Where are the birds?

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Mary Kay Waddington

Sep 23, 2023, 3:40:48 PM9/23/23
to Colorado Birds
Is anyone else out there completely frightened by the lack of birds right now?  I've always played a game with myself that when I go out for my sunrise birding around the property, I don't allow myself to go back in until I've seen at least 10 species -- and this includes the dead of winter with snow on the ground! 

Well, in the last few weeks I've been lucky to see 5 species each morning!!  So I checked the number of September species I'd seen here up to this date:  

2020, 63 species
2021, 47 species
2022, 53 species
2023, 44 species

Definitely getting less, but not conclusive, so I did a little calculating using my September bird lists for the last 4 years.  I only used the first birding of each day -- usually around sunrise or a bit later, and only calculated from Sept. 1st to 23rd.  Here are the dailly averages of number of species and number of individuals:

2020,   16 sp.   63 ind.
2021,   14 sp.   40 ind.
2022,   11 sp.   34 ind.
2023,     8 sp.   16 ind.

This is really frightening to me.  We've been told that in the last 50 years the US has lost 30% of its birds.  Have we reached the tipping point and that number is changing exponentially?  In 10 years will there be any birds left at all?

I sincerely hope that all those people at Cornell that have all this data at their fingertips are doing a whole lot of number crunching right now -- much more scientific than my quick little add and divide, but I haven't heard anything from anyone about the decline. And just look at the dismal banding records for this Fall.

Anyone out there seeing the same thing and having any ideas what's going on?

Mary Kay Waddington,  Arapahoe County

David Laliberte

Oct 4, 2023, 9:03:35 AM10/4/23
to Colorado Birds
I am wondering if it might be the northern forest fires, in Canada this past summer, that are affecting the numbers of migrating birds passing through Colorado during this fall migration?
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