Dave, Chris I believe one has to look further than two years and at efforts that use the same methodology and criteria over long time periods for an accurate estimate. The American Bird Conservancy and the Bird Banding Laboratory are perhaps the best sources as are some of the long term banding studies documented in journals such as North American Bird Bander.
Regardless of cause it is to be expected that there will be some pockets of plenty. The causes I believe are multiple, cumulative and you mention some. Habitat loss and obstructions have increased dramatically and quickly in the last two decades. Locally a very large negative is the growing dairy agribusinesses that are converting pasture and hedgerows to large swaths of sterile, monocropped land. Beyond this area chickens and hogs are being raised with the same methods and habitat loss. South and Central America habitat loss has also been on the rise. Yes a few species have been documented to have cyclical ups and downs. A few may also be subject to WNV and I believe Anne would have better data on that than I. Any counts that are aperiodic could well be the result of the cyclic nature of weather, blocking fronts, timing during migrations, observer bias and more. Insect populations are indeed crashing and the 'Have you see any bugs on your windshield?" type articles have increased awareness, but the loss has not been adequately studied. The combination of all this has greatly decreased habitat and food sources at the lower end of the life web. In any event I do not believe we can rely on birder reports for meaningful data but should rather look to long term studies with timing and protocols that are standard year to year. Thanks for your input. John --- John and Sue Gregoire Field Ornithologists Kestrel Haven Migration Observatory 5373 Fitzgerald Rd Burdett, NY 14818 42.443508000, -76.758202000 "Create and Conserve Habitat" On 2019-06-23 20:13, David Nicosia wrote: > Chris, > > Fortunately, I have found the opposite for the most part.... > > I did two trips this past week one to Triangle State Forest and Hawkins Pond > State Forest in Broome County and neotropical migrants were quite common > especially Red-Eyed Vireos, Ovenbirds. > > see: Triangle State Forest: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S57456491 > Most of the warblers were found in a small stretch of about 1 mile in the > spruce, hemlock, pine, northern hardwood forests. > > and Hawkins Pond State Forest: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S57564971 > Most of the birds were in the stretch of spruce, hemlock, pine and maple, oak > about 1.5 miles. > > I lost count of ovenbirds at Hawkins! Red-eyed vireos were all over. > Blackburnian warblers too were the most I have had at this location. Now > this is just my observations in one county. > > In the western Adirondacks, at Star Lake, Red-Eyed Vireos seemed everywhere > along with ovenbirds. Blackburnian warblers were quite common too. > > see: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S57189909 for my Star lake walk. > > In my yard, there also seems to be more bird activity this year. I have at > least 2 maybe 3 pairs of Gray Catbirds this year vs just one pair most years. > I also have 2 pairs of red-eyed vireos vs one pair or in some years none! > > Anyway, what is the cause of the drastic declines that you are observing? > That is the bigger question. Could it be disease? Does west nile virus kill > songbirds? Have insect populations crashed? Habitat loss, increase in > towers, wind farms etc are happening gradually so the declines should be > slow. Or maybe there is a natural cycle and some areas are seeing the minimum > in numbers which is lower than any other minimum in the past? > > Concerned too (but optimistic), > Dave > > On Sat, Jun 22, 2019 at 9:01 PM Christopher T. Tessaglia-Hymes > <c...@cornell.edu> wrote: > >> Good evening, >> >> This morning I was joined by Bartels Science Illustrator, Jessica French, >> for a birding trip to Hammond Hill State Forest. It was disconcertingly >> quiet up there. I probably should not have had such high expectations, given >> how quiet this spring has been (a handful of very quiet trips to the >> Hawthorn Orchard) and how few night flight calls were recorded over our >> house in Etna. I'm still analyzing my night flight call data, but those data >> from May 3 through May 24 are concerning, to say the least. I have also read >> postings from VINS and notable Bicknell's Thrush researcher, Chris Rimmer, >> making similar observations about his Mount Mansfield, VT, field site this >> spring ("disquietingly low" vocal activity and mist net captures). >> >> Here are two checklists completed from our two, approximate four-mile, >> bushwhack walks this morning. Nice habitat. Few insects. Few birds. No ticks >> (but not complaining). >> >> Loop to SE of Star Stanton and Canaan Rd Intersection: >> >> https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S57605395 >> >> Notably absent or low numbers of birds -- >> Barred Owl >> Red-bellied Woodpecker >> Pileated Woodpecker >> Least Flycatcher >> Great Crested Flycatcher >> Red-eyed Vireo (very low numbers) >> Winter Wren >> Wood Thrush >> Baltimore Oriole >> Mourning Warbler >> Hooded Warbler >> American Redstart >> Chestnut-sided Warbler >> Black-throated Blue Warbler >> Black-throated Green Warbler >> Canada Warbler >> Scarlet Tanager (very low numbers) >> Rose-breasted Grosbeak >> >> Loop between Hammond Hill and Canaan Rd: >> >> https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S57605776 >> >> Notably absent or low numbers of birds -- >> Barred Owl >> Red-bellied Woodpecker >> Pileated Woodpecker >> Least Flycatcher >> Great Crested Flycatcher >> Red-eyed Vireo (very low numbers) >> Winter Wren >> Wood Thrush >> Baltimore Oriole >> Mourning Warbler >> Hooded Warbler >> American Redstart >> Chestnut-sided Warbler >> Black-throated Blue Warbler >> Black-throated Green Warbler >> Canada Warbler >> Scarlet Tanager (very low numbers) >> Rose-breasted Grosbeak >> >> Concerned, >> Chris T-H >> >> -- >> Chris Tessaglia-Hymes >> PO Box 488 >> 8 Etna Lane >> Etna, NY 13062 >> 607-351-5740 >> -- >> NYSBIRDS-L LIST INFO: >> Welcome and Basics  >> Rules and Information  >> Subscribe, Configuration and Leave  >> ARCHIVES: >> The Mail Archive  >> Surfbirds  >> ABA  >> PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR OBSERVATIONS TO EBIRD ! >> -- > > -- > CAYUGABIRDS-L LIST INFO: > Welcome and Basics  > Rules and Information  > Subscribe, Configuration and Leave  > ARCHIVES: > The Mail Archive  > Surfbirds  > BirdingOnThe.Net  > PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR OBSERVATIONS TO EBIRD ! > -- Links: ------  http://www.northeastbirding.com/NYSbirdsWELCOME.htm  http://www.northeastbirding.com/NYSbirdsRULES.htm  http://www.northeastbirding.com/NYSbirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm  http://email@example.com/maillist.html  http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/NYSBirds-L  http://birding.aba.org/maillist/NY01  http://ebird.org/content/ebird/  http://www.northeastbirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME  http://www.northeastbirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES  http://www.northeastbirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm  http://firstname.lastname@example.org/maillist.html  http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds  http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html -- Cayugabirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://email@example.com/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds 3) http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ --