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Old 09-22-2019, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Kansas City, MISSOURI
10,055 posts, read 3,066,108 times
Reputation: 7664

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Sad news! Not too surprised, however.

North America Has Lost Nearly 3 Billion Birds Since 1970
Quote:
...

Birds thrive in grasslands, deserts, mountains, forests, tundra and along the oceans’ coasts. But the skies have grown more silent in recent decades. Since 1970, North America has lost more than 2.9 billion birds, according to a study published today in the journal Science. In less than half a century, the avian population of the continent has declined by some 29 percent, or more than one in four birds.

For the first time, researchers found that threatened species aren’t the only birds suffering population loss. In fact, common birds—including beloved backyard companions like sparrows and blackbirds—are taking the biggest hit.

...
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Old 09-22-2019, 11:05 AM
 
83 posts, read 19,659 times
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Well, let's see. Population of U.S. in 1970 - 203M. Population of U.S. in 2010 - 309M.


50% increase in human population, 30% decline in bird population.
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Old 09-22-2019, 12:24 PM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
3,065 posts, read 1,178,006 times
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Typical pseudo-scientific trash.


For starters, they quote 3 BILLION!!! as if we're going to be impressed by such large numbers. What's the total population? 3 Billion may or may not be much.


Secondly, what's their method of counting? The paper is paywalled with only the abstract visible to the general public. Apparently they used "radar" to estimate biomass of flocks. I can think of several reasons why birds may be flying in smaller flocks now and are literally and figuratively "under the radar" or are just avoiding larger airport/radar installations and inaccurately counted. (Chicago's O'Hare was built in an apple orchard, hence the station ID of ORD in the 30s. It's now in the center of the megalopolis. It's not going to record too many birds that now avoid it. [Additional problem is estimating the accuracy of such radar measurements. What are they checking them against?]


The other common method of estimating (note "estimating" and not "counting") is to rely on "citizen scientists" to report sightings. Do we really need to explain the dangers in that method ?


Increasing human population means decreasing availability of habitat, as 007 correctly points out above. I saw my last Baltimore Oriole in the Chicago area about 60 yrs ago. I moved to WI recently and they are everywhere from May thru July. And I thought they were endangered. Not so. Loss of habitat for feeding and breeding grounds is a major problem for MotherNature, but The PanicMongers looking for additional research funds are over-estimating the problem.
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Old 09-22-2019, 01:21 PM
Status: "Relax and eat a cookie." (set 3 days ago)
 
9,090 posts, read 11,092,785 times
Reputation: 13200
Sad news for sure.
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Old 09-22-2019, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Kansas City, MISSOURI
10,055 posts, read 3,066,108 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
Typical pseudo-scientific trash.

For starters, they quote 3 BILLION!!! as if we're going to be impressed by such large numbers. What's the total population? 3 Billion may or may not be much.
Did you even read the article? That 3 billion represents 29% of the 1970 population. It was even in the excerpt I quoted.

Quote:
Secondly, what's their method of counting?
The article explained that, too.
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Old 09-23-2019, 06:05 AM
 
Location: SE Florida
1,415 posts, read 366,556 times
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Habitat destruction, both in the normal habitat where they are most likely to be found here and where they winter. Decline in most species can be attributed to it. I include chemical run off as part of habitat destruction. Lead shot is no longer allowed when hunting water fowl.
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:55 PM
 
Location: British Columbia ☀️ ♥ 🍁 ♥ ☀️
7,749 posts, read 6,886,697 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MtBierstadt View Post


Well, let's see. Population of U.S. in 1970 - 203M. Population of U.S. in 2010 - 309M.

50% increase in human population, 30% decline in bird population.

Well, it's 2019 now and the total human population of North America is 494 million.
.
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Old 09-27-2019, 10:38 AM
 
28,268 posts, read 19,690,472 times
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they claim even starlings have experienced a decline. i thought those things were indestructible.

Quote:
Perhaps most concerning were the steep declines seen for ten introduced invasive species. These are highly adaptable species that thrive under what appears to be the most adverse of conditions. For example, European starlings, which are highly adaptive generalists that often live in close proximity to urban and suburban areas, declined by an astonishing 63%.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/grrlsci.../#2831ec04d12e
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Old 09-27-2019, 01:43 PM
 
16,452 posts, read 14,035,887 times
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Development, farming, pesticides, herbicides, all contributing.

Cannot sit there and build/farm on every square inch of land, spray millions of acres with herbicides and pesticides, and it not have an impact on wildlife, especially wildlife like birds.

Even where I live, been here for ten years in the middle of the city, I use to see numerous of those sparrow birds, now there are a whole lot less, some days only seeing a handful. My one rental house use to have robins and blue jays everywhere, now no robins, and rarely see a blue jay. The humming birds have not been around for a few years.
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Old 09-28-2019, 05:33 PM
 
Location: on the wind
8,003 posts, read 3,434,801 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxus View Post
Development, farming, pesticides, herbicides, all contributing.

Cannot sit there and build/farm on every square inch of land, spray millions of acres with herbicides and pesticides, and it not have an impact on wildlife, especially wildlife like birds.

Even where I live, been here for ten years in the middle of the city, I use to see numerous of those sparrow birds, now there are a whole lot less, some days only seeing a handful. My one rental house use to have robins and blue jays everywhere, now no robins, and rarely see a blue jay. The humming birds have not been around for a few years.
Don't forget the impact from free ranging or feral cats. For years I've seen cat predation estimates of 3 million songbirds a year in the US alone. Not sure if the article teased out birdstrike mortality due to communication towers, wind turbines and solar panel arrays. Some wind turbines located in specific migratory corridors kill a huge number of migrating birds every year.
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