Prairie birds

Red-headed woodpeckers are on decline

The red-headed woodpecker (Melanerpes erythocephalus) was once a very common woodpecker. These birds fly to catch insects in the air or on the ground, forage on trees or gather and store nuts. They are omnivorous, eating insects, seeds, fruits, berries, nuts, and occasionally even the eggs of other birds. In the mid-1800s, John James Audubon stated that the red-headed woodpecker was the most common woodpecker in North America. He called them semi-domesticated because they weren’t afraid of people. He stated that they were camp robbers and also a pest.

Imidacloprid may impact bobwhite quail embryonic development and chick survival

The goal of this research was to investigate the effects of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid on the morphological and physiological development of northern bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus). Bobwhite eggs (n = 390) were injected with imidacloprid concentrations of 0 (sham), 10, 50, 100, and 150 mg/kg of egg mass, which was administered at day 0 (pre-incubation), 3, 6, 9, or 12 of growth. Embryos were dissected, weighed, staged, and examined for any overt structural deformities after 19 days of incubation. The mass of the embryonic heart, liver, lungs and kidneys was also recorded.

One of the West’s iconic birds is in trouble

Sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) are iconic birds in the West — including in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. But their numbers in 11 states have dramatically declined with their loss of habitat. It’s difficult to know exact sage grouse population numbers. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates somewhere between 200,000 to 500,000 sage grouse live across the range — a number conservation groups worry will now continue to decline.

No bugs no birds

When Ashtabula County Master Gardeners speak to local groups about creating bird-friendly landscapes, the volunteers are often asked why certain bird species are disappearing from backyard feeders. At times the answer is simply that some birds, like goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis), move from place to place within their territory to ensure a food source isn’t depleted. Another reason is not quite so benign. Many native bird populations are in serious decline because of the loss of habitat and subsequent food sources.

Eastern meadowlark numbers have dropped a whopping 89 percent between 1966 and 2015

For generations of Missouri farmers, an enjoyable sign that spring was transitioning into summer was the crisp, clear call of a meadowlark perched on a nearby fencepost. However, that call is becoming alarmingly less common throughout the region. Many people are familiar with the decrease of the greater prairie-chicken throughout much of the central U.S. and most have also heard about the steadily worsening quail situation for the same area. However, unless you’re a birding enthusiast, you’re likely unaware of the downward spiral of eastern meadowlark numbers.

Greater prairie chickens cannot persist in Illinois without help, researchers report

The greater prairie chicken (Tympanuchus cupido) once dominated the American Midwest, but today the bird is in trouble in many parts of its historic range. It is no longer found in Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas or Wyoming, states where it once flourished. And in Illinois, an estimated 186 birds remain in two adjoining counties in the southern part of the state. "They used to be all over the state," said Illinois Natural History Survey conservation biologist Mark Davis, who participated in a genetic analysis of the Illinois birds.

Black-Billed Magpie Decline in Nebraska

Many birders and bird-watchers in western and central Nebraska have noticed the unfortunate absence in recent years of a distinctive, entertaining and familiar bird species, the black-billed magpie (Pica hudsonia). In the late 1990s, black-billed magpies were found over most of the state, except the extreme east and southeast. They occurred as far east as western Lancaster and Saunders counties during that time. In other areas, especially the west, magpies were fairly common and could be reliably seen with little effort. Since about 2000, black-billed magpies have declined sharply.

Veel broedvogels van de toendra gaan achteruit

Van de 263 onderzochte vogelsoorten die Nederland aandoen als doortrekker of wintergast zijn er 39 op de nieuwe ‘Rode Lijst’ van bedreigde vogels terecht gekomen en negen op de oranje lijst. De oranje lijst is een lijst van vogels die de afgelopen tien jaar constant in aantal zijn afgenomen en dus ook in de gevarenzone dreigen te komen. Van de wintergasten en doortrekkers die in ons land achteruit zijn gegaan, broeden er zo’n dertien op de toendra.

Drastic Declines in Brown Shrike and Yellow-Breasted Bunting at the Lake Utonai Bird Sanctuary, Hokkaido

Daily records of bird observations were obtained from the Wild Bird Society of Japan bird sanctuary at Lake Utonai, Hokkaido, from 1982 to 2002. We analysed the daily records of four species thought to be experiencing declines: Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus, Black-browed Reed Warbler Acrocephalus bistrigiceps, Chestnut-eared Bunting Emberiza fucata and Yellow-breasted Bunting E. aureola.

Agricultural intensification caused steep population decline of the Great Bustard in Iran

The current distribution and recent population trends of the Great Bustard ( Otis tarda ) in Iran were investigated based on a literature review and unpublished data (1995–2008) followed by three years of census (2009–2011) in areas where the species is still breeding. Results suggest that Great Bustards have disappeared from a large part of their former distribution in the country, including East Azarbayjan, Hamedan and Kurdistan provinces. The surviving groups are concentrated in West Azarbayjan where numbers are rapidly declining.