Susan Meyers, the wonderful poet from South Carolina, was lamenting the loss of songbirds around her home - bluebirds especially.
My parents in Southport watch their bluebird boxes, busy two years ago, sit idle.
Even the raucous mobbing of crows seems absent.
There are a lot of reasons for the absences. Land clearing in Central and South America where the passerines winter. Habitat loss to houses and mall in the U.S. where they breed. Chemicals, expanding ranges of hardier birds, predation by cats. Most recently, a major hit by the avian flu.
This essay in the New York Times was a sobering reminder of what we lose, bit by bit, until the fabric of the world that supports us all, sparrow and senator, pelican and president, is thinned to the breaking point.