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Veteran Advisor

Fewer Birds

Have noticed this summer that there were very few birds around, even compared to last year.  Far fewer barn swallows, total absence of sparrows and starlings, very few blackbirds and grackles, none of the normal thrushes, orioles, bluebirds, robins, etc. at my house, not since spring.  Weren't even very many turtle doves this summer/fall.  Have been paying more attention lately -- a few bluejays, some quail, plenty of hawks, owls and buzzards -- but that's about it.  Then saw this article and have been thinking about it some more -- https://www.cbsnews.com/news/nature-up-close-the-massive-decline-of-bird-populations/

Have been working on combine today.  Some corn on ground around bins.  Normally would see sparrows and starlings around the grain scraps.  Have not seen even 1 bird the entire day up around barn and bins, although I did hear 1 bluejay.  Went to town for a part, corn on gravel road where trucks loaded -- no birds.  This is not normal.  The referenced article does not even come close to what I've been noticing this summer and now.

What has been happening to them?  Hasn't been cold yet.  And, they weren't around even weeks ago, months ago.  

Personally, don't think it has anything to do with "climate change", habitat, Trump, nor any other fringe factors, other than possibly applied chemicals or something in the water.

I'm thinking there's something we're spraying that has done this, but I really don't know.  I do know we had a huge number of spray planes putting on fungicide and insecticide on corn, and it seemed that most put fungicide with insecticide on their soybeans, either by ground rig or plane.  I flew fungicide onto the corn, but no corn within 1/4 mile of house.  Didn't put either fungicide or insecticide on my beans.  There could also be something in other chemicals, even without the insecticides, that are affecting them.  I know there was something in the "burndown" chemicals for beans that made my landlord's dogs so ill last year that it required a few days at the local vet clinic.  I don't know if it was the chemicals or an additive or surfactant, but there were no insecticides in that mix. 

This needs more study and much more attention, in my opinion.

Anyone else noticing this?

 

 

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6 Replies
Honored Advisor

Re: Fewer Birds

Up here I`ve noticed a normal amount of birds.  There are so many Bald Eagles we might have to consider a "hunting season"   Smiley Happy  There has been a fly problem about as bad this year as I can remember, that would be plenty feed for Barn Swallows .  

In disaster movies sometimes the plot is that earth loses it`s magnetism and birds don`t migrate or go Kamakazi into the ground.   Maybe windmills mess with air currents affecting migration?

There`s something in the Bible about "magnetic north and true north meeting" towards the end, when that occurs it will affect bird and animal behavior. 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7410659/Compasses-point-true-north-time-360-years.ht...  

Freedom1493 might find this interesting.

snip:

Compasses at Greenwich are pointing 'true north' for the first time in approximately 360 years.

Experts predict that in the next two weeks the compasses at the observatory will register true north as part of the once-in-a-lifetime event. 

Compasses contend with 'true north' and 'magnetic north', with both measured on a compass.   

The angle between the two is called the declination and it constantly changes due to flux in Earth's magnetic field.

 

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Fewer Birds

Read the article.  Sounded good, until, of course, they had to include "climate change" as a cause.  Let's see some documentation, folks.  Out here, we're surrounded by grasslands, both native, and CRP.  We seem to have plenty of birds.  Even game birds like pheasant and quail.  a decline in sparrows and grackles, on the other hand ?  Probably not too bad a thing.

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Advisor

Re: Fewer Birds

Neonics have been implicated in some cases of bird decline, as they may also be in the insect apocalypse.

And of course loss of a lot of diverse habitat in both cases.

Our fencerow to fencerow ag policy and "pour on everything that might bump yield a bit" (or just make things easier) has gone a bit far.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/09/widely-used-pesticide-makes-birds-lose-weight...

BTW, as an old fashioned IPM guy, the shotgun use of neonic seed treatments on most corn and a lot of soys deeply offends me.

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Advisor

Re: Fewer Birds

Of course National Geographic is a communist publication that also promotes the Global Warming hoax.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Fewer Birds

My house is in a 3 A woods surrounded by thousands of A of corn and beans.  I too have noticed a sharp decline in birds at my bird feeder since mid September.  The only birds coming now are the blue jays and they come for their hand full of whole peanuts.  In the Spring and early Summer all the birds that have been listed here where plentiful except for the swallows.  Other late summer and Fall the birds would slow their appearance at my feeder but this year much more pronounced .  I would say just a cycle of nature and soon back to normal.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Fewer Birds

Yep......  Thats one of the strongest "first freeze" cold fronts I have ever seen.   It actually didn't stall out anywhere in the midwest as they often do on the first few attempts.

We saw a big decline in birds here in town, when the temps went from 90 to 20 in 48 hours, as we always do....   but we have been back into the 80's the last 5 days and we had lots of birds back in today.  But it is not uncommon here since most of the trees are 120 miles east or west.... and we never have the wealth and variety that you guys east do.  I been hearing the bald eagles have expanded their area.

We only get the migratory birds when it has been very wet ......... I cant imagine farming practices of any kind affects bird migration at all... it makes a good story........ but that cold front greatly reduced insects to feed on, very rapidly.

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