Since the 1960s, the Wood Thrush population is estimated to have fallen by 62 percent, from 13 million to about 5 million. This bird faces threats to its forest habitat on both its breeding grounds in eastern North America and on wintering grounds in Mexico and Central America.
Wood Thrush:photo by Mike Parr
Click through to read about the Cerulean Warbler, Upland Sandpiper, Long-billed Curlew, and Kirtland’s Warbler.
La Sorte and his colleagues did no field work at all to arrive at their results; instead, they analyzed the sightings of thousands of bird watchers who contribute to an online checklist program called eBird, run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Using some 2.3 million records from 2007–2011, the researchers calculated an average location for each species on each day of the year. Though the resulting measurements of speed and direction are coarser than for individuals tracked by satellite, they represent major shifts by thousands or millions of birds that would be impossible for any one scientist or bird watcher to detect on their own.
OUR data being put to great use! A compelling reason to participate in citizen science projects.
Chick loss to intruder loons has always been a major source of “natural” mortality. There are indications that intruder loons are having more impacts on nesting success and chick survivorship as the population continues to grow, but it is difficult to quantify.
Photo by David Homer
One day as I checked on them, an adult loon and then a second adult came around the island. As they swam closer, I could see two little chicks bobbing between them. The family swam on, staying close to each other, relocating to a nearby cove where they would raise their chicks. They made it against the odds.