Scarlet experiment [electronic resource] : birds and humans in America / Jeff Karnicky
- Karnicky, Jeffrey
- Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, 
- Physical Description:
- xxiv, 221 pages ; 23 cm
- Restrictions on Access:
- License restrictions may limit access.
- "Emily Dickinson's poem "Split the Lark" refers to the "scarlet experiment" by which scientists destroy a bird in order to learn more about it. Indeed, humans have killed hundreds of millions of birds--for science, fashion, curiosity, and myriad other reasons. In the United States alone, seven species of birds are now extinct and another ninety-three are endangered. Conversely, the U.S. conservation movement has made bird-watching more popular than ever, saving countless bird populations; and while the history of actual physical human interaction with birds is complicated, our long aesthetic and scientific interest in them is undeniable. Since the beginning of the modern conservation movement in the mid-nineteenth century, human understanding of and interaction with birds has changed profoundly. In Scarlet Experiment, Jeff Karnicky traces the ways in which birds have historically been seen as beautiful creatures worthy of protection and study and yet subject to experiments--scientific, literary, and governmental--that have irrevocably altered their relationship with humans. This examination of the management of bird life in America from the nineteenth century to today, which focuses on six bird species, finds that renderings of birds by such authors as Henry David Thoreau, Emily Dickinson, Don DeLillo, and Christopher Cokinos, have also influenced public perceptions and actions. Scarlet Experimentspeculates about the effects our decisions will have on the future of North American bird ecology"--
"Scarlet Experiment explores how humanity's relationship with birds has been influenced by governmental agencies, literary renderings, and the conservation movement and uses six bird species to study the management of bird life in America from the nineteenth century to the present"--
- 9780803294981 (hardback)
- Bibliography Note:
- Includes bibliographical references and index.
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