Survival By Degrees: National Audubon’s 2019 Study on Climate Change & Birds

You have probably seen in the news and published in Science, “Decline of the North American Avifauna”, North American bird populations have tragically plummeted by 29% since 1970 with 3 billion fewer birds. These losses include all species of birds, but especially surprising these losses are even with our traditionally abundant birds such as sparrows, blackbirds, including starlings, and robins. Habitat loss, wide-spread use of toxic pesticides and herbicides, window strikes, kills by cats, and changing climate are some of the main reasons for these declines.

In addition to this report, National Audubon released their own report, “Survival by Degrees” which shows how bird populations will be affected as temperatures climb due to climate change. Read the report here.

At Bucks County Audubon Society, we are addressing some of these issues by providing a forum to discuss this with the community. Here are a few things that we have been organizing and working on:

  • In conjunction with our annual National Audubon Photo Exhibit, we are planning to have a panel discussion to address this issue on January 10th.
  • Working with other local EACs, we will be hosting a Municipal Leader Summit on February 20th to address the impact of changes in mowing schedules can help our local grassland birds during nesting season, whose populations overall have declined by 53%. These changes can also help with storm water management and even financial savings to the municipalities. Meadowlarks and Bobolinks have already been sighted thanks to some of mowing schedules changes recently put in place by the county.
  • A Bird Town Summit at our Environmental Education Center at Honey Hollow was held on October 26 to discuss this issue as well as how to further support this excellent program for the future.
  • Working with Newtown EAC and Audubon PA, we recently sponsored a pop-up Native Plant Garden and environmental film festival to help homeowners learn and restore important lost habitat.
  • With the help from our local Master Watershed Stewards, we have been building up our Honey Hollow Creek’s riparian buffer zones and restoring important habitat with beautiful native plants, shrubs and trees, made possible through the generous funding received from the Lower Delaware Wild and Scenic Grant program.

You can help us too! Participate in one of our great Citizen Science projects, stay tuned with our Advocacy Alerts and make your voice heard, or come out to one of our engaging programs for adults or families to lean more about birds, the environment, and how we can make a difference today!

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