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Cyclopath
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PostThu Sep 19, 2019 2:36 pm 
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The number of birds in the United States and Canada has fallen by 29 percent since 1970, scientists reported on Thursday. There are 2.9 billion fewer birds taking wing now than there were 50 years ago.

The analysis, published in the journal Science, is the most exhaustive and ambitious attempt yet to learn what is happening to avian populations. The results have shocked researchers and conservation organizations.

...

Common bird species are vital to ecosystems, controlling pests, pollinating flowers, spreading seeds and regenerating forests. When these birds disappear, their former habitats often are not the same.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/19/science/bird-populations-america-canada.html
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DigitalJanitor
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PostThu Sep 19, 2019 4:06 pm 
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I saw an article about this on npr this afternoon, and I admit I'm fighting against getting totally depressed.

We have 3 acres and have left most of them to go wild specifically for ground nesting birds, although the deer spend a lot of time on our place also- including parking young fawns in the wild rose. So we're trying.

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~Mom jeans on wheels
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Ski
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PostThu Sep 19, 2019 5:59 pm 
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Habitat loss.

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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RichP
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PostThu Sep 19, 2019 7:34 pm 
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I grew upon the south and whip-poor-wills were a common sound in the early evening. In recent visits I no longer heard them. frown.gif  The kind of habitat they rely upon is becoming rare.
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Stefan
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PostFri Sep 20, 2019 7:54 am 
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ahhh... the results of people having sex....

Too many people!!!

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Art is an adventure.
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Schenk
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PostFri Sep 20, 2019 12:35 pm 
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Habitat loss AND domestic cats.

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Nature exists with a stark indifference to humans' situation.
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neek
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PostFri Sep 20, 2019 1:22 pm 
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Schenk wrote:
Habitat loss AND domestic cats.

Habitat loss, pesticides, and feral cats.
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iron
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getting old
PostFri Sep 20, 2019 3:02 pm 
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neek wrote:
Schenk wrote:
Habitat loss AND domestic cats.

Habitat loss, pesticides, and feral cats.

and continued poor policies and deregulation.

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man, you go through life, you try to be nice to people, you struggle to resist the urge to punch 'em in the face, and for what?

--- moe sizlack
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Grannyhiker
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PostSat Sep 21, 2019 8:36 am 
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Not just feral cats, but those belonging to owners who let them run loose outside.  BTW, the mortality rate for domestic cats allowed to run outside is much higher than for those kept indoors.  By keeping kitty confined, you are doing a favor for your cat as well as the neighborhood birds!

The western meadow lark used to be common in the Willamette Valley, but is now very rare, thanks to extensive cultivation and use of pesticides.  If I want to hear one, I have to go east of the Cascades, or go online here.  Efforts are being made to restore some of the original Willamette Valley grasslands to bring back this iconic bird, an indicator species and, incidentally, the Oregon state bird.

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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.--E.Abbey
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wildernessed
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PostSat Sep 21, 2019 10:23 am 
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The Center for Biological Diversity


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Living in the Anthropocene
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Slugman
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PostSat Sep 21, 2019 10:56 am 
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When North America is 100% paved over, fracked, clearcut and strip mined, birds will be 100% gone.

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"There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore. There is society where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but nature more..."  Childe Harold
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Bernardo
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PostSat Sep 21, 2019 6:05 pm 
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This might be true, but I do have some questions.

Aren't there more trees in United States today, than there have been in centuries?

There are many counter examples.   Bears and deer are prospering and growing ever more plentiful.  Bears were never seen in the 70s where I grew up, but now they are common.  Deer were scarce, now they are everywhere.

Candian geese went from being rarely seen to completely commonplace.  That's a lot of added bio mass.  Too bad we can't turn some of that into food, but they must ingest a lot of pesticides.

I have memories going back 50+ years and I never recall the woods being full of birds.  Excluding marshes and wetlands, farms and suburbs seem like ideal bird habit and that's where I've seen tons of birds.  But back in the day, people were doing things to support the birds.  My grandmother loved to feed birds.  Today with our different culture, the suburbs empty out during the workday and maybe we aren't feeding and sheltering them like we used to? 

I agree that pesticides are likely a huge problem for the environment, but where is the evidence of this other than apparent declines in bird and insect populations?  Why not theories and clear evidence.   Also, air quality is fantastically better than it was in the 70s.   Our rivers are also much cleaner.   Ignoring the whole global warming issue, is the United States environmentally better or worse off since the 70s?  I'd say we are much, much better off with the possible exception of invasive species.

Many comments in the comments section of the article said something like, I used to see a lot of birds, but now I don't see any.  Nobody said, I now see 30% less birds.  Why are folks seeing no birds, when overall decline found in the study was a 30% decline.

I have a feelingly if my grandmother, God bless her, were still here and living in my house, we'd have tons of birds in our back yard.  As it is, I see cardinals all the time. 

Too bad there is not a good way to know what's really happening.

I'd like to understand if farming methods other than pesticides are effecting bird populations.  Maybe harvesting and waste management techniques have resulted in less food for birds?

How are the results geographically distrubuted?  What about timing?   Are there cycles of highs and lows?  Were the results steady or volatile?
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Ski
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PostSat Sep 21, 2019 6:48 pm 
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I think you raise some good points Bernardo.
As much as each person commenting seems to have their own ideas about the why - including myself - there's really no way to quantify exactly what effect each of the cited causes may have had.

There are now much greater numbers of California Sea Lions and Stellar Sea Lions than there were 50 years ago, but the numbers of their primary food source, the salmon, have declined precipitously.
Some species have proliferated, while numbers of others have continued to dwindle. The raccoon population in urban and suburban areas has exploded, but I cannot recall when the last time was I saw a California Quail.

I find it difficult to believe that the number of Starlings has declined by almost 50%. The damn things are clear out on the coast now, raiding garbage dumpsters at Kalaloch.

I just don't see how there's a way to draw connecting lines between supposed "causes" and what we perceive to be "effect" - I think it's one of those things like the salmon, where there are a number of different causes, all of which have contributed in their own way to the decline in population numbers.

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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BillyTheMountain
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PostSun Sep 22, 2019 2:09 am 
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I have seen Canadian geese hunt and kill wild ducklings on the middle fork Snoqualmie.  Canadian geese mate for life and are very aggressive and messy. Just my observation.
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