Oh, yeah. I forgot about Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. I remember when we used to 
have them in the Northeast. They used to be a really common and cheerful 
species of the summer. People used to put out these feeders filled with 
sugar-water to attract them to their house for viewing pleasure. They were 
these super tiny birds, about the size of a very large bee, and used to hover 
from flower to flower feeding on nectar, and would glean insects from spider 
webs from under the eaves of our house.

I’m obviously being facetious, but I’m greatly concerned that we are now 
beginning to visibly see the effects of the greatest environmental catastrophe 
since the fifth mass extinction – and this one being entirely caused by human 
activity. Are we seeing the death of the canaries in the coal mine? Is this 
finally becoming more visible and working it’s way up the food chain? I haven’t 
seen a single fly-by Ruby-throated Hummingbird or heard any chittery 
territorial calls from them this season.

Past few summers, insect numbers have been WAY down. Remember those longer road 
trips across country, or just after a road trip for a few hours? My windshield 
would get smattered solid with insect splatter – not so much any more.

I’m concerned that we are all becoming complacent with these changes, and 
accepting them as the “new norm”. This isn’t normal, this is a huge red flag, 
and something should be done about it – the question is: what?

Party-pooper,
Chris



On Jun 17, 2017, at 10:54 AM, Alicia Plotkin 
<t...@fltg.net<mailto:t...@fltg.net>> wrote:

Thank you for sending this - it is exactly my experience & my concern.  I don't 
worry quite so much about migration, which can skip over us easily due to 
weather patterns.  In fact there was an odd weather pattern in late April that 
seemed to sling a lot of 'my' warblers up to the coast of Maine where the 
fallout was welcomed with delight and surprise.

However the lack of nesters anywhere but prime habitat is far more worrisome, 
especially without any readily identifiable weather event to explain it.  It's 
deeply concerning and I have wondered why no one is talking about it.  Thank 
you for bringing it up!

Alicia

P.S.  You left off hummingbirds, which are non-existent or in very low numbers 
for everyone I know, both folks with feeders and people like me whose plantings 
are tailored to their tastes.  I have not seen a single one in my yard yet.  
This is hard to believe, our habitat is pretty prime: we live in a large 
clearing in the woods that is filled with wildflowers, additional 
hummingbird-favored plants we have added, plenty of water, trees with perfect 
forks for their nests (based on their past preference), and a neighbor who puts 
fresh nectar in her feeder every day.

On 6/17/2017 9:52 AM, Christopher T. Tessaglia-Hymes wrote:
Everyone,

Just pointing out the obvious here, but bird numbers in my immediate area of 
Upstate NY are way down this year. I mean, WAY down. John, if you have full 
capacity of nesting Tree Swallows, it may be that the sites you host are prime 
and being filled to capacity because they are the best locations. It sounds to 
me like the sub-par sites are not being filled.

Acoustically, birds are seriously lacking this year. Visually, birds are 
lacking this year. Birding at the Hawthorn Orchard was a disaster, yet there 
was food and everything was primed to receive birds. Regular numbers of 
expected birds were hugely lacking. What happened to the Tennessee Warblers and 
Blackpoll Warblers? I think I recorded something like three Tennessee Warblers 
at most on one day at the Hawthorn Orchard, then they were just done. Blackpoll 
Warblers…you were lucky to see or hear a single bird this spring. Blackpoll 
Warblers used to come through here in droves – just driving around, you would 
pass singing Blackpoll Warbler after Blackpoll Warbler, during their peak 
migration through this area. Remember? When all of those Blackpoll Warblers 
came through, that marked the “end” of that spring migration – the cleanup 
species – this simply didn’t happen.

In overflow areas, where habitat may not be the best, or is sub-par, and which 
normally fills in because the best habitats are already taken by other birds, 
the birds simply are not there.

Yellow Warblers, everywhere? Nope.
Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, everywhere? Nope.
Baltimore Orioles, everywhere? Nope.
Red-eyed Vireos, everywhere? Nope.
Chipping Sparrows, everywhere? Nope.
Common birds absolutely everywhere? Nope.

I’m just talking about the regular comings and goings of my own personal 
activities of driving around, walking in and out of buildings, coming and going 
from home, work, shopping, etc. I’m just not seeing or hearing the abundance of 
birds that I’m used to seeing or hearing. It just seems deadly quiet this year, 
if you look at the whole picture – the gestalt of bird abundance this year.

Sure, prime habitats may seem to have the “regular” volumes of birds, but the 
sub-par habitats are seemingly empty.

If there is not a rock solid explanation for this, then this is a red flag in 
my opinion.

Perhaps the most logical cause is weather-related.

If this is not the case, then we’ve got something far more detrimental going 
on, at least in the Northeast.

Hope I’m wrong.

Sincerely,
Chris T-H

On Jun 17, 2017, at 9:00 AM, k...@empacc.net<mailto:k...@empacc.net> wrote:


We have 17 boxes active, one with bluebirds, two with House Wren, a one with 
chickadees and the remainder with Tree Swallows. Probably another good year 
after a 100% occupancy/success rate last year. We believe this is due to 
effective placement and predator guards that function well. john


---
John and Sue Gregoire
Field Ornithologists
Kestrel Haven Migration Observatory
5373 Fitzgerald Rd
Burdett, NY 14818
42.443508000, -76.758202000

On 2017-06-17 12:40, Glenn Wilson wrote:

We usually have a dozen or so flying and nesting until mid summer. I haven't 
seen a single one since early swallow migration.

Glenn Wilson
Endicott, NY
www.WilsonsWarbler.com<http://www.wilsonswarbler.com/>

On Jun 17, 2017, at 8:34 AM, John and Fritzie Blizzard 
<job121...@verizon.net<mailto:job121...@verizon.net>> wrote:

We've had one nesting pr. with 5 young expected to fledge in 11 days. Usually 
have at least 3 pr. with many others flying about. Not so this yr.. Same with 
barn swallows. For the last 2 yrs. we've not had more than a doz. of either 
lining up on our power line in late summer before migration. Used to be many, 
many dozens. :'(

The 100 acres behind us were mowed on Wed.. I didn't see a swallow. Same when 
the school lawns are being mowed. Always before the birds were swooping 
overhead in great numbers to get insects. We no longer see those many insects.

Rachel Carson ... we need you again to lead a new fight.

Fritzie Blizzard

Union Springs





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