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Monday, October 28, 2013

Moonbird - The Tragedy of Extinction and Inspiration of the Miracle

A friend gave me a lovely book by Phillip Hoose, entitled "Moonbird, A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95."  Moonbird is pictured here.

B95 is a rufa red knot.  Scientists call him the Moonbird because, in the course of his long lifetime, the robin-sized shorebird has flown the distance to the moon and halfway back.  Each February he and his flock leave from Tierra del Fuego in Argentina, and head for the Canadian Arctic, nine thousand miles away.  In late summer, they begin the return journey.

B95 can fly for days, but eventually he descends to refuel and rest.  Recent changes at stopover sites along his migratory circuit, changes caused mostly by human activity, have reduced the food available and made it harder for the birds to reach.

During B95's lifetime, the rufa population has been reduced by 80 percent.  This bird is now 20 years old, and scientists are puzzled about how this one bird makes it year after year when so many others fail.

As I read the book, and enjoyed the beautiful pictures, I found my heart sinking as I contemplated the demise of the shorebirds due to loss of habitat, and at the same time I was  inspired by this little B95 creature. For twenty years he has continued his steady habits that have made him the most successful of all known living shorebirds, finding his sacred places and enduring as the eldest of his tribe, "the ultimate citizen of the wind."  His story is about a vanishing breed and one amazing, tireless survivor.

Perhaps the vanishing rufa species, along with the thousands of species vanishing each year portends the fate of the human species. A human frailty is that we take for granted that our survival is assured.  The luxury of this belief is over, and it is time that we pull our heads out of the sand and wake up to conscious survival.

What is conscious survival?   B95 leaves breadcrumbs of information about conscious survival. His story inspires us to shore up our elder within, find our sacred place and live the best we can as ultimate citizens of the earth.  The Moonbird rises to tell us about ourselves.

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Play with Matrix #45 as you hold the focus of being an ultimate citizen of the earth.

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