Billions of birds have vanished from the US and Canada since 1970

CNET | 9/19/2019 | Amanda Kooser
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A black-throated blue warbler perches in a tree.

"Astounded." That's the word applied conservation scientist Ken Rosenberg used to describe his team's reaction to their study that's tallied a massive loss of birds in the continental US and Canada.

Paper - Thursday - Journal - Science - Loss

A paper published Thursday in the journal Science highlights a devastating statistic: a net loss of nearly 3 billion birds, or 29% of the total adult breeding population, since 1970. Rosenberg, of Cornell University, is lead author of the study.

"We expected to see continuing declines of threatened species. But for the first time, the results also showed pervasive losses among common birds across all habitats, including backyard birds," said Rosenberg in a news release.

Study - Years - Data - Numbers - Bird

The study analyzed years of data, including numbers from long-term bird surveys and migration data collected by radar stations. This is the same radar technology that can detect swarms of insects. The researchers found the losses stretched across diverse habitats, from forests to grasslands.

You don't need to be miles away from civilization to see birds. This song sparrow was singing vigorously in the middle of San Francisco.

Birdwatchers - Groups - Birds - Finches - Sparrows

Even casual birdwatchers will recognize some of the hardest-hit groups of birds, which include finches, sparrows, larks and blackbirds.

The...
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