This is not the first time that I have pointed out the perfidy of Republicans in United States government as it relates to birds or conservation. But this attempt by Congressmen Duncan of South Carolina to completely prevent any enforcement of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act is beyond the pale, even for bird-hating Republicans.

From the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Switchboard blog:

So, naturally, it is also the perfect time for Congressional Republicans to completely suspend one of the main laws protecting [birds].

First passed in 1918, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act is one of America’s original conservation laws. It protects familiar visitors like cardinals and chickadees; raptors such as bald eagles and prairie falcons, and, of course, the many ducks and other waterfowl that sportsmen treasure.

Last night, reportedly without a vote, the House Commerce, Justice, Science Committee included a rider, offered by Congressman Duncan (R-SC), in the Department of Commerce’s and Department of Justice’s budget appropriations bill that would prohibit the federal government from prosecuting anyone from violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act…

…Yep, forget the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (without the possibility of enforcement, laws don’t mean much, do they?). If Representative Duncan gets his way it’s open season for birds across the country. Because, really, who needs hummingbirds or eagles?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If you are a birder you can’t justify voting Republican. You just can’t. You should turn your binoculars in and take up a hobby that fits better with your politics. You know, like pulling the legs off of flies?

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Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy, their son, Desmond Shearwater, and their indoor cat, B.B. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.