Not seen in the wild? It doesn’t count in my book…

Birds observed at feeders don’t really count. Sorry. Bison seen crossing a road in Yellowstone don’t count. Lions in a Kenyan “game preserve” don’t quite count. You want them to count, but they don’t. They have the taint of the zoo on them. You know this in your gut, right? The Red-Bellied Woodpecker hammering on a dead tree in a wild river valley is spectacular. When it’s eating suet that you put outside your kitchen window it’s like a pet. Or am I missing something?

One Response to “Not seen in the wild? It doesn’t count in my book…”

  1. agershom says:

    I agree that animals seen in a zoo are not eligible to be checked off your wildlife list. I’m less inclined to agree that this is the case in other settings, though. As we encroach more and more on the natural habitat of birds and other animals it’s inevitable that we come across them in less than “wild” settings. That’s not their fault. If a game preserve (or my backyard) offer a momentary refuge for a bird or other animal–and I happen to spot them there–I’m crossing them off my list. Hell, I’ll be thankful that I saw them at all.

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