Thursday, June 14, 2007

Common Birds in Decline

At 1130 EDT, the National Audubon Society released its report on Common Birds in Decline. In it it stated:

Many of our most common and beloved birds are experiencing precipitous population declines. Analyzing forty years of bird population data collected by citizen scientists for Audubon's Christmas Bird Count, combined for the first time with Breeding Bird Survey data from the U.S. Geological Survey, Audubon has identified our nation’s most vulnerable common birds. Additional analyses focused on state level trends. Some mirror the national picture, while others reveal local and regional differences. The birds below are suffering serious population declines in South Carolina. Along with their national Common Birds in Decline list mates, they showcase the need for vigilance in protecting local habitats and the health of our environment. Working together, we can make a difference.

Visit for the national findings.

The birds listed for South Carolina were:
NORTHERN BOBWHITE (Colinus virginianus) down 96%
EASTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella magna) down 73%
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea) down 51%
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelaius phoeniceus) down 75%, and the
BLUE JAY (Cyanocitta cristata) down 50%.

Through Citizen Science, we are surveying birds at risk, and are partnering with other organizations to preserve critical habitat. Our Important Bird Areas program has identified more than 1,000,000 acres of critical bird habitat in the state and is working directly with our chapters in these sites to promote the conservation of these areas.


South Carolinians can help keep common birds common in a variety of ways:
Ø Forest landowners can work with Audubon South Carolina to implement bird-friendly forest management on their lands. Landowners with open fields can delay mowing fields until August each year.

Ø Where possible, landowners should maintain old fields and forest edges in early-successional habitat.

Ø Cat-owners can keep their pets indoors, or only under their supervision when outdoors. The National Research Council reports that domestic cats are responsible for the demise of hundreds of millions of songbirds each and every year in the United States.

Ø Volunteers can play a critical role in helping us determine bird population trends by taking part in bird monitoring projects. Participating in the Christmas Bird Count and the Great Backyard Bird Count and entering bird observations through the website are all important ways to help ornithologists track bird populations.

No comments: