Jump to content

The state of our birds


Recommended Posts

The Secretary of the Interior has released the first ever comprehensive report on bird populations in the United States, showing that nearly a third of the nation’s 800 bird species are endangered, threatened or in significant decline due to habitat loss, invasive species, and other threats.

Among the findings:

47% of western game bird species are in decline.

10% of forest and dry habitat birds have declining populations. But the state birds of Colorado, Idaho and Montana are doing well.

The report highlights examples, including many species of waterfowl, where habitat restoration and conservation have reversed previous declines, offering hope that it is not too late to take action to save declining populations.

Link

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 113
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • rprovines

    16

  • bosco mctavitch

    15

  • brymoore

    9

Here's a take on it from a blog that I read, that I found interesting:

Well, yesterday started the media onslaught of the State of the Birds Report. I feel like I’m supposed to be super excited about this big report,but I find myself cautiously optimistic.

I think part of it is that every few years, you see a bunch of high profile birders and organizations get together, create a group like “Conservation Through Birding” and a couple of years later it disappears. Usually because there’s so much going on, everyone is so spread out, there’s not enough money, and another project comes up. So when I see a list of government and well know conservation and academic institutions comes together to release a report about bird population declines, I wonder, “How is that going to work? How will all those organizations play together?”

Here’s a list of the organizations:

International Bird Conservation in the US

American Bird Conservancy

Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies

National Audubon Society

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Klamath Bird Observatory

The Nature Conservancy

US Fish and Wildlife

US Geological Survey

Partners in Flight

Partnership for Shorebird Conservation

North American Waterfowl Management Plan

Waterbird Conservation

That’s a bunch of big groups, with their own projects (for the benefit of birds) but big groups can be unwieldy and hard to work with. Will this work?

Basically, birds in the US are in trouble. It’s nothing new to anyone interested in birds and you can see an overview of the bird report here. I watched the fancy video, skimmed the report, noted the organizations involved (noticed Ducks Unlimited was not involved and wondered if they declined or is this a case of birders not inviting them and wanting to create their own group away from hunting–which I think is a mistake, the birder and the hunter should be friends and working together will do far more than working apart).

I went through the material asking myself, what is the point of the State of the Birds address–just trying to get the average person’s attention?

But then I found the What You Can Do section.

Great Backyard Bird Count, Avian Knowledge Network, eBird, the Landbird Monitoring Network, HawkCount, Project Feederwatch, just to name a few. There are also 6 million note cards housed in a US Geological Survey cabinet with migratory records dating back to the 19th century. Using an online entry form, volunteers (you) can turn scanned cards into database entries, bringing the invaluable data into the 21st century. Anyone care to enter in two records a day or maybe do five a week?

Those are all great projects and relatively easy things that the average person can do. These are a bunch of big organizations with big projects combining their resources. Now this is pretty exciting and I’m curious to see where it goes. This is a way that anyone, any group could help with research and maybe give a clear handle on how to help some of these bird populations.

I also really like that I got press releases out the ying yang from many of the groups involved. I think it’s encouraging that they are trying to harness the power of the internet to get people involved with birds they may never had heard about and get the message out.

Questions are still in my head: Can these groups really work together in the long term? Can we keep the momentum going?

We don’t know until we try.

So pick a project or two and see if you can jump in and help improve the State of the Birds.

© 2004-2009 by Sharon Stiteler

Link to da blog:

Birdchick Blog

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we should push them to lengthen the seasons. Everyone knows hunting mortality doesn't amount to much.

And those states with silly rules about not running dogs in the spring? That really ought to go, too, me and ole Dutch really like stretching our legs in the spring and he looks so good stretched out on point on a nesting bird...

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Secretary of the Interior has released the first ever comprehensive report on bird populations in the United States, showing that nearly a third of the nation’s 800 bird species are endangered, threatened or in significant decline due to habitat loss, invasive species, and other threats.

Among the findings:

47% of western game bird species are in decline.

10% of forest and dry habitat birds have declining populations. But the state birds of Colorado, Idaho and Montana are doing well.

The report highlights examples, including many species of waterfowl, where habitat restoration and conservation have reversed previous declines, offering hope that it is not too late to take action to save declining populations.

Link

Well, the FIRST thing the Secretary of the Interior might do is direct the BLM and National Forest Systems to make the health of all habitat that supports the birds, game or not, into their primary decision driver when making multiple land use decisions.

 Not timber production or tree huggers or ranchers' cows. Just that alone would do more to improve game bird numbers than anything else.

JMHO,

Quailguy

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, the FIRST thing the Secretary of the Interior might do is direct the BLM and National Forest Systems to make the health of all habitat that supports the birds, game or not, into their primary decision driver when making multiple land use decisions.

