Friday, March 20, 2009

State of Northwest Birds

Thursday's State of the Birds Report has some chilling findings about some local birds. In the section on Western Forests, it mentions a variety of imperilled birds, beyond our local threatened species: the marbled murrelet and spotted owl.
Among them, the black swift, a stunning flier that spends its winters in the tropics, and breeds behind mountain waterfalls -- making it dependent on summer stream flows and snowpack -- two things that are declining as our region's temperatures increase.
Also declining: the olive-sided flycatcher, varied thrush, band-tailed pigeon, rufous hummingbird, and chestnut-backed chickadee.
The section on coastal birds, details declines in shorebirds and in other species that depend on beach habitats. And common murres have declined by 76 percent over the past 40 years.

Common Murres. Image source: Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.

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