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Connecticut report on birds shows an alarming decline in population

tern2.jpg
Photo by Marc Rivadeneyra, Courtesy of Audubon Connecticut
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Terns, as the one pictured here, are among the species in danger, according to a recent report.

Connecticut Audubon Society is sounding the alarm on declining bird populations. These species are indicators of the impact of climate change in the state and beyond, according to their latest State of the Birds report.

The report takes a closer look at some birds that are in need of help, including Roseate Terns, Semipalmated Sandpipers and Rusty Blackbirds.

Patrick Comins, director of Connecticut Audubon Society, said the state plays a critical role in the survival of over 400 different species, some even just passing through on their journey south for winter.

“In a lot of cases, Connecticut is the last stop before they hit water,” he said. “A lot of these birds are really long distance migrants, so when they find a place to stop via Connecticut, they’re going to stay for a few days, and they fly directly to their winter destination from here. It’s important we give it what it needs to continue its journey.”

North America has lost about 30% of its bird population in the last 50 years — that’s according to a 2019 study from the research journal, Science.

Comins said the most pressing issue is habitat loss. According to the report, 85% of the state could benefit from habitat restoration.

“There’s a huge swath of the state that can play a key role in making Connecticut more carbon neutral, but also provide wonderful habitat for birds, and just for Connecticut residents to get out and enjoy nature.”

Many bird populations have made impressive comebacks in the region, including osprey and bald eagle.

Sabrina is host and producer of WSHU’s daily podcast After All Things. She also produces the climate podcast Higher Ground and other long-form news and music programs at the station. Sabrina spent two years as a WSHU fellow, working as a reporter and assisting with production of The Full Story.