The decline of birds has been a hot topic of late with numerous newspapers and blogs posting opinions about Audubon’s report. Birds have been declining overall ever since settlers first came to America. The wildlife and natural resources were so bountiful that no one could possibly imagine running out of land to cultivate or wildlife to hunt. Heck, birds were an accessory for hats and mammals like bison could be hunted just for the fun of it.
Time passed and people continued to alter the land and introduce new problems, like DDT, to the already weakened environment. Many birds nearly left this planet for ever and some were not so lucky. There’s always an excuse, always something a bit more important. Ivory-billed Woodpeckers should never have been pushed to the brink. Whether or not they still exist, there was plenty of opportunities to protect and save the species. But the general population won out over “just some bird”.
So now we are in the present time and yet the same story repeats itself. Birds are declining and it’s not just the rare, “niche” birds. Now common birds like Field Sparrows, Eastern Meadowlarks, and Common Grackles are on the list. How ironic (and disgusting) would it be if a species like Red-winged Blackbirds suddenly disappeared? Nah, could never happen. That’s what they said about the Passenger Pigeon.
Nearly everyone goes about their daily lives unconcerned about the birds. They’re just birds afterall. They can fly somewhere else if their prairie gets plowed or their forest gets cleared. Unfortunately, birds are struggling to survive all the dangers that are imposed on them.
Fortunately, there is still hope. Birds are declining, yes, but birds are amazing creatures. They have a drive that is rivaled by nothing else. How can something that weighs less than a wadded up piece of paper migrate hundreds, even thousands of miles? Why is it that when a prairie is restored, the birds return?
It will take more than just birders and nature-lovers to fix what is broken. No longer can people just sit back and hope the situation will right itself. Everyone needs to become pro-active. Every decision should be made with careful consideration of the effects they will have on the environment. No longer can we sit back and think we are doing enough.
Until the newspapers are reporting massive increases of birds, we must continue the fight. We hope soon enough we won’t need to ask, Where are all the birds?