The red-headed woodpecker (Melanerpes erythocephalus) was once a very common woodpecker. These birds fly to catch insects in the air or on the ground, forage on trees or gather and store nuts. They are omnivorous, eating insects, seeds, fruits, berries, nuts, and occasionally even the eggs of other birds. In the mid-1800s, John James Audubon stated that the red-headed woodpecker was the most common woodpecker in North America. He called them semi-domesticated because they weren’t afraid of people. He stated that they were camp robbers and also a pest.
A new study, carried out by RSPB Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), estimates that there are just 1,114 Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) left in Scotland, making it one of the country’s rarest birds. Capercaillie – the world’s biggest grouse species – is Red Listed as a Bird of Conservation Concern and is at real risk of extirpation in Britain, according the RSPB. It is found in mature pine woodlands in parts of the Highlands, Moray, Aberdeenshire and Perthshire, with Strathspey holding around 83 per cent of the remaining population.
In Hawaii's Kauai island, the native forest birds are in peril. Once considered a paradise for the colorful songbirds, the island has lost more than half of those native species. Of the eight forest bird species on the island, three are listed as endangered. Among them is the puaiohi. The small gray and brown bird with pink feet now numbers less than 500. It feeds on the fruits of native plants and plays a vital role in seed dispersal.
The extremely rare green peafowl (Pavo muticus) is a close cousin of the more common blue peacock (Pavo cristatus) found across the Indian subcontinent. The green peafowl, too, was once widespread, but less than 20,000 individuals remain in the world today, mostly scattered across Southeast Asia