In some places, birds have to live with large amounts of trash in their environment. Fortunately, some have found creative ways to deal with this issue:

Trash indicating food (Yellow-billed Chough, Balangshan, China)

Trash as nesting material (Upland Buzzard, Ruoergai, China). This is actually getting more popular in nesting areas with a high risk of gentrification. In order to deter real estate speculation, residential birds deliberately use ugly materials as part of their nests in order to prevent a local real estate boom.

Trash as a vantage point (Striated Heron, Nanhui, China)

Trash as a bathtub (Siberian Thrush, Nanhui, China). Of course, this requires some luck – the trash has to serve as some kind of vessel and contain some water.

However, in most cases, birds lack the creativity and ingenuity common in humans to utilize trash. The result: Trash without any use whatsoever (Asian Pied Starling, Mumbai)

Trash without any use whatsoever (Greater Painted Snipe, Delhi)

Trash without any use whatsoever (Red-breasted Flycatcher, Nanhui)

Trash without any use whatsoever (Grey Heron, Nanhui, China)

Trash without any use whatsoever (Oriental Pratincole, Tiaozini, China)

Trash without any use whatsoever (Eurasian Curlew, Tiaozini, China)

Trash without any use whatsoever (Japanese Night Heron, Chongming, China)

More trash without any use whatsoever (Ibisbill, Jilakou, Qinghai, China)

More trash without any use whatsoever (Little Ringed Plover, Fengxian, Shanghai, China)

Overall, humanity is not doing a very good job of providing birds with the environment they need, I am afraid. In keeping with this negative spirit, this post ends with lyrics from a song by Craig Finn:

“You live your whole life just to travel to the place you’re gonna die”.

Still not sure whether this is deep or trivial. But the song is definitely worth listening to (or downloading).

 

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Written by Kai Pflug
Kai Pflug is a German who has been living in Shanghai for the last 17 years, and who only became interested in birds in China – so he is much more familiar with birds in China than with those in Germany. While he will only ever be an average birder, he aims to be a good bird photographer and has created a website with bird photos as proof. He hopes not too many clients of his consulting company read this blog, as they will doubt his dedication to providing consulting services related to China`s chemical industry. Whenever he wants to shock other birders, he tells them his (indoor) cats can distinguish several warblers by taste.