When he says development, I imagine he means over population. Too many people competing with birds for living spaces, water and food. That is true world wide of course, sad to say.
It was so shocking to hear him say this. I haven't heard any stats for the US. What development means to me is building houses or stores on former open, or farm or forest land. In the town where I grew up there is now a Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe's, a supermarket, and more where there used to be open fields and farms. The area is still called "the meadow". Sad.
This is heartbreaking........Perhaps not so much new as accelerating. When I was little I remember my mother lamenting the disappearance of Bobolinks.
When we first moved here, the owner/neighbor said there were bobolinks at her house down the road, but we never had them here. So much also depends on what the land is used for. When we had a horse, two donkeys, 13 sheep and 3 goats we had killdeer in the pasture, but no longer. Is it that no animals graze in that particular pasture anymore? We now have a donkey and 6 sheep in a pasture across the road.
I imagine it is just as bad here in the U.S. too. Nan, I was rereading July in Jacob's Room yesterday and she wrote about not seeing long lines of birds perched on electrical lines in the sky anymore, not like what there used to be. It got me thinking of the huge flocks of songbirds we used to feed when we were first married decades ago and there just aren't those crowds anymore--except for finches. I think every finch in our town decided to move to our house!
Thank you for sharing this. I so love hearing what people's nature lives are like. I think the finch song is one of the sweetest. So cheerful, so light-hearted. We used to have a lot of grosbeaks, who are relatives of the finches at our other house, but here it is a red-letter day when they show up, any of the varieties is most welcome here!
I do love the finches too! They're friendly little things and don't mind when I'm outside near them and they set our bushes trembling when they're chattering and settling down for the night.Before naming our house here Home Hill we thought about naming it Finch Hill!
I believe its happening here too. Fewer birds at the bird feeders.
We still have quite a few at the feeders - the steady, old-friend chickadees, the sparrows, the mourning doves, the nuthatches. We used to have swallows but rarely see them in the spring. I've begun to wonder if three birds- the swallows, the bluebirds, and the phoebes don't just show up and go right to the nests of the previous years. We see them early, and we see the babies fly. And robins. The dear robins. They are nesting right now in the honeysuckle. We peeked in and she didn't move away. Nice for little Hazel to see.
Of course it is happening here. I wish I could quickly locate some of the stats I have read in the recent past. They even say the starling and house sparrows are beginning to decline. For years they were and continue to out some of our native birds from their nesting places. The world is topsy turvy. I love your header photo and the silhouette is priceless. Reminds me of your Grands.
Those big wind turbines are said to kill somewhere in the neighborhood of half a million birds per year in the U.S. (It depends on who you quote. I've found numbers ranging from 300,00 to 575,000 birds per year.)
This is so sad. However, I haven't noticed a decline in activity here. The birds empty our four feeders every 2-3 days! We have juncos, chickadees, finches, crossbills, grosbeaks, towhees, blue jays, varied thrushes and wrens. Oh, and the biggest and loudest crows I have ever seen. Don't need an alarm clock with them in our backyard every morning. :)I love that garden art/silhouette of the children. Looks like your three grandkids! So sweet!
I love your new garden ornament, Nan! And birds........ yes they are disappearing, but sometimes there is a good news story. We have lived at Pine Tree Cottage for 17 years now, and we are on a main road. The garden sits parallel with it. But. We have blackbirds nesting here (at least 2 pairs every year), goldfinches come from a garden across the road to sit on our TV aerial and sing; We have wood pigeons from a little stand of 7 beeches nearby. And best of all, for the first time in all those years, we have a party of house sparrows (at least 2 males and 2 females). The numbers of these are declining rapidly, but in the last year have steadied off a bit, and hey presto! 4 seem to have attached themselves to us! Yesterday we actually saw a male take his lunch on the wing...... in mid-flight he caught quite a large moth, and settled on the ground outside the kitchen to eat it.
What Packham doesn't mention, of course, is predation by larger birds like crows and magpies. Huge controvery here, with farmers wanting the right to shoot these pestilential birds, which have no natural predators themselves. What they do to baby lambs! Packham is opposed to all culling. I'm opposed to him.
A lot of the decline in bird species in Britain used to be blamed on cats, but they have now found that many sparrows are suffering from avian malaria. Where this came from is not known. There is also concern that microwaves may be detrimental to small animals. I don't know if this is proven, but I do know you never see birds perching on microwave masts as they used to perch on TV ariels.
I'll answer your comments as soon as I possibly can. Please do come back if you've asked a question.Also, you may comment on any post, no matter how old, and I will see it.