Ostriches as large as 160 kilograms, hummingbirds as small as a few grams, all the birds on the earth are evolved from flying dinosaurs over tens of millions of years. However, due to the changes and deterioration of environmental conditions, the extinction rate of birds is alarmingly fast, and some have disappeared in decades, years, or even less time. This makes bird experts feel confused and unbelievable-the
shrike is a small carnivorous bird, also known as the “Parrot” or “Shrike”. The Chinese have kept it as a pet for thousands of years. The eight-flag brothers of the Qing Dynasty, who like to carry birds in cages and boil eagles and hunt rabbits, like to keep shrike the most, and they gave it the nickname “Hubula”. The shrike is ferocious by nature, cold-faced and bloodthirsty, but its barking is loud and special, and it knows how to please its owners like cats and dogs, so it is quite popular with bird lovers. In addition, the shrike is quite related to Chinese culture, and leaves many related poignant stories.
“Flying east shrike and flying swallows west”
There is a poem describing the shrike in the ancient Chinese classic “The Book of Songs”, and the shrike is called “鵙” (pronounced ju). Legend has it that when King Zhou Xuan, the virtuous minister Yin Jifu beheaded the beloved son Birch left by his ex-wife at the instigation of his successor, and regretted it. One day, Yin Jifu saw a bird he had never seen before in the outskirts, and stopped on the mulberry tree and tweeted to him, his voice was very sad and sad. In his subconscious mind, he thought that this bird was transformed by the soul of his dead son Birch, so he said: “Shrike? It’s my son, I live here; I’m not my son, don’t fly.” The general meaning is: “If You are my son, so flew over and parked on my carriage. If not, then flew away.” Before the voice was over, the bird flew onto the car cover. After the bird followed him back home, he stopped on the well fence and screamed at the house. He ordered his stepwife to bring a crossbow and pretended to shoot the bird, but shot the stepwife with an arrow. Since then, people have called this bird “Shrike”.
Shrike loves to fly eastward and swallows love to travel westward. These two birds are destined not to accompany each other. Therefore, Emperor Xiao Yan of Liang Wu during the Southern and Northern Dynasties left the “East Fei Shrike and West Feiyan, Huang Gu and the Weaver Girl”. The famous verse of “see”, the idiom “Laoyan divides the flight” also comes from this.
Get attention when you’re in a difficult situation
Kevin Joseph is a well-known ornithological expert in the United States and has been studying shrike for nearly 20 years. He used field observation data to prove that the number of shrikes is decelerating at an alarming rate. In the United States, in the North American continent, and even in the world, their vigorous figures are becoming rarer and rarer. In 1992, on the grasslands of Maine and Pennsylvania in the United States, during the breeding period, about 700 different species of shrike were recorded after walking 40 kilometers. Since then, its number has decreased year by year, and by 2019, only 105 were recorded, and only two species, the dull shrike and the gray shrike were left.
Not only the United States, but the fate of shrike in other countries is equally worrying. Kevin Joseph believes that there are 70 species of shrike, and more than half of the species are now extinct. In England in the early 20th century, the red-backed shrike and blackbird were very common birds. After the 1980s, the red-backed shrike has disappeared in Britain. The Great Grey Shrike in Sweden and the Black Shrike in Europe have also unfortunately become extinct. In addition, there are Japanese bull-headed shrike and red-tailed shrike, China’s red-backed shrike, desert shrike, gray-backed shrike, black-headed shrike, gray shrike, etc., except for the latter two occasionally seen, the rest have all been extinct.
Given that the shrike has become extinct in a short period of time, Kevin Joseph took the lead in holding the first International Symposium on Shrike at the Boise Predator Raptor World Research Center in Boise, Idaho, USA. Ornithologists from 21 countries Participated in this seminar. Kevin Joseph hopes that through exchanges and discussions, participants can find a way to get rid of the predicament of the shrike, at least in this century, on the basis of the existing species, they can continue to live and fly freely.
