If you want a lesson in happy bravado, ask a lapwing: they’ve made wheeling and phwee-ing a fine art. But you better make it quick.
Because the virtuoso lapwing is on the RSPB red list. That is the endangered species list. Along with 66 more old favourites. Song thrushes are there. Sparrows. Sparrows? Yes. Tree and house varieties.
Think of that and you might think of the heavens without birds. No skylarks playing hide and seek with gravity. No willow tits inspiring operettas. No curlews refusing your melancholia. And you realise: take the dawn chorus for granted, and there’s a chance you’ll wind up with nothing but recordings on YouTube.
Time for action, then. A big squawk out in poetry: songs of praise for every single species on that red list, as it stands in October 2018. The need for precision is advised. The danger changes.
We don't want any more species following the Great Auk to extinction. There ain't no coming back from that. But... some species, with careful help from people who know what they're doing, make it back to the safer branches of the orange list and better.
Oh, and we do know that a bunch of poems won’t necessarily save one single creature. But they might re-nudge you to unfriend Project Planet Plunder in whatever form it takes. And they might remind you to watch the birdie. While you can.
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