See lots of new fledglings in my yard this wee -- house wren, gray catbird,
American robin, black-capped chickadee, yellow-bellied sapsucker, hairy
woodpecker, and more.  Even so, the recent thread about abundance of some
bird species locally has stimulated me to write this post.

Populations of many bird species are declining steeply according to a broad
coalition of bird conservation organizations, including the American Bird
Conservancy, North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI), Partners
in Flight, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Smithsonian Institution, U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service, as well as Canadian and Mexican bird conservation
groups.  For summaries of the "State of the Birds" reports, please see

Declining species include those that we many think of as common birds.  For
example, wood thrush populations in the U.S. have decreased 60% in the last
50 years.  Aerial instectivores (birds that eat mouthfuls of flying
insects), like swallows and swifts, have experienced even more precipitous
declines.  Grassland bird species like bobolinks, meadowlarks, and
grasshopper and henslow sparrows are similarly disappearing.

Populations of some species (e.g., Ovenbirds, Red-eyed Vireos_ certainly
are stable according to various data sources, and a few widespread species
are increasing.  However, more species are declining than are doing well.

These declines should alarm all birders and stimulate us to personally take

Fortunately, the conservation organizations listed above (and others) are
working hard.  More locally, the Conservation Action Committee of the
Cayuga Bird Club has started working on collaborative projects with the
City of Ithaca, Cornell Botanic Gardens, New Roots Charter school, and
various individuals to do habitat improvement projects at the south end of
Cayuga Lake.  You can read about some of our work here --

The Cayuga Bird Club also is organizing two trips in 2020 (to Costa Rica
and to Colombia) for birding, and to see first-hand what is happening (both
good and bad) to birds in those places.  We'll be meeting with local bird
clubs in those countries to see how we can collaborate to help conserve the
birds we all love so much.  For more information about the Cayuga Bird Club
and these trips, please see our website

If you want to get involved in conservation actions with the Club, please
contact me directly.

The time for taking action is now.
Jody Enck

Jody W. Enck, PhD
Conservation Social Scientist, and
Founder of the Sister Bird Club Network


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