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The Adirondack Explorer is a nonprofit magazine covering the Adirondack Park's environment, recreation and communities.

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  1. upstater says

    Thank you. Over the past 20 years the morning cacophony of song birds on our property has become decidedly more faint. Our birdboxes were always full, now many are empty. The message is clear: We have met the enemy and he is us – Pogo, 1970.

  2. Boreas says

    Here on the Adirondack Coast, TOTAL numbers of birds on my property haven’t really declined noticeably, but I would guess the bird species diversity has been halved over the last 20 years. Warblers, thrushes, swallows, and finches are a rarity now – not to mention bats. I believe it is due in part to changes in insect populations, but hard to really how many other things are contributing. I was just thinking about Silent Spring the other day sitting on my porch in the evening being serenaded by absolutely nothing. Distressing.

  3. Vanessa B says

    Well, your mom may have been right about a few things – let’s allow for the jury to be out on that one.

    But you’re not wrong at all that birds are declining this year and generally due a number of factors. Around the Boston area we’re having a bad year for West Nile, which may be a factor here.

    There is also a “mysterious illness” in the mid Atlantic that I read about the other day. But all of these phenomena are a symptom of (again, I sound like a broken record) the climate and other ecosystems crises that we are indeed inflicting upon ourselves.

    But should we just worry? Throw up our hands and condemn humanity? Of course not – there’s too much to save. If you’re concerned about this stuff, please plug into the movements that are working to save our ecosystems. I promise it will make you feel better, and help the birds too!

    • Boreas says

      Vanessa B,
      What concerns me the most is the lack of any reporting on the issue. Many people are noticing changes. I imagine studies are underway, but more news coverage would be helpful. Honey bees got a lot of press – how about birds? Thanks to John and AE, we at least got some notice here of late.

  4. Bob Meyer says

    I’ll be the bad guy here and state that, along with human causes of climate change and other factors, building a house at 2000′ may be part of the problem. The footprint you leave is WAY bigger than than your house….but its only 1 house, you say. But the reality is death by a thousand [individual] cuts each of whom say, but it’s only 1 house.

  5. nathan says

    i have noticed from my childhood to now about 100x reduction in birds at my feeders, same location since my childhood, my parents fed birds year round and winter, there would be sometimes literally 1,000 plus birds in yard and driveway/feeders. flocks of blue jays 50 strong, dozen cardinals, and huge variety of bird species.
    every morning during season 25-35 barn swallows on the phone wires chittering away at dawn.
    That is all memories and pictures now.
    i think it has many reasons, pollution, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides all used in massive amounts building up in enviroment, food contaminated, insects trickling up the food chain. all the smaller animals like birds and bats, mice, snakes have mostly disappeared. so many more cars, trucks on the road by the millions, how many birds get hit a year.
    the list of birds i don’t see is much much longer than those i do see now. that is scary that almost all the vast numbers and species are basically gone. and it’s not just birds….notice you almost never see a dead porcupine either along roads either?

    • Boreas says

      nathan,

      I agree. This is the proverbial frog in hot water story. Petrochemical giants and politicians in their pockets do a lot to minimize press exposure to these issues. Something rarely mentioned is hidden microplastic pollution, which also contaminates the food chain in ways we don’t even realize yet. It seems people, press, government, and industry only have direct human safety in mind. Obviously, this is both myopic and stupid. Humans will not survive without a healthy environment. It isn’t rocket science.

      • nathan says

        Micro-plastics are a very growing concern. There was a great article in consumer reports about the plastics in our modern food packaging alone. that when plastics are made~there also results nano-plastic so small that they can literally pass into our brains and inside cells…that so much plastic exposure in food packaging, people can literally be eating a credit cards worth of plastic a month….that plastic is building in every level of our enviroment, soils, fresh water, oceans of course.. it has to be reaching down to water tables by now.
        every store has shelves of sprays, from antibacterial, to kill bugs, mold, ect. spread on the lawn, spray around house, inside house, our food plots, fields…most of those chemicals only dilute for a 100 years, just as road salt is poisoning our wells, those organic poisons are there building up in our food, water, air and bodies. If a chemical kills something, it has to have long term effects on all living things..as a rule small animals are affected more than larger animals. If all the birds, rodents, snakes, amphibians, insects are disappearing. when are we next?? look up fertility rates in humans over last 50 years and birth defect rates….warning its not good news. once those pollutions are in our ground, water/air..you cannot just get rid of those poisons, its there just like an invasive species!

  6. Nathan says

    BTW keep buying all those spring water bottles and drinking up, each bottle is contaminated with nano-plastic and microscopic bits of plastic. thousands of itsy bitsy pieces in every bottle…How healthy is that spring water? how many a month do you ingest? What does nanoplastic do inside cells, body, brain, nerves, eyes? No one has really fully researched it!! Does it interfer with cellular processes? DNA replication errors? Cellular division issues? Cancers? Concentrate toxins, release toxins, reduce body ability to get rid of toxins, poisons?

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