Of a Fire on the Marsh
The last days of the dusky seaside sparrow, a species that went extinct when it lost out to the moon race
By Parker Bauer
March 5, 2018
There’s a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. —Hamlet
In all my life, it might be the thing I’ve looked for hardest, apart from unrelenting love. A bird: not big or bright, no bird of paradise, no pheasant of Tibet. Instead, a sparrow, a meager lump not quite come into focus in a misty lens. I saw it only once, half a lifetime ago. It’s haunted me ever since, hag of my heart.
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Parker Bauer has written a column about the environment for The Columbus Dispatch, documentaries for National Geographic, and essays for The Weekly Standard.