Shocking Bird Population Decline as in The Bird Saviors

So for years I’ve been reading about and studying Climate Change (though I do find Global Weirding to be witty and accurate), for various reasons, some of them personal of course: I have a daughter who will live in this overheated-up world long after I do, I own a home at the foot of an abandoned/defunct ski resort in Colorado—its abandonment due at least in part to the decline of snowfall amounts it traditionally received, and am acutely aware of the increased fire danger in the Rockies. My novel The Bird Saviors concerns the lives and loves of two people who are studying bird population decline, a field biologist and his assistant. Some of the species they were studying include Horned Larks and Western Meadowlarks, two lovely bird species common to the area around my home (both favoring grassland or prairie habitat). This week the New York Times featured an op-ed (here) and a separate piece about a Science magazine article (here) about the shocking decline of bird species throughout the country. It’s not simply Climate Change that is the root of a bird population decline of roughly 30% (the main theory is it’s due to habitat loss), but there’s a complexity of causes here: Climate Change is part of the reason for the habitat loss.
I’ve noticed it firsthand. In my Colorado neck of the woods, the Wet Mountain Valley, we used to drive past prairies and ranch land where it seemed there was a Meadowlark (with its beautiful, liquid song) on every fencepost: Now you hardly see any. Same is true for many other species. (It seems the American Kestrel population has dropped off the map as well: The Bird Saviors ends with an image of a Kestrel—a small, lovely hawk.) I’ve been too busy with other writing projects to keep up the Sisyphean task of blogging about Climate Change (it’s in the background of all my current fiction; it’s part of our world), but I keep reading about it. Most keenly I’m understandably exasperated/disgusted by our government’s inability to do anything about it, or by its outright idiocy, such as Trump’s attempt to ban California’s attempt to raise emission standards or his turning the EPA into an agent of environmental destruction.

This entry was posted in Birding, books/film, Climate Change, The West, writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *