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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Bird Killer Granny

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.


Anonymous said...

I had fun watching this story swell. I sent the story to Birdchick early Wednesday morning knowing she has a large reader base. It was amazing to watch the story spread across the blogisphere. It is great you found Walda's phone number. I also think you are very right about being careful to not react badly. Although calling as the ghost of the cardinal does appeal to my evil twin.
I felt good about reporting her and having the law hopefully deal with her knowingly illegal act.
I'm glad I am not an editor for My Turn in Newsweek!

Anonymous said...

Cameron (845) 294-7455 Goshen, NY 10924

dguzman said...

I think the only possible good that can come of this is
a. people might realize this lady's insane and get her committed before she starts shooting even more species
b. people might try to learn actual legitimate ways to minimize bird window-strikes (sticky tape on nearby trees? WTF?)

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