By Gregory B. Hladky
4:01 PM EST, February 22, 2013
This sounds like one of those "canary in the mineshaft" sort of alerts.
The Connecticut Audubon Society is warning that 17 different bird species in Connecticut are undergoing dramatic declines in population.
If you think that doesn't really impact your life, these are all "insectivore" birds that catch and eat insects like mosquitos and other nasty flying bugs.
These bird experts are worried that pesticides and other pollutants may be responsible for the declines.
And those canaries that miners used to take down with them when digging shafts for coal and other minerals? The reason they did that was to get an early warning of dangerous gases or lack of oxygen. If that was happening, those canaries would keel over and maybe give the miners time to save themselves before it was too late.
Here's the Audubon Society release:
Fairfield, Ct., Feb. 22, 2013 - Concerned with the dramatic decline of 17 species of birds that nest in Connecticut and eat only insects caught while flying, Connecticut Audubon Society today called for a multi-agency program of research and assessment along with immediate remedies such as cuts in pesticide use and the creation of man-made nesting sites.
The recommendations and action plan are contained in Connecticut State of the Birds 2013, "The Seventh Habitat and the Decline of Our Aerial Insectivores." Released annually since 2006 by Connecticut Audubon Society, Connecticut State of the Birds has become the leading research-based assessment of conservation conditions in the state.
The 17 species - known as aerial insectivores because they eat bugs on the wing - include beautiful and well-known birds such as Barn Swallows, Whip-poor-wills, Common Nighthawks, Chimney Swifts, Purple Martins and Tree Swallows.They are suffering from a long-term population decline that, if unchecked, threatens their survival.
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