Date: 9/22/19 6:02 am
From: Chuck & Jaye Otte <otte2...>
Subject: Did America Lose 3 Billion Birds
The headlines for birds this week were bleak, got a lot of conversations
started and questions asked of us birders by non-birders. That headline
aside, which in my opinion was meant to startle people and will likely be the
crux of fundraising by various conservation groups (and it's already started),
there is some interesting information in that paper.

Are bird populations declining? Yes, for about 2/3 of the species anyway.

Are humans responsible for some of this or perhaps a lot of this? Yes - but
there's a lot of caveats within that.

Should we be concerned? Absolutely.

But as I said above, there's a lot more in this paper than the headline and if
you want to understand better what's going on read the paper. If you don't
want to read the paper, then at least read the following blog (I converted the
URL to a smaller version as it was crazy long!)

The writer does a pretty good job of condensing this down. There's a LOT of
statistics involved to generate that 3 billion figure but don't get bogged down
in that. There are some very good points to be made.

Cornell has put the full PDF of the original article on their website (67 pages)
and it can be accessed at:

I think the real challenge to many people is that when you look at this decline
over the ~50 years that the study covers, it comes out to be a slow decline -
1% per year in many cases, or less. On a year to year scale it's hard to
notice, but as Chris noted here and others of us have talked about, when you
take a snapshot of 30 or 40 years ago (for those who have been birding that
long) and then compare to today, it's quite noticeable.

Food for thought and hopefully catalyst for action.


Chuck & Jaye Otte mailto:<otte2...>
613 Tamerisk
Junction City Kansas USA 66441

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