Date: 6/18/18 10:52 am
From: Linda Orkin <wingmagic16...>
Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] Where are the birds?
Thanks for your astute analysis John. It is sad to be an observer of all
this as I only learned so much of what I didn't know about the birds around
us in 1990 and since then have watched what I consider to be a precipitous
decline, especially in more marginal habitats. Those on the frontlines as
banders etc really see these effects so poignantly and knowledgeably

Linda Orkin
Ithaca, NY

On Mon, Jun 18, 2018 at 1:28 PM, <khmo...> wrote:

> 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
> <https://maps.google.com/?q=5373+Fitzgerald+Rd+Burdett,+NY+14818&entry=gmail&source=g>
> Burdett, NY 14818
> <https://maps.google.com/?q=5373+Fitzgerald+Rd+Burdett,+NY+14818&entry=gmail&source=g>
> 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
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