 Not timber production or tree huggers or ranchers' cows. Just that alone would do more to improve game bird numbers than anything else.

JMHO,

Quailguy

Agreed. Resource extraction on public lands seems to frequently trump all other interests, as well as other responsibilities that those public agencies are charged with. Nothing surprising there, but an express mandate from the Sec. of the Interior telling those agencies what their priorities should be would help.

Btw, we've had a rash of raptors being shot in our valley recently - red-tails, rough-leggeds, and a baldie. All found shot and maimed/dead. The baldie is still in rehab and might make it. Besides being a federal offense, it's a despicable thing to do. Still looking for the person who's doing it. If the punishment were to fit the crime, I would advocate the the guilty party should be dressed in a chicken suit and made to try and escape while being blasted with salt rock at close range. For starters.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Save a raptor, shoot a human... I like it. Bumper sticker time.

Recovery step one - shoot some hawks.

Agree, it's nuts around here. I sit in this chair and there's a redtail sitting on a pole down at the road. There's another hawk of some kind I can see circling the neighbor's field on beyond that, probbly another redtail, pretty big bird. And I was out earlier and there's a big sumbitch I think is thinking about nesting at the back of my woods. It's always on the back side of the woods. *$%&^+#~! Yeah, I know, I should be thankful, theyr'e so lovely to watch. I just love 'em.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Save a raptor, shoot a human... I like it. Bumper sticker time.

QUOTE

Recovery step one - shoot some hawks.

Agree, it's nuts around here. I sit in this chair and there's a redtail sitting on a pole down at the road. There's another hawk of some kind I can see circling the neighbor's field on beyond that, probbly another redtail, pretty big bird. And I was out earlier and there's a big sumbitch I think is thinking about nesting at the back of my woods. It's always on the back side of the woods. *$%&^+#~! Yeah, I know, I should be thankful, theyr'e so lovely to watch. I just love 'em.

DDT. Gets rid of them damn skeeters too.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Matt Crawford

Agreed. Resource extraction on public lands seems to frequently trump all other interests, as well as other responsibilities that those public agencies are charged with.

In the West, Bruce, I'm sure you're correct. Here in the Northeast that resource extraction is a bit different - namely, there's a real dearth of logging activities on public lands to create the early successional so badly needed by some of the birds spotlighted in that report (woodcock, whip-poor-wills and a whole host of warblers among them).

Bigger picture might be appropriate public land management, to restrict - in some cases - resource extraction or to enhance - in other cases - resource management.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Save a raptor, shoot a human... I like it. Bumper sticker time.

QUOTE

Recovery step one - shoot some hawks.

Agree, it's nuts around here. I sit in this chair and there's a redtail sitting on a pole down at the road. There's another hawk of some kind I can see circling the neighbor's field on beyond that, probbly another redtail, pretty big bird. And I was out earlier and there's a big sumbitch I think is thinking about nesting at the back of my woods. It's always on the back side of the woods. *$%&^+#~! Yeah, I know, I should be thankful, theyr'e so lovely to watch. I just love 'em.

DDT. Gets rid of them damn skeeters too.

Ticks? Does it kill ticks? Thinking that might be why there were far fewer of them when I was a kid. Back then if you had a tick on you,you showed it to everyone, just wasn't many of them. How about abusive ranchers? Kill them, too?

Link to post
Share on other sites
In the West, Bruce, I'm sure you're correct. Here in the Northeast that resource extraction is a bit different - namely, there's a real dearth of logging activities on public lands to create the early successional so badly needed by some of the birds spotlighted in that report (woodcock, whip-poor-wills and a whole host of warblers among them).

Bigger picture might be appropriate public land management, to restrict - in some cases - resource extraction or to enhance - in other cases - resource management.

Good point. I'm not familiar with the scene in the east. In general though, I'm dubious of our ability to "manage" anything well at all. We always seem to manage in favor of one thing to the detriment of something else, no matter how well-intentioned. I think most species would be a lot better off if we simply protected more and "managed" less.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Matt Crawford

I agree, generally, with that thought Bruce, but the loss of early successional habitat (and in particular here in what's defined as the "Northern Forest") is clearly a threat to bird species. And I don't just mean grouse and woodcock. Warblers and wrens, redstarts and whip-poor-wills are in serious decline. Food sources for raptors, like cottontail rabbits, are in decline, too.

Here in the Northeast, every state wildlife agency in the region has identified the conservation of early successional habitat as a top priority through their State Wildlife Action Plans.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Recovery step one - shoot some hawks.

I agree, my grandfather still lives on the farm he grew up on as a kid in southern michigan, he told me that when he was a kid that their where alot of pheasants around but you never saw any hawks cause if anyone saw one they would shoot it but now you see very few pheasants but plenty of hawks

Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now



×
×
  • Create New...