“This survey claims we’ve lost almost 1 of every 4 birds in North America over the past 50 years. It says habitat loss, pesticides, insect declines and the changing climate have wiped out almost 3 billion of our friends and neighbors. Tell me it isn’t so!” Barney pleaded.
Melody Lark was the first to pipe up. She reported that her grasslands are among the most threatened biomes on Earth and have a bird population decline of over 40%. Janice Junco reported that a quarter of her flying forest friends have been lost. And on it went with reports from the desert, arctic and coastal regions all sadly giving similar statistics.
Finally Woody Duck lightened everyone’s spirits. “Thanks to wetland conservation efforts waterfowl have added 34 million flyers since 1970. Things do improve when our human friends make the effort,” Woody quacked.
“That’s it!” Barney hooted. “Humans are the key to stabilizing our population. We’ve got to educate them about how each individual can make a difference.” So the ACB put together a guide for humans and posted it at 3BillionBirds.org. (Click: 7 Simple Actions)
- Make windows safer. – Add window “clings” or use other diversion methods.
- Keep cats indoors - Cats are the #1 human-caused reason for the loss of birds, aside from habitat loss.
- Reduce lawn space and add native plants.
- Reduce pesticide use.
- Drink shade-grown coffee – Look for Bird Friendly certification on your coffee package label.
- Reduce plastic use – A boatload of environmental benefits will follow.
Perched in the back, Baldy Eagle hadn’t said a word, but now in his stately manner he strode to the front. “Humans are a clever species. They saw the damage that DDT pesticide was causing and wisely banned it in 1972. As a result, my raptor family has expanded by 15 million members since then. Humans know that we birds really are the ‘canaries in the coal mine,’ a sort of barometer of environmental health. I’m confident they’ll help because this is their only home too. It’s where we’re all forever… Earthbound.”