Wednesday, July 12, 2006

How the Birds Are Doing

A couple of months ago Denise Jernigan of the Connecticut Ornithological Society sent me a link to the Connecticut Audubon Society’s 2006 report, “State of the Birds: Conserving Birds & Their Habitats.” I read a lot of it but it was too daunting to try to summarize, so I put off blogging about it.

I’m happy to say though that the Hartford Courant seems to have done the job for me:

In a year in which scientists and conservation interests have taken a close look at the status of 290 bird species typically found in Connecticut all or part of the year, the overall picture is mixed, though perhaps more gloomy than encouraging.

To be sure, some species are flourishing. "I hate to just paint everything black; it's not," said Milan G. Bull, senior director of science and conservation at the Connecticut Audubon Society, which this spring issued its "Connecticut State of the Birds," an assessment of the overall health of bird populations in the state.

Bald eagles have rebounded nicely the past two decades, as have ospreys. Wild turkeys, unseen as recently as the 1960s, are now abundant. Birds comfortable with human habitation, like robins and chickadees, do well. Many hawks are stable or increasing.

But for various reasons other species are suffering, and scientists and conservationists say that ought to be a concern to everyone, not just bird-watchers.

The whole story is worth a read. And here’s the report itself, in PDF form.


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