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NFT: Birding and

sometimeswrite : 7/10/2020 6:26 am
our toxic lives. As a child into adulthood I was fortunate to have lived within a few miles of of a major flyway and National Wildlife Refuge and have albeit a few more miles, done the same for the past 35 years.

I find myself getting more interested in birding now than at anytime in the past and having spent a good part of my professional life in the petro chemical industry have become more aware of how toxic numbers have effected nature in general terms. Folks...using my current experience with the birding side of the equation it's a obvious outcome that is un-winnable.

Where I live now it's become March and April and later months on the return that most watching is done. The numbers have and will continue to lessen. If I spend any time at all getting to the beaches or wetlands I'm finding less subjects to watch and this also includes the year round birds that normally inhabit my property.

So the question is are there any birders or just any other type of nature followers here that are noticing those same issues.
I disagree  
YAJ2112 : 7/10/2020 8:55 am : link
there isn't enough toxicity. We need more
Link - ( New Window )
Definite reduction in the quantity and variety of birds  
Del Shofner : 7/10/2020 9:01 am : link
here in the Hudson Valley. However, there are still quite a lot of them.

More alarming is the situation with the bees. I'm planning to pollinate our pumpkin patch myself with Q-tips this year, as the bees have mostly vanished.

Not a good trend.
I am seeing more birds in my area.  
fivehead : 7/10/2020 9:08 am : link
Doves, blue jays, cardinals, robins, and others are always flying around my house. It is odd that they stay around my house, since I have a jacked-up Hemi truck that gets 14 mpg.

I do notice that many lakes in my area have lost their weed beds. I think it is from runoff from farms that use liquid manure.
Im in the Mid Hudson valley  
winoguy : 7/10/2020 9:12 am : link
and have every type of bird known to the area: Grossbeaks , Orioles,Goldfinches and for the second year in a row have nesting Bluebirds. The one thing odd this year is that the Hummingbirds are almost non existent, where normally I have them everywhere.
not a bird  
Giantsfan79 : 7/10/2020 9:20 am : link
but how are the firefly populations in your area?
RE: not a bird  
Del Shofner : 7/10/2020 9:35 am : link
In comment 14931137 Giantsfan79 said:
but how are the firefly populations in your area?

We have some but not as many as in past years.
I'm on other  
sometimeswrite : 7/10/2020 10:14 am : link
forums asking the same...we usually have a abundance of Blue Jays as well as others. I saw my first Jay this year 1 week ago. Disturbing. This isn't just about birds. It affects the human race as well.

Haven't planned my attack yet but I'm not one to sit around and complain. Last year I took on the US Postal Service on a nation wide issue with the help of my US congressman and it got a positive result.

So I ask those who like to complain, what have you as a individual done in support of those issues you're concerned about. Trust me, one voice pulling the load alone can make a difference.
I am amazed at the number of birds...  
BamaBlue : 7/10/2020 10:22 am : link
here in North Alabama. From Great Herons, Red Tailed Hawks, Bald Eagles and Turkey Vultures to Blue Birds, Cardinals, Sparrows and Humming birds. Right now there are thousands of Mourning Doves and Killdeer all over neighborhoods. It's not uncommon to see flocks of birds and geese from horizon to horizon in the fall months.

There is a very large sanctuary (Wheeler Wildlife Refuge) and numerous birding trails. Not to mention... billions of insects to eat. Seems like all of the northern birds (and Monarch butterfly's) pass through here.
We feed them and have native plants  
oghwga : 7/10/2020 10:28 am : link
And available water. There's growing data that shows we have less insects every year. Less bugs less birds. Only thing we haven't seen back yet here is hummingbirds.

And no lightning bugs here last year (mud state TN) but tons this year but this year the frogs are quiet where as last year they were deafening.

Nature, wtf.
Appreciate the input...  
sometimeswrite : 7/10/2020 10:32 am : link
trying to build a picture on what and where this stuff is going on.
My wife and I were in Spain on a small tour going to see Dali castle..  
Daniel in Kentucky : 7/10/2020 10:35 am : link
...home and museum.

Our tour guide was a Scottish man who we found out later over the course of 12 hours wanted to be a cowboy so he went to America and found out the real cowboys are in Alberta Canada. So he lived for years in Canada as a cowboy.

Then somehow ended up in Spain as our guide.


Our guide saw two people on the tour with us and whispered, “They’re birders!”
Turns out he was right.

Still one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard.
In my experience it depends on the type of bird.  
NBGblue : 7/10/2020 10:48 am : link
We have more Turkey Buzzards then ever, but much fewer redheaded woodpeckers. Some birds are greatly adversely affected by man's actions (for example clearing land) but it provides new opportunities for other types of birds that take advantage of the change. Things like chemical pollution of air or water are likely affecting birds that frequent the habitats most affected by the pollution at issue, but I doubt that it's decreasing the overall bird population.

