Can you imagine waking up without birdsong?
Not just for a season but for a lifetime? That just might become our new reality if we don’t do something. The world, it seems, is losing its birds. In Europe, scientists reported that 421 million birds were lost over the span of three decades. North America is fairing far worse. We’ve lost 3 billion birds in the last 50 years. Even the number of birds migrating has dropped by 14 per cent in the last 10 years.
Who could we lose?
Our Grassland Birds
The grassland bird populations have dropped by 53 per cent. It’s a hard pill to swallow considering grassland bird survival mostly relies on the good-hearted nature of farmers and ranchers to survive. When hedgerow, borders and trees are wiped out to make room for more agricultural land, we lose these important birds.
Our Woodland Birds
Our forest birds are suffering too. We’ve lost 17 per cent of our eastern forest birds, 29 per cent of our western forest birds and a staggering 33 per cent of our boreal forest birds. On the whole, our forests have witnessed 1 billion birds lost to human impact. According to researchers at the Oregon State University, forest degradation is one of the main culprits. When we clearcut forested areas we lose a lot of older forests, and our birds don’t always bounce back from that loss – even when new trees are planted. Old growth forests remain incredibly important habitat to our woodland birds.
Learn what CWF is doing to help our grassland and woodland birds here.
Our Backyard Birds
Your backyard birdfeeder might be looking a little less busy than usual and that’s for good reason. We’re losing our backyard birds at an alarming rate. Perhaps the hardest hit? Our sparrows. From the Eastern Towhee to the Song Sparrow, we’ve lost an alarming 862 million sparrows from our landscape. Next, the warblers are declining in number too. From the Wilson’s Warbler to the Canada Warbler, we’ve lost 618 million to date. Next, the blackbird family, like the Bobolink and the Red-winged Blackbird, have lost 439 million in number. Finches are not far behind with 145 million lost.
Learn what CWF is doing to help our backyard birds here.
These numbers are not meant to make you feel defeated. In fact, there are other birds that are bouncing back in a really hopeful way all due to conservation efforts! Our raptors, for example, have increased in numbers by 200 per cent!