Several days ago, as my husband and I were busily working outside--getting outdoor things ready for winter--we heard a thump, and then watched our dog, who was inside, go ballistic. My husband investigated, and then came to get me.
--There's a bird lying on its back on the patio, apparently having hit the window. And Tipper is going crazy. Can you come help?
So, with my gardening gloves already on, I went to see what had hit the window. Herewith.
A very stunned bird, lying on her back, little feet curled and in the air. She looked for all the world as though she were dead--or should be dead. But she was very much alive, and very stunned.
I picked her up, and held her, first on her back, and then gradually turned my hands so that she was upright. She seemed perfectly content to sit there in the warmth of my gloved hands.
As I held this bird, I kept thinking--this little sparrow is such a common bird. And it's considered to be a nuisance--an invasive species.
Yet I marveled at its unbearable lightness of being. So small, so fragile, so tough--to hit a window and survive. The bird blinked her bright eyes, turned her head this way and that--looking around. But she stayed put in my gloves. And I stayed put, holding her.
What makes something an invasive species? Understandably, it depends why you ask. Here's one definition you will find in the referenced Wikipedia article: "a non-indigenous species (e.g. plants or animals) that adversely affect the habitats they invade economically, environmentally or ecologically."
By that definition, humans are an invasive species. This thought is not original with me. But, we sure do fit the definition. Non-indigenous species--yup. Adversely affect the habitats they invade economically--yup. Environmentally--oh, yup yup. Or ecologically--triple yup.
So, here we sit, judge and jury pronouncing other species as invasive.
We would do well to recall the words of the psalmist--Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts. (Psalm 84:3).
After a few minutes, I walked up into our backyard where the tall evergreen trees are. Perhaps seeing that greenery was inviting enough--suddenly, the little bird was stunned no more. Off she flew. God's creature.
UPDATE: Julie Zickefoose in her recent blog entitled "We Eliminated Them" demonstrates how humans are the prime invasive species.