As to fireflies, I remember as a kid the night air being literally filled with them (we would catch them in jars as a pastime). Now, there are still a fair number, but nothing like what I recall from years ago. Maybe it's just faulty memory, but I think there are less than there were; at least around here.
sometimeswrite : 7/10/2020 11:12 am : link
yes common effect, but I kept my list small to start. Having Galveston Bay within 1 mile to the east and the Gulf of Mexico to the south I have yet to see 1 Dragon Fly or Love Bug yet this year. That's a first as well having the bee problem as others have mentioned. Shore bird populations are down. All of this and the immediate area that I find myself in hasn't changed at all in the last 100 years, and that includes local industry.
I live in Charlotte  
tangled up in blue : 7/10/2020 11:44 am : link
We have several bird feeders that I used to refill 2-3 times a week for many years. The last two years I've only been refilling once every two weeks. Neighbors have told me the same thing. However still getting the same amount of bird shit on the cars.
Like everyone else...  
JohnG in Albany : 7/10/2020 12:14 pm : link
it seems that most of the birds have moved to the suburbs. *grin*
mushroom : 7/10/2020 2:42 pm : link
According to various sources including the Cornell Lab of Ornithology the North American bird population has decreased by up to 25 percent since the 1970s. Habitat loss/fragmentation both wintering and breeding grounds, decrease insect population s are suspected leading causes. On a personal positive note this summer my yard near Cortland NY has had numerous hummingbird, Baltimore Orioles,and rose breasted grosbeaks more than I have had in the thirty plus years I have lived there.Oh as you can tell I'm a life long birder
I think there has been somewhat of an uptick in birds here  
Del Shofner : 7/10/2020 3:10 pm : link
since the pandemic started. There's a lot less car traffic and the park adjacent to us has essentially been closed the whole time.

That said, it doesn't seem to have helped the insects (except the f'in Japanese beetles that are going after some of my vegetables ...)
Named Later : 7/10/2020 4:43 pm : link
We live on a golf course and I see quite a few raptors making their rounds near dinner time. There are falcons and hawks working the tree line along the green.

The other night I watched as a hawk defended his territory against an intrusion by a young red-shouldered hawk. You could hear this squabble between the two get louder and louder....and don't think it ended well for that young hawk.

There's also a Barred Owl who always looks for a snack in the twilight. They have a very distinctive call, you hear him before you see him. One night I spotted him up high on a tree branch. His call spooked a squirrel out of the tall grass and without flapping his wings, Mr Owl dropped down on that squirrel and scooped him up. Dinner time.
We have a lot of  
pjcas18 : 7/10/2020 4:58 pm : link
mosquitoes. Does that count?

Also, lots of bees, dragon flies, beetles, tree frogs, hawks, falcons, blue jays, cardinals, sparrows, robins, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, foxes, opossums, raccoons, coyotes, deer, and someone on my neighborhood Ring doorbell group had a bobcat in their backyard. Every now and then I see a fisher.

We did used to have a hummingbird that would come around that I haven't seen this year.

Seems like a pretty normal time in suburban Massachusetts. Not much more building we can do here so maybe we're just taking away less of the established animal habitat compared to other areas that have more room to build. Not sure.
It's too many fucking people  
allstarjim : 7/10/2020 5:01 pm : link
plain and simple. This will get worse unless we lose about 3 billion and that's would only kick the can down the road for another 25-30 years. Don't mean to be morbid, but you are watching the destruction of our planet in real-time, and it's not because of big corporate evil overlords, it's all of us, and especially the breeders having 3 kids or more.

Eventually governments will be forced to become like China to limit the number of kids you have.

This is my first year  
A-Train : 7/11/2020 8:59 am : link
Without cats in my house, so I put up a couple of feeders with sunflower seeds and regular mix.
Have seen a ton of sparrows and also resident cardinals, mourning doves, grackles, blue jays, woodpeckers and a couple gold finches. It has been a nice addition to the garden area.
Have also seen dragonflies and bees but not too many butterflies. My least fave are the beetles that are attracted to light but cannot fly worth a damn. Why even have wings, just gets them into trouble.
Have learned that you cannot fight the squirrels so I drop them some seeds too. I was also surprised to see how many sunflower seeds a chipmunk can fit into its jowls. A lot.
RE: It's too many fucking people  
trueblueinpw : 7/11/2020 11:07 am : link
In comment 14931456 allstarjim said:
plain and simple. This will get worse unless we lose about 3 billion and that's would only kick the can down the road for another 25-30 years. Don't mean to be morbid, but you are watching the destruction of our planet in real-time, and it's not because of big corporate evil overlords, it's all of us, and especially the breeders having 3 kids or more.

Eventually governments will be forced to become like China to limit the number of kids you have.

With the exception of corruption, over population is the root cause of almost every problem on earth today. I remember my mom talking about the perils of over population nearly 50 years ago, and it’s only gotten worse. It is my understanding that population growth in “western” nations, and or most of the northern hemisphere is actually declining. I believe even China has population decline (though that horse has also left the barn there). Anyway, yeah, way too people on earth.
Here in the western suburbs of Chicago  
ChicagoMarty : 7/11/2020 11:14 am : link
the bird population is bustling but the bees alas, are disappearing.

Lots of cardinals, robins et al but I note fewer crows.

Not sure what is up there since crows are easily the smartest of all the birds in this area.

Why would they have moved on?

What do the crows know that the other birds don't?
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