Shrike searching for prey
After finding the target, strike out quickly.
Shrike returning from hunting
At the first International Symposium on Shrike, ornithologists confirmed the fact that shrikes are decreasing dramatically worldwide, but they did not agree on the reasons for the plight of shrikes. There are three more representative views.
The first view is that the grassland on which the shrike depends for survival is being cultivated and planted by humans, and it is shrinking day by day, which is the reason why the shrike is declining. Statistics from 35 countries show that in half a century, the area of pastures in these countries has shrunk by a third. After the pasture is turned into a good field, once high-stalk plants such as corn and sorghum are planted, it will be difficult for the shrike to forage and cut off the way of life.
The second view is that human-made changes in the environment make it difficult for the shrike to hunt during the migration, and more than 60% of the shrike that cannot receive energy supplements will fall dead on the migration.
The third view is that human deforestation not only caused the shrike to lose its “watchtower”, it also caused the number of fire ants in the habitat of the shrike to show a blowout, and the poor shrike could only watch what they used to be. The food was eaten by the fire ant army and there was nothing to do.
Can be used as
Kevin Joseph is worthy of being the world’s top expert in the study of shrike. His full and informative research results convinced colleagues. He not only tested the poisonous content of the prey of the shrike, but even the poisonous content of its prey was not let go.
It turned out that Kevin Joseph discovered a strange phenomenon at several shrike observation bases in the United States. When he studied the corpses of shrike birds scattered in the wild, he found that the dead individuals were not all old, weak, sick and disabled, but all over different age groups. What puzzles him most is that this situation still exists in areas with better natural environmental protection. Therefore, he decided to follow the clues of the shrike food chain to dig deeper and find out.
After the laboratory tests conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States, it was found that the shrike did accumulate harmful substances discharged into nature by humans, including fertilizer components, dieldrin, and polychlorinated biphenyls. At the same time, the same toxic substances were found in the prey of the shrike-grass snakes, mice, frogs, grasshoppers and sparrows, and even in the grass and soil. The release of these inspection data basically confirmed Kevin Joseph’s initial judgment: For carnivores at the end of the food chain, the harm caused by this accumulation of poisons is inevitable and helpless.
Little Shrike can catch such a large prey.
Indeed, the vicious circle of hurting nature and nature and revenge on us in turn has been happening quietly. According to surveys, there are 1212 species of birds currently on the brink of extinction among the 9,775 species of birds in the world. According to survey data, it is estimated that every kind of bird disappears, which means that 90 kinds of insects, 35 kinds of plants and 2 to 3 kinds of fishes accompanying it disappear. At the same time, every two species of birds disappear, and one mammal will inevitably disappear with it.
Of course, we don’t have to feel desperate because of this. We still have no shortage of effective methods to protect the shrike from extinction. For example, we can help them expand their habitats by planting trees at intervals of 50 meters in a suitable pasture. If there are no conditions, you can bury dead trees or stakes 5-10 meters high. At the same time, it is best to add some fence poles for them to rest and build nests when hunting. Kevin Joseph found that placing some barbed linen ropes on man-made observation decks was especially popular with shrikes, who regarded them as the best material for building their own nests and building food storage.
Kevin Joseph finally said that looking at the hard work the Chinese made to protect the giant panda 40 years ago, you will believe that we are fully capable of letting the big shrike family live this century safely. At the beginning, the giant panda has entered the countdown to extinction, food is scarce, and the reproduction rate is extremely low. Almost no one in the world believes that the Chinese can bring the giant panda back from the brink of extinction. However, facts have proved that by adopting measures such as artificial breeding, the destiny of the giant panda has indeed been changed.
The condition of the shrike today is not as bad as that of the panda at the time, so the decisive role is to see whether we do our best to do something for them, even if it is a small thing. For example, plant a tree and bury a pile in their habitat.