My wife and I had an argument a few years back. Not a big one but one large enough to have an impact on the local wildlife.
When I heard the bump on the glass door after sensing the blur of a passing sparrow hawk, I knew the outcome. Yes, glass causes 250 million bird deaths a year and yes of course, hawks need to feed.
But these are not the points for discussion here.
It’s all about conflict. Over a bird feeder.
I’ll make it brief. And then leave my point hanging.
Rather like where to hang the feeder: I wanted it set close to the house, tucked within the corner of two walls where hawks could find it harder to ambush the feast of blue tits, nuthatches and dunnocks.
My wife wished the feeder away from the house so not to attract rodents to the feast of nut shell excess underneath.
She won. The tits lost. The hawk won. I lost. Rodents always win (though not on seabird-famed islands).
But the nub is this.
This wasn’t a wildlife:wildlife ‘conflict’ between predator and prey, it wasn’t even a perceived human:wildlife conflict between humans, raptors and rodents (or a true human:wildlife conflict when tigers eat people or elephants trample children).
The clue is my opening sentence.
It was a human:human conflict over wildlife conservation. This fascinating paper, (Tilting at Wildlife’) provides insight on this complex issue – its short 4 page pdf here is unpalatable but vital and only by recognising our roles can we hope to move on to save wildlife together.