Skip to content. Skip to navigation

State of the Birds Report

Document Actions

Northern Visitors

Snowy Owl by Gerrit Vyn

Many birds that commonly visit the lower 48 states from the North are in steep decline. Shrinking populations of Snowy Owl, which shift south with great fanfare every few winters, may reflect changing climatic conditions in the Arctic. Winter flocks of Snow Buntings are also getting smaller.

The vast boreal forest, mostly in Canada, is a breeding nursery for hundreds of millions of birds that migrate through or winter in the U.S. Increasing timber, oil, and natural gas extraction is impacting boreal bird populations, contributing to long-term declines of Blackpoll, Cape May, and Wilson’s warblers, as well as Rusty Blackbird and Pine Siskin. Several new mining projects proposed from Minnesota to Maine would further damage southern boreal forest habitat within the U.S.

International efforts such as the Boreal Songbird Initiative are fostering cross-border research and conservation to stop the widespread decline of northern birds.


Previous page                                                                            Next page