Thursday, March 08, 2007

war zone birding

is it some form of displacement activity or an attempt to find some moments of sanity or serenity while dodging bullets and IEDs? but some US soldiers had taken up birding while on active duty in Iraq. One Iraq veteran,Jonathan Trouern-Trend, had maintained a bird blog, later published a book based on the blog. Even Michael Yon, a freelance war correspondent had penned an article about birds of Bagdhaq.

one instance of wartime birding I remembered was Major Meinertzhagen (British Army, not German) who charted the migration of storks across Palestine during WWI. this incident was featured in the movie, "The Lighthorsemen".

actually war zone birding is not surprising, considering the DMZ along the 38th parallel is teeming with wild boar, barking deer and otters despite the minefields, barbed wire and armed guards on both sides of the North-South Korean border. Nature is very resilient, it will bounce back if given half a chance. I just read this report about the wildlife recovering along the former Ho Chi Minh trail in Cambodia. Tigers and elephants now roamed the intensely bombed border.
the closest I got to a war zone or actually birding in a war zone was while travelling along the Lebanese border. There were actually kestrels hovering just besides the highway. On top of Masada fortress on the shores of Dead Sea, the endemic Tristram's Starling (see above) were as common as mynahs (they looked like mynahs as well).

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At 1:08 PM, Blogger YC said...

Highly refreshing, your war zone birding. Really enjoyed it.


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