A shocking new study has found the United States and Canada have lost nearly 3 billion birds since 1970, a 29% population drop. Researchers blamed numerous factors, including widespread habitat loss and the use of agricultural chemicals. Peter Marra of Georgetown University co-authored the report.
Peter Marra: “Birds are the quintessential ecosystem indicators. They are the canaries in the coal mine. When something’s going wrong with birds, something’s going wrong with the environment. It’s just not healthy. And so, in this study, because we’ve seen so many declines across so many different types of birds, from warblers to thrushes to even house sparrows — these non-native species in urban areas are declining — that’s not a good sign. That’s an indication that something is really wrong with the environment.”