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Birds of a Feather Flock Together January 19, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Nature, People.

Last night, we went to the master association board meeting.  We found a dozen of our neighbors in attendance.

A dozen neighbors who never attend the master association meetings.

These neighbors attended the meeting because they are concerned about the number of cormorants roosting in the Australian Pines opposite our villa, and want the master board to cut down the trees.

They don’t want the birds hanging out there at night.

In laying out their petition of grievances against the birds, the speaker for the group told the master board that they had called everyone on the west side of the street to take a poll about the perceived problem and 51 out of 55 people agreed that the birds are a nuisance.

Wait!  What!? 

I live on the west side of the street and no one called me.

When I stood up to inform the board that no one had contacted me, my neighbors assured me that they had included my minority opinion in the poll based on the concerns I had expressed for the birds and the trees at our component association meeting back in November.

They implied that they had not bothered to call me because they already knew that I disagreed with their assessment of the situation, as well as with their proposed solution.

But their attendance at the master board meeting, en masse, belied their innocent explanation for the intentional oversight.

They didn’t call me because I would have asked why they were conducting the poll, and that would have opened a can of worms they didn’t want opened.

Once I knew about the poll, I would have known about their plan to congregate at the master board meeting for redress of grievances.

And that would not do!

They wanted to present their petition to cut down the trees and evict the cormorants without “the opposition” there to voice objection.

All twelve of these neighbors know how I feel about the birds and the trees and none of them let me know about their plans to petition the master board.

None of them wanted me to have an opportunity to share a slightly different view of the world with the board before the board made its decision.

Although I find the actions of these Dirty Dozen to be dishonest and duplicitous, I’m not really surprised by their stealth and sneakiness.

After all, birds of a feather flock together.

Quote:  They took all the trees, put ‘em in a tree museum. ~ Joni Mitchell

Related posts:   Ten Things We LOVE About Florida * Otters Outta Sight! * Why I Otter Kill You! * Florida Is For The Birds


1. Cindy - January 19, 2011

What is their problem, why don’t they want the birds there???

nrhatch - January 19, 2011

Bird poop.

Cindy - January 19, 2011

That is outrageous!

2. kateshrewsday - January 19, 2011

Poor cormorants. I’m sure they’re better neighbours than our crows. Micropolitics can be wearing for our avian friends.

nrhatch - January 19, 2011

The birds are better neighbors than our neighbors. 🙂

3. Richard W Scott - January 19, 2011

Hmm… so, if you could find a reason that Cormorant poop was good for them… for their environment, something, they might change their minds? Hmm. Tell them it can be used to make aphrodisiacs.

nrhatch - January 19, 2011

Maybe I can get Andrew Zimmern to look into it ~ guano sake, anyone?

Guano manure is an effective fertilizer and gunpowder ingredient due to its high levels of phosphorus and nitrogen and also its lack of odor.

And they are complaining about the odor. Hmm . . .

4. Debra - January 19, 2011

wow. I am very glad you were there to provide the balance that is direly needed it seems.

years ago, I rented a home where there were fruit trees over the driveway. the fruit were small blue juicy things (I have no clue what the trees was). I had a white car and you can imagine what my car looked like every morning. So after washing the car many times…I moved the car until the season of fruit was over. At least then the poo was not purple. 🙂

I know we cannot move homes and condos but there has to be other options than cutting down the friendly, oxygen-giving trees! Humane options.

HOAs and COAs can be sneaky I agree….and a good word: micropolitics.

Let us know how this plays out?

nrhatch - January 19, 2011

I just sent a letter to the president of the master board and the president of my component association asking that more research be done before chopping down the trees and hauling them away.

I expect to be unpopular on my street in the coming months. 🙂

So be it.

5. Greg Camp - January 19, 2011

Drive spikes into the trees, and let the tree cutters know that you’ve done it. It does no harm to the trees, but it scares Saruman’s orcs.

nrhatch - January 19, 2011

Actually, I would be willing to abide by the decision of the majority . . . but I question the numbers proffered last night.

I expect that those polled were asked something designed to get a “YES” answer, like

“Have you ever, even once, noticed an odor coming off the lagoon that might be attributable to the cormorants roosting there at night?”

Rather than:

“Does the lagoon smell so bad that you can no longer use your deck?”

6. Maggie - January 19, 2011

That reminds me of how they were trying to get rid of the geese around my community college campus because they were pooping all over the place.

I think I’d rather deal with the birds (even if they are dirty) than hear people’s complaints.

nrhatch - January 19, 2011

My hometown in NJ brought in a gas chamber a few years back . . . to annhilate the Canada geese.

We stole their natural habitat, and then we get annoyed for even the slightest inconvenience.

The problem is not too many birds and animals. The problem is too many people who feel that their rights supercede those of every other species. 🙂

7. Carol Ann Hoel - January 19, 2011

I agree about the motive for not calling you. They didn’t want to give you the opportunity to rally the opposition. I hope it falls flat. I’m for the birds. No pun intended. Ha! Blessings to you…

nrhatch - January 19, 2011

Pun intended, or not, I’m for the birds too! 😉

I’ve sent e-mails and notes on Facebook to Save Our Seabirds, Manatee County Audubon Society, Audubon of Florida, Mote Center for Coastal Ecology, and Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, asking for information about:

(1) fines and liability for damaging the mangroves while removing the Australian Pines, and

(2) whether the guano of cormorants is odor free as Wiki claims.

It would be horrible to cut down the trees, evict the cormorants, damage the mangroves and still have the odor . . . because it’s caused by something other than the roosting birds.

I suspect that at least some of the odor comes from rotting vegetation and algae from the grass clippings that are blown into the lagoon every week because it does NOT smell bad all the time and the birds are here every day.

Carol Ann Hoel - January 19, 2011

Cool! They at least have an obligation to investigate these issues and look for a better way to improve the area, one that doesn’t harm wildlife. (I see the lawyer in you. Ha!) Blessings…

nrhatch - January 19, 2011

I have accepted this “pro birds” case on a pro bono basis. 😉

Carol Ann Hoel - January 19, 2011

I thank you on behalf of the birds.

nrhatch - January 19, 2011

They may not pay the bills . . . but they’ve got beautiful bills, just the same. 😉

8. 4minutewriter - January 20, 2011

Well the birds sure have the right lawyer on the case! Glad you are getting back into the practice for their sake.

nrhatch - January 20, 2011

If I ever decide to return to the practice of law, animal advocacy and environmental issues will be my focus.

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