The World Conservation Union estimates that up to 12% of all bird species are threatened with extinction because of habitat loss and invasive species. Since 1966, species like wood thrushes, warblers, catbirds, hawks, wrens, vireos, flycatchers, kingbirds, nightjars, swallows, tanagers, orioles that migrate thousands of miles each year have declined an average of 1% per year. The simple fact is that we’ve already lost about 50% of our native birds within the last 50 years because we have taken away their natural habitat. We’ve already taken 95% to 97% of the continental US for our own uses. That only leaves 3%-5% of undisturbed natural lands left in the US. So that begs to question, if we don’t try to recreate the natural world in our own yards, gardens and landscape design, where will the birds go?
That said, some naysayers will counter that there are more birds in the US than ever before, but they fail to mention that those birds, like starlings and house sparrows, are both invasive species from Europe.
Next, we’ll explore another more serious kind of invasion.
Nesting birds, where have all the young birds gone...
Saturday, January 8, 2011