Bird populations are in alarming decline – songbirds especially – as we see in CBC’s Nature of Things program on SongbirdSOS (March 2015). We have lost nearly half of songbirds in the last 50 years. The episode is available online along with supplementary information on what action we can take.
There are several excellent websites for learning more about birds – whether aspects of birding through field guides and tutorials, or the urgent need today to protect birds and their habitat.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a good starting point for bird lovers of every age and knowledge level – especially its section on All About Birds. The main Cornell website also has tutorials, news, and videos for free viewing, and some learning resources for sale.
Audubon is all about birds and birding – news, projects, magazine, conservation, advocacy. It provides THE Field Guide to North American birds. Those in the United States can join a local Audubon chapter.
Bird Studies Canada advances “the understanding, appreciation and conservation of Canada’s wild birds and their habitats.” BSC is based in Port Rowan in Ontario and has regional offices across Canada. It issues a monthly e-newsletter, the quarterly Bird Watch Canada, and occassional studies. The newsletter will keep you informed of events, surveys, new studies, and opportunities for volunteering.
eBird Canada partners with Bird Studies Canada to provide a means for participants to record their bird observations through a real-time, online checklist program.
Boreal Songbird Initiative focuses on protecting the North American Boreal forest for birds and wildlife. The boreal forest in Canada’s north is “North America’s bird nursery” that are essential for migratory birds. The BSI aim is to conserve at least 50% of this forest. It is currently running a program to gain widespread support for Boreal Birds Need Half.
I hope that this short resource list will help us all appreciate birds more and do what we can to halt the population decline.