Where have All The Wild Birds Gone?

Angie Coiro spoke with Ken Rosenberg, Conservation Scientist at Cornell Lab of Ornithology and American Bird Conservancy.

We put together this team of researchers, and we’ve been working together for quite a while on conservation of birds. We knew quite a few bird populations were declining. That wasn’t a surprise, but we knew others were increasing. What we didn’t know is what was the change over this 50-year period. Were there actually fewer total birds or are we just shifting, losing the rare and specialized species perhaps, and seeing more common birds, more generalized species or birds that were being adapted to human landscapes, which is actually kind of what we expected. We were posed with this question: are there fewer birds today than there were 1970? I was quite stunned by the results to see this net loss of 3 billion birds across almost every habitat, across common birds of almost every kind. It is a depressing and startling result, but we have these hard numbers now… This is real and we have some numbers to back that up.

Listen to the full conversation below.


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