Airport ecology

I was happy that I could lay hands on a textbook on Urban Ecology with 50 percent reduction at the conference in California.

Pine cone

This urban ecology is a big fascination of mine: with large portions of the earth surface changed into systems driven by humans, the ecology of those urban areas is both highly important and interesting.


As I had a slow day in between flights back to Europe, I decided to take a look around on the airport of Philadelphia to get an idea of the diversity of species that managed to survive there.

Yellow flower

And I did find a wide variety there. As usual, the true culture followers were there: sparrows, starlings and rock doves,


as well as their floristic counterparts like the white clover.

White clover

But it got even better. The best thing about airports is that they are spacious. For the sake of smooth air transportations, large areas are left green and fairly undisturbed. It is a weak comparison to ‘real nature’, but for many species it seems to be enough.

American goldfinch

A well-tended airport will moreover in the best case host a variety of trees and flowers. That creates opportunities for ever nicer encounters, like with this amazing papilio butterfly.

Papilio butterfly on butterfly bush

We truly have some winners, here, the main message of urban ecology: some species know how to adapt to the new system, which will give them a myriad of new options for the future.

Pink flower

Papilio butterfly

There was only this one bird species I could not recognize…


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2 Responses to Airport ecology

  1. Uh, I don’t recognize that last bird either, Dude. But I SURE RECOGNIZE THE OTHERS! *(delicious)!!

  2. Pingback: Marshing on | On top of the world

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