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 http://nabci-us.org/how-we-work/state-of-the-birds/ 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 action. 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 -- http://www.cayugabirdclub.org/conservation/conservation-committee. 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 http://www.cayugabirdclub.org/ 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 607-379-5940 -- Cayugabirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://firstname.lastname@example.org/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/ --