Most people I know would find the statement that “Pizza is Great Bird Food” ridiculous. They would know that just because a bird is eating it doesn’t mean it’s good for them. And they would know that pizza has no real value for wildlife.
And yet we see similar ridiculous statements about the value of plants for wildlife all over the web.
“I saw a spider on my Oriental Lillies, so they must be good plants for the wildlife garden.”
“I saw a bee on my hosta, so it must be good for pollinators.”
“Birds eat the berries of Autumn Olive, so they must be good plants for the bird garden.”
And the same people who would know that pizza being good bird food is ridiculous are some of the same folks making some of the above statements.
Some scientists are even getting in on the act, claiming that because birds eat the berries of Japanese Honeysuckle, it is a valuable plant for wildlife, even though this plant is quite invasive and outcompetes native plants and interferes with ecosystem services.
Others are stating that we’ll never return our ecosystems to the way they were prior to the European settlement, and we’ll never be able to control invasive plants, so are suggesting we should just give up and accept that there’s nothing we can do. Besides, these plants didn’t do anything wrong, so why should we demonize them? Plus, they claim that wildlife prefer these plants.
Now this particular argument is kind of interesting, don’t you think? It’s not the plants fault, don’t blame them. Most of us are immigrants, too.
The problem with this is, there is a problem, and it lies with us. Until we take a hard look at the consequences of our behavior, until we recognize that species are declining due to habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation as a result of human action, until we admit that we’ve done a really good job of screwing things up, true change cannot happen.
As far as I’m concerned, these arguments are all pizza to me.
Yes, we’ve screwed things up. But it’s not yet too late to begin to make more positive choices in our gardens, in our homes, and in our communities. Let’s all make an effort to start right now.