Stray Feathers: Drastic Reduction in Bird Numbers

When out and about, people ask me if there are not as many birds around as before?” I never know what they mean by “before”, but regardless, the answer is no, there are not near as many. Ongoing studies have shown that in the past 50 years shorebird numbers are down by 40%, grassland birds have been depleted by 53-57% and aerial insectivores (swallows, flycatchers, etc.) are down 59% over-all. Studies have revealed that since 1970 we have lost about 3 billion birds here in Canada, including about 1 billion that would be considered forest birds. Overall, in terms of time, that’s a rapid decline.

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