Birders across the country are disgusted by a Newsweek article about a grandmother who buys a gun and kills a cardinal that has been attacking her glass windows. Some have even wondered if this is a spoof--since it seems clearly to be in bad taste and an over-the-top response to a minor nuisance. Others are determined that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should fine the granny for willfully violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act that protects all native birds.
I wanted to look into this a bit, so I started looking for this granny--Walda Cameron of Goshen, New York. I did find her address at an online campaign contributions site for a Democratic judge (here). She also wrote a NIMBY letter to the editor of a local paper against a proposed asphalt plant. She also donates to charity. Finally I found her phone number. Other than that, not a lot more about her online.
Of course, before phoning or sending a note to the bird-killing granny, we should all take a deep breath. While this granny clearly lives in a glass house, and admittedly does cast stones, at least at birds, we don't want to create a tempest in a teapot and wouldn't want our own responses to be as over-the-top as her original misguided shooting and ill-begotten celebratory article. Walda made a couple big mistakes, and I'm sure she isn't getting the response she thought she would get to her article. And bloggers are Googling her personal information. Public shame is a more powerful punishment than anything the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can dish out. I'll bet it isn't fun to be her this week.