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Birdchick Blog: Warning: I'm Blogging Angry

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Warning: I'm Blogging Angry

I'm breaking my rule of blogging angry. I try hard to wait 24 hours before flying off the handle but I just can't with this article that a reader passed my way. Chances are good when I calm down this entry will disappear.

Here is a crap article in Newsweek about some woman who thinks she's cute because she knowingly and purposely broke the law and shot a Northern Cardinal because it was flying into her windows. The tactics she listed that she claimed she tried before shooting it were all wrong. Why didn't she cover the windows for a month with a sheet or better yet pay attention to where it was nesting and remove the nesting area after the chicks fledged?

A few things about me:

1. I am NOT anti gun or anti hunting--I eat meat, I'm pro falconry and I hit up every pheasant and grouse hunter I know to see if they have surplus of birds. I'm not angry that this woman used a gun--more power to ethical hunters.

2. I am anti poaching and that is what this is plain and simple and she is making a bad example of responsible gun owners and hunters.

Being a blogger my inclination is that we flood Newsweek with protests which will be meaningless because they will just give the "thanks for your opinion" with the satisfaction of knowing a controversial story is getting lots of hits. Instead, let's turn in the writer, Walda Cameron to Turn in Poachers. She has blatantly broken the law according the Migratory Bird Treaty and is bragging about it, and also setting a bad example of how to illegally deal with wildlife.

The article says that she lives in Goshen, New York and the toll free number is 1-800-TIPP DEC or 1-800-847-7332 or if you go to the TIP website you can submit the violation via email, all you have to do is copy and paste the article--it even has a photo of her to show authorities, how helpful! I already phoned. I told the very nice man on the other end of the line to expect more calls and he chuckled and said, "I wouldn't be surprised."


Blogger midnightbunny said...

It never ceases to amaze me what people will do when faced with a problem. That woman obviously is ignorant to any number of things she could have done, rather than resorting to shooting the Cardinal. It bothers me as well that Newsweek felt the need to glorify her and have her pose for the article in such an odd manor (complete with her gun in tote.) She even knowingly shot the bird (according to the article), even though it is an illegal act ... claiming it was in "Self Defense." In my opinion, her utter disregard for the legalities in the matter are reprehensible.

2/07/2007 12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Sharon for posting this. I do not read Newsweek and would have felt the same anger you have. I have taken your suggestions and emailed TIP from my two email accounts and am now on a mission to gather my friends to do likewise. I need to take a deep breath. Veronica B

2/07/2007 12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apologies if this comes through twice, but it looks like my first try didn't show up.

I just wanted to say how infuriated I was by that article. Songbirds have enough trouble surviving in the wild without adding idiots like this, who don't bother checking with birding organizations to find a better solution.

I emailed a complaint to Newsweek editorial staff, and contacted local and federal authorities just to make sure they knew what she'd done, and that people as far away as CA want her prosecuted.


2/07/2007 4:06 PM  
Blogger Peggy said...

If the worst thing that ever happens to that woman is that she is bothered by a CARDINAL - one of the prettiest North American birds ever - then really how tough can it be? Think she's a little thin skinned? What a stupid (insert foul word here). Shame on anybody who glorifies that sort of behaviour.

2/07/2007 4:32 PM  
Anonymous Cindy said...

argh!! my blood pressure just rose 50 points.. the things she did *before* shooting the cardinal are just as bad, if not worse! Tape on tree limbs? Catch the poor thing and let it freeze or starve? This woman is nuts! then they call her a warrior.. there is NO honor in what she did and she should at the very least be fined. She could have put up birdscreens, they work.
Off to make some phone calls and send a few emails. I'm mad as a wet hornet- I see this mindset all the time, people move into my area (which is rural and wooded) then b*tch about every wild animal that lives here, including birds. I say go back to the city and take your 'I'm going to tame it or kill it all' mindset with you. DONT take the post down, more need to read this- and respond. To brag about killing a songbird.. she needs a rude awakening in migratory laws. BIG time.

2/07/2007 4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sharon,

Sometimes it's good to blog angry. Emotions can lend strength to our words. Good for you!

I will take your word for it and not further upset myself by reading the Newsweek article - but I'm wondering if someone affiliated with some ornithology-type job or institution should write in to Newsweek a letter detailing just how wrong - and illegal - this woman's actions were. If this were printed in the letters column (presuming they have one, and if it's written by someone official chances are more likely it'll be printed) - at least some people would see it. Any takers out there?

I will send an email off to TIP.


Dea Lloyd

2/07/2007 6:12 PM  
Anonymous Cie Kay said...

I'm angry too, Birdchick. I love birds, and I've been angry since I read this yesterday. I found your site earlier today by googling Cameron's name. Did you know that all references to this and other blogs have been removed??? Somebody has some clout where the gun-toting granny is concerned.

This story disturbed me so much when I read it yesterday that I couldn’t sleep. That woman is PSYCHO. Who’s next: the grandkids? Some people think this story is hilarious (see NEWSWEEK site). I fail to see the humor in killing a bird. And, for those jerks who say they’ve experienced the same behavior in birds and “understand” this moron’s feelings, let me say, I grew up in the country. We respected every living creature in the area, from the ants to the mountain lions, because we were living in THEIR home. Why does everybody seem to forget that wild creatures deserve a home, too? Now I live in urban sprawl in the Southwest, and whenever there’s a new housing development, all kinds of animals scramble to find new places to live. Those who make it across the highway to our yard are welcomed and fed. No problem. We live in the world, folks. Deal with it.

