Thursday, June 14, 2007

Audubon: Common Birds in Decline

Analysis of data from the Christmas Bird Count and Breeding Bird Survey reveals that many common bird species have declined over the past forty years. The causes are varied, but most of the worst cases fall into two distinct groups. Grassland birds are under severe pressure due to the loss of old field habitat to suburban development and industrialized agriculture. Birds that breed in the far north face habitat changes due to climate change and deforestation of large chunks of the boreal forest. None of these birds is in danger of extinction at this time, but their rapid decline is still cause for concern.

Here are the twenty birds with the steepest losses in population:

  1. Northern Bobwhite
  2. Evening Grosbeak
  3. Northern Pintail
  4. Greater Scaup
  5. Boreal Chickadee
  6. Eastern Meadowlark
  7. Common Tern
  8. Loggerhead Shrike
  9. Field Sparrow
  10. Grasshopper Sparrow
  11. Snow Bunting
  12. Black-throated Sparrow
  13. Lark Sparrow
  14. Common Grackle
  15. American Bittern
  16. Rufous Hummingbird
  17. Whip-poor-will
  18. Horned Lark
  19. Little Blue Heron
  20. Ruffed Grouse
You can read more about the findings at Audubon's State of the Birds page.

(via Birdchaser)