Sunday, July 08, 2007

Fight or Flight

This article details a rising trend in big box stores across the country -- house sparrows, and other birds, are moving in to stay. These birds have discovered that with large indoor garden centers, bird food in abundance, and a decided lack of predators, the perfect place to nest is inside a Walmart, Lowe's or Home Depot.
I thought this article had some interesting things to say about a series of issues -- nature's adaptation to the changing way in which America shops (stores so big that a bird could live a full, free life inside and never miss the outdoors), the struggle big boxes have in controlling these "pests" (the birds defecate on products and customers, and can be aggressive during mating season, but big boxes don't want to look cruel by shooting the birds, a methodology that would have once been used), and what this trend has to say about shoppers' nature deficit disorder:
"And some customers like a little wildlife above the shelves. "I find it relaxing," said Teresa La Rosa, a Manassas resident browsing through a Home Depot in Prince William County last week. One set of sparrows was romping through the garden center while another, smaller flock had settled indoors above the patio furniture and the stainless-steel gas grills."I don't feel like I'm in a store when I hear them," La Rosa said. "I feel like I'm outdoors, in nature.""
Ironic? Beautiful? I don't know...

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