2/07/2007 7:54 PM  
Blogger archi ann said...

blog angry - it's ok! that is insane - stuff like that gets my ire up big time too. i hope the reporting works and action is taken

-carri ann
aka archi's mum

2/07/2007 8:27 PM  
Blogger Susan Gets Native said...

1. Peeled myself off the ceiling...check

2. Fought myself from getting in the car and driving to NY...check.

3. Emailed TIPP line...check.

4. Commend Sharon for blogging angry...double check.

2/07/2007 10:24 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

Thank you for posting this, Sharon. I rarely read Newsweek other than at doctor's offices and would've probably never seen this.

As someone who's had problems with territorial (and just confused) birds attacking and flying into windows, I know there are easier, quick, cheap fixes to these problems that require no more education than logging on the internet or calling the local park services and are safe for birds. I recall the year of rose-breasted grosbeaks where everywhere around the mostly glass TV room we put up sheets and ignored the neighbors complaints.

I'm going to pass this information on to my friends-list on Livejournal (and since they're a large and generally sympathetic to animal plights group of people), hopefully they can help get the message out there that this is NOT OKAY.

2/08/2007 3:06 AM  
Blogger Carolyn H said...

I confess I didn't blog angry about this. I e-mailed Newsweek furious about this. I hope their mailboxes are flooded. Info about the article has now been widely cross-posted on various blogs, birding lists, etc. Perhaps that will help wake some folks up--including Newsweek.

Carolyn H.

2/08/2007 10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for making us aware of this mentally challenged senior with a gun. I reported the incident as you suggested. I hope that Newsweek and other normal, rationale people will realize that shooting & killing a bird is not a sign of heroism but of a evil hearted old woman looking for attention. Just remember Karma... it's all about the Karma.

2/08/2007 10:28 AM  
Blogger John L. Trapp said...

See my take on this crazy story here

2/08/2007 12:50 PM  
Anonymous Marn said...

Thank you for bringing this to my attention, Sharon. I have forwarded the links to the article & the TIP site to all my bird-loving friends & relations and have encouraged them to follow suit.

I'm very happy to report that I saved a White Breasted Nuthatch this past Monday that hit our sliding door...put him in a box with a towel & brought him indoors to recover. I really thought he was a goner, but he was ready to fly again after an hour or so...he really hit hard.

2/08/2007 1:44 PM  
Anonymous Cindy said...

just an update- I posted about this on my own blog and today I phoned the hotline (had already emailed them). I was told that 100's of people have called and emailed them and they are NOT taking it lightly. An investigation has already started. We have a VOICE and I'm glad you alerted us to this dispicable article/act. As far as I'm concerned, the author may as well have picked up the gun.

2/08/2007 2:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not a blogger, your site came up when I searched for Walda Cameron. I am so happy that others are pissed at this event. I hope people follow through with alerting it to the athorities.

2/08/2007 5:18 PM  
Anonymous Gabriel said...

I work for the Audubon Society. I have contacted my colleagues at the National and New York State Offices; I have yet to hear what the next step is, but I am hoping we can pressure Newsweek to post a retraction & apology, and also provide space for a response, as this is a good opportunity to educate folks about better ways to deal with a similar situation and just be more informed and accepting of nature in general.
Keep spreading the word!

2/08/2007 6:06 PM  
Anonymous Gayle Whiting said...


This past week a father was killed by a burgler while trying to protect his family in Waseca. The son tried to protect the mom, she was hit too. He died. I felt so much pain for the family. I shook my head in disgust and said a prayer. Then, I found out it was my family. The shock set in like a blow in the stomach. I felt powerless.

Next a tundra swan was found dead. A natural thing I thought. That is how the cycle of life goes. I understood but was sad.

Finally, a cardinal dies and someone stands there gloating! Back came the shock and blow to the stomach. I was disgusted! It hit me as hard as the murders of my family members! The senselessness of it, the impact it will have on young people. The fact that again an innocent had to die...

I finally cried.

Thanks to you, this time I could do something with my anger to try to make a difference. I wrote to the site in New York and not only reported her but asked that they please find a way to make Newsweek write a retraction or at the very least follow-up with a story to educate people of what she could have done.

We can't control what people will do, but we can try to educate them.
Perhaps then one less innocent will die in the future. One less family will have to grieve...

Gayle Whiting

2/09/2007 1:51 PM  
Blogger birdchick said...


I'm so sorry to read about your family's tragedy. My heart goes out to you and you are in my thoughts.

I hope you have people in your life to give you the love and support you need right now.

2/09/2007 7:06 PM  
Anonymous Gayle said...

Thank you.

I really meant it when I said that you helped. It was healing to be able to report the woman who killed the cardinal. It ws not only important from a birding perspective but was symbolic in so many other ways. Sharon, the work you do is important. It spreads wider than you will ever know. You educate one person who does another and another who makes a smarter decision. Maybe someone who learns how to respect birds will be more sensitive to humanity.

I know because you have impacted my life to the point that a piece of me which has been sqwelched for so long is coming back out. No one else has understood it.(my passion for birds and the natural world.) I now feel empowered to teach my children who have already told their friends.

Keep planting seeds Sharon!

"Hatchling" Gayle

2/10/2007 9:36 AM  

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