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    Repiglican Roast

    A spirited discussion of public policy and current issues

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    I'm furious about my squandered nation.

    Thursday, June 14, 2007

    Some Common Birds Not So Common Anymore

    The populations of nearly two dozen common American birds -- the fence-sitting meadowlark, the frenetic Rufous hummingbird and the whippoorwill with its haunting call -- are half what they were 40 years ago, a new analysis found.
    [...]
    Compared to 1967, there are 432 million fewer of these bird species, including the northern pintail, greater scaup, boreal chickadee, common tern, loggerhead shrike, field sparrow, grasshopper sparrow, snow bunting, black-throated sparrow, lark sparrow, common grackle, American bittern, horned lark, little blue heron and ruffed grouse.

    "Things we all think of as familiar backyard birds ... they appear in books and children's stories and suddenly some of them are way less familiar than they should be," said John Fitzpatrick, director of the Cornell ornithology lab, who was not part of the study.

    The northern bobwhite had the biggest drop among common birds. In 1967, there were 31 million of the plump ground-loving bird. Now they number closer to 5.5 million.
    Northern Bobwhite: George Peck

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