How does avian decline affect the Midwest?

Slide 1: How does avian decline affect the Midwest?

Slide 2: 3 billion

Slide 3: That’s how many fewer birds fill North American skies since 1970, according to a Cornell University study published in September 2019.

Slide 4: Most of the losses come from familiar species like warblers, sparrows, and finches.

Slide 5: All species that frequent the Midwest.

Slide 6: Against the backdrop of this dramatic decline, the work of bird banders like Dave Russell is all the more important.

Slide 7: The Miami University biology professor is one of a handful of master banders in the country.

Slide 8: Russell is in his 16th year of educating students, volunteers, and community partners at the Hueston Woods bird banding station in Oxford, Ohio.

Slide 9: Their goal: keep common birds common.

Slide 10: Hueston Woods is an Important Bird Area, serving as a stop-over site for birds migrating south for the winter.

Slide 11: Russell believes stop-over sites that lack nutrients for migrating birds could play a role in population decline.

Slide 12: Birds’ wintering grounds in the southern hemisphere are also being destroyed by agriculture and deforestation.

Slide 13: “Birds are facing a lot of challenges,” he said.

Slide 14: To help populations bounce back, Russell seeks to understand how many birds survive each year and when they arrive at Hueston Woods.

Slide 15: This data will inform what birds need in their habitat to thrive.

Slide 16: Then, he can recommend which plant and insect species should be introduced or removed.

Slide 17: “This is all because of love for birds.”

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