Hockessin, Delaware

Kathy & Charles Shattuck

Kathy & Charles Shattuck

We’re passionate about birds and nature. That’s why we opened a Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop in our community.

Hockessin, Delaware

7411 Lancaster Pike,
PO Box 249
Hockessin, DE 19707

Phone: (302) 239-9071
Fax: (302) 239-9072
Email: Send Message

Store Hours:
Mon - Fri: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sun: 11:00 am - 3:00 pm

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From Atop Charles's Soapbox

    Man has always used animals as sentinels of danger.  The one adage everyone can repeat quite handily is “the Canary in a coal mine”.  Canaries were used to predict carbon monoxide fumes before miners became affected by the toxic gas.  The bird’s metabolism reacted quicker to the vapors than a human’s would, thereby serving as a warning sign for all to escape.  I’ve never been in a coal mine.  I can only imagine it to be as dingy and hazardous as it is portrayed.  To a Canary, a creature of flight and air, the noise and darkness alone would have been sufficient to scare it to death. 

    Even with a blue sky above us all, we are heading down a perilous path with our birds. The recent State of the Birds for 2016 show a serious decline of birds in our hemisphere. The majority of species are being adversely affected by man’s activities.  Habitat destruction, environmental changes, plastics, and pollution are all contributing to less birds globally. Birds that were common in our area thirty years ago are rarely seen now.  Wood Cocks, Bobwhites, and Bobolinks are just a few local birds that are missing from bird counts.  Ocean going birds are vulnerable to becoming ensnared in industrial fishing lines.  Shorebirds have taken to eating plastic bits that appear to be food.  Their bellies are full with micro-plastics that can’t pass through.  There are islands of plastic larger then Texas floating in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.  Pesticides that were harmful to Eagles and Ospreys in the 1960's are still sold in other countries.  It's time to think beyond our backyard and political borders.  Get involved in the conservation of land in your area.  Pick up roadside trash before it gets into the streams.  Purchase shade grown coffee to help save bird habitat in South America.  The skies and the land belongs to wildlife as much as us.  With only songs to give, the birds need you to speak up for them. 

   If bird populations crash and some species go extinct, when do we recognize that we too are at risk?  Once coal miners were alerted to the underground danger they most likely left the mines very quickly.  I wonder if anyone thought to rescue the canary or was it expendable. 

Charles Shattuck

February 2017