruction and social breakdown. It’s easy to wonder how we can ever improve our lives and those of our kids.

Mullet fishers destroy dunes and native plants at Gawandii Beach, Shaws Bay

Locals and Tuckombil Landcare have expressed concerns over damage to the dunes at Gawandii Beach at Shaws Bay by fisher people who are accessing the beach for the mullet harvesting season. 

Flood-prone land subdivision DA on exhibition

A proposal by developer Callum Sked to subdivide flood-prone land near the Mullumbimby Showground is now on public exhibition on Council’s website until June 25.