Sunday, June 17, 2007

Common yard birds disappearing in Oregon

Another sign of big trouble.

Local News | Common yard birds disappearing in Oregon | Seattle Times Newspaper:

PORTLAND, Ore. — It may be getting a little more quiet in back yards as a steep population decline continues among common birds such as the Western meadowlark in the Portland metro area.

The meadowlark — the state bird — has nearly vanished as grassland habitat gives way to housing and parking lots.

The rufous hummingbird that winters in Mexico but returns to the wooded Northwest to breed has declined 79 percent in Oregon over the past 40 years. Even the familiar red-breasted robins have declined nearly 3 percent per year in the Portland metro area over the same period.

'There are a lot of species that we take for granted around here that are having real trouble,' said Bob Sallinger of the Audubon Society of Portland.

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