Date: 6/18/18 10:28 am
From: <khmo...>
Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] Where are the birds?
Hi!

Over 30years of banding, migration and population study here and we
experienced and ever increasing paucity of birds. About 15 years ago I
wrote a report citing these losses. While many can be linked to loss of
habitat mainly due to factory farming, that didn't account for the lack
of song. We prognosticated at the time that populations within species
were undergoing a drastic diminishment.That has since been shown to be
even worse than we guessed ( based on American Bird Conservancy data
sets).

A result most noticeable was in song. With fewer competitors, birds in
lesser numbers arrive on native land and , if they find it still
existent, establish a territory. With little or no competition, the
territorial song is short lived -after all, why expend energy
needlessly? Defense of territory is seldom needed so in season song is
greatly diminished.

That doesn't mean it stops entirely but certainly far less than what we
new 50, 40 or 30 years ago.

Fast forward to the crazy migration we experienced this spring. Expected
species have still not checked in and we guess they either overflew or
were content to our south. We have the same experience with Veery here
and Wood Thrush has been declining steadily. Least Flycatcher, Warbling
Vireo are all missing and the fancy Thrushes once a stopover certainty
haven't been seen for several years. Yesterday, we finally had a single
Pewee. On the positive side we are inundated with Grosbeaks, Purple
Finch, Great-crested Flycatchers, cuckoos and others that are normally
here in much smaller numbers.

Looking South to the greater DC area, many of these species are still
there and that's abnormal. Check the ADK reports and they are also
having a strange year although I've not seen any thoughts on the subject
from that area.

The short answer is an unusual migration window with lots of weather
effect, rapidly declining populations creating an environment where our
old expectations are no longer valid.

I liked it much better several decades ago. We have stopped banding
passerines and happy we did as the disappointment would be even greater.


Best,

John

---
John and Sue Gregoire
Field Ornithologists
Kestrel Haven Migration Observatory
5373 Fitzgerald Rd
Burdett, NY 14818
42.443508000, -76.758202000

On 2018-06-18 15:45, W. Larry Hymes wrote:

> I have noticed, as have others, that the woods have not been as plentiful with bird song as normal. On my recent walks at Upper Buttermilk I have been very disappointed in the total absence of Wood Thrush, Veery, and Scarlet Tanager. By this time in past years I've always have several of these birds. On my most recent walk (Friday) I was wonderfully surprised to hear 2 Wood Thrush and 2-3 each of Veery and Scarlet Tanager. Why the sudden "reappearance"?? I know I'm going to be criticized for asking, but could some birds (species) still be migrating in? If not, then why did they finally "show up"? Some could argue they were busy with nesting. But I've never experienced birds remaining completely mum during the nesting season. Another argument could be that they are now moving around after the first brood. I doubt that would explain the numbers of these species I had all of a sudden plopping down in Upper Buttermilk? By the way, we picnicked at Upper Treman yesterday and
bird song was relatively infrequent. Do any of you have any thoughts on this subject??
>
> Larry
>
> --
>
> ================================
> W. Larry Hymes
> 120 Vine Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
> (H) 607-277-0759, <wlh2...>
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