Readers write: Birds and their plans, billionaire fights poverty, using proven methods

Letters to the editor for the Jan. 15, 2018 weekly magazine.

Helena Osvath/Lund University/AP
A raven holds a piece of wood next to a testing device in Lund, Sweden.

Birds and their plans

I read with delight the Aug. 7 OneWeek article “Can ravens think and plan ahead?” One early spring morning while on my back porch in Phoenix, I was enjoying a cup of coffee and looking over my back garden wall at the undeveloped land behind our property. The land was covered with various cactuses, including several large saguaros. Suddenly, two small birds landed on the large saguaro immediately behind our wall. They hopped around a small hole in the plant for a few minutes and then flew away. Moments later, they returned, accompanied by a Gila woodpecker. The woodpecker enlarged the existing hole and left. The two birds immediately started to build their spring nest. I find this a great example of the cognitive skill that many birds have.

Myldred K. Richardson

Tucson, Ariz.

Billionaire fights poverty

The Nov. 20 cover story, “A billionaire’s war on poverty,” was an excellent article! The article has inspired me. Thank you so much for amplifying the good that this savvy benefactor is doing.

Ros Byrne

Canberra, Australia

Bravo! Thank you for the Nov. 20 cover story. This touches on so many crucial social issues and goes into great depth. It was so sensitively felt and written as well! And many thanks for the touching photography! This is just what the Monitor is meant to accomplish.

Carolyn Nagusky

Salida, Colo.

Using proven methods

Regarding the Nov. 24 Monitor Daily article “Plumbing the role of ancient culture in conservation”: Biocultural conservation makes such good sense! It makes use of what is practical and has proved to work. I’m glad to see the subject raised. I had not thought of it in these terms.

Margery Gibson

Victoria, British Columbia

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