Birds Are Mysteriously Disappearing

The sound of birds singing in the morning and the sight of migrating birds in the fall are familiar occurrences to us. However, according to several recent studies, bird populations in our country seem to be decreasing.

There are nearly three billion fewer wild birds flying in the North American skies than there were in 1970. Half a century ago there were an estimated 10.1 billion birds in the US and Canada. Now, there are about 7.2 billion, which shows a drop of 29 percent in their populations. University of Connecticut’s Margaret Rubega, the state ornithologist, gets calls from people every year who notice fewer birds. Some of the impacted birds include the house sparrow, eastern meadowlarks, and the Bobwhite.

A study conducted in 2015 determined that cats kill 2.6 billion birds each year in the United States and Canada. It’s estimated that window collisions kill 624 million birds, and cars another 214 million. Sara Hallager, the bird curator at the Smithsonian Institution, recommends the following to save birds: ensuring that pets stay inside, making windows more visible for birds in flight, and stopping the use of insecticides and pesticides around their homes.

“People need to pay attention to the birds around them because they are slowly disappearing,” said researcher and author Kenneth Rosenberg, a Cornell University conservation scientist. “One of the scary things about the results is that it is happening right under our eyes. We might not even notice it until it's too late.”

[Sources: Wisconsin State Journal; Associated Press]