One of my jobs requires me to answer bird questions submitted from all
over the country. I've received an exceptional number of questions
this year from people in the Midwest this year about their missing
I suspect that local declines are real. I think they probably relate
at least in part to the huge number of devastating storms over much of
the southern and central states during migration this year, and the
long cold spell that extended into June.
But really, we won't be certain about anything for years to come.
Breeding Bird Survey data aren't as reliable for a species like the
Ruby-throated Hummingbird as they are for robins, ovenbirds, and
others who use song to defend territory throughout June. And even if
the BBS shows declines this year, it will be impossible to be
determine the cause(s) with any certainty.
For the love, understanding, and protection of birds
There is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of birds.
There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of
nature--the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after
Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.
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