Shakespeare fans are blamed for a bird disaster in the US

The people who make it onto Wikipedia have all had an impact on human history, either by making a significant contribution to the world or by doing a great deal of damage. But there are some ordinary little people, a butterfly flapping wings as casual action, on nature and human civilization caused a profound impact.
One such person is Sweeney, a simple “bird lover”, who inadvertently caused great damage to the ecology and economy of North America because of his hobby, and the effects continue to this day…
A passionate fan of Shakespeare
It all started in the 19th century.
In 1827, He was born in New York. His family came from Germany and was one of the oldest families in Manhattan. His grandfather fought in the Revolutionary War, so he was a first-generation immigrant to the United States.
Sweeney, who has no vices but enjoys collecting rare birds in his spare time, is a member of Environmental Adaptation America, a private organization dedicated to bringing in “useful and beneficial” plants and animals from abroad.
In those days there was no scientific idea of ecology, and there was little resistance to the introduction of alien species.
As well as being a bird lover, Sweeney was an avid fan of Shakespeare. In 1870, on a whim, he decided to bring to America all the birds mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays and poems (mountain crows, wrens, owls, nightingels, skylarks, etc.)…
The great playwright often used his favorite birds in his works. In Romeo and Juliet, the nightingale represented deep romantic love. In King Lear, the screech of an owl represents the character’s inner tension.
It can be said that the appearance of these birds added more romance to Shakespeare’s works. Sweeney was eager to transplant such “romance” to the North American continent. He longed to see owls at night, hear nightingales singing in the garden, and hear larks singing in the morning…
Under his mastermind, the birds, which were originally found only in Eurasia, were shipped to the United States in batches and released in New York’s Central Park.
For two decades, beginning in 1870, Sweeney worked tirelessly to bring Shakespeare birds to The United States, and the last birds were not introduced until 1890.
After the long project was completed, Sweeney himself was extremely happy. After all, he imagined the birth of a Shakespearean romantic New York City and an America filled with poetic birds.
However, among the “Shakespearean birds” that landed in The United States were 60 of the cute birds with melodious-sounding calls, the purple-winged starling, even though it is mentioned only once in Shakespeare’s Henry IV: “I’m going to take a starling, teach it to say Mortimer, and give it to him (the king) to inspire his fury day and night.”
This seemingly insignificant bird turns out to be one of the continent’s most feared invasive species…
Scary invasive species
Purplish starlings, also known as European starlings, belong to the Starling family. They are small and medium-sized finches that can distinguish between different human sounds. After being taken to New York’s Central Park by Mr Sweeney and released, the birds soon began a frenzied breeding and colonization. Decades passed, and their numbers soon topped hundreds of millions.
Starlings are omnivorous birds, like a nest in the tree hole, fertility strong, like swarms activities, the most important, compared to the local bird, the “birds” immigration from Europe have very strong competition consciousness, quickly at a feverish pace squeeze the living space, the local birds and even began to direct threat to human security and economic system.
The biggest threat to human safety is at airports, where flocks of starlings often fly fast in flocks and are much denser than other birds, with some data showing that flocks are 27% denser than gulls.
Such dense, fast-flying flocks have become the number one killer of Airports in North America, and starlings have been dubbed “feathered bullets” by US airport officials.
The descendants of Shakespeare’s birds have been responsible for a number of major bird disasters since the 20th century, most notably the Boston bombing in 1960.
That year on October 4, the eastern airlines a lockheed L – 188 turboprop aircraft from Logan airport shortly after take-off, suffered a twenty thousand starlings flock attack, hundreds of starlings darken was drawn into the engine, the plane of the four engines three scrap, a fire, stall, directly from an altitude of 1000 meters plummeted to almost crashed near the port, The tragic accident that killed 62 people and left only 10 people alive…
In addition to being a potential “airport killer,” the starlings cause direct damage to agriculture in North America. They are so numerous that they eat everything from crops to fruit, destroying $1 billion in crops each year.
In addition, they are also keen to steal dairy food, resulting in a large reduction in dairy production. One agricultural expert joked: “When the starlings steal the grain feed, they are particularly keen to pick the best, leaving the cows unable to eat the poor feed, resulting in a dramatic reduction in milk production. Sometimes farmers don’t know why their cows don’t produce milk, and a lot of times it’s down to the starlings.”
After the purple-winged starlings gained a foothold, populations of native North American birds such as red-headed woodpeckers, purple-cliff swallows and red-flecks began to plummet.
More than 100 years ago, Sweeney would never have guessed that Shakespeare’s bird, which he considered beautiful and poetic, was now one of America’s most troubling invasive species.
The government has no idea what to do about the large and destructive numbers of purplish starlings. The law clearly states that they are not protected, and the Department of Agriculture encourages people to hunt starlings. Yet at 1.5 million kills a year, there is little real impact on the starling population.
Today, USDA officials have no idea what to do about the starling problem. And the root of all this disaster, just a hundred years ago that the fanatic Shakespeare fan Sweeney an alternative “romantic” move.
Americans today think of purplish starlings, as one agricultural official described them: “They were so cool and charismatic that Mozart was even devastated by the death of his favorite starling… But they don’t belong here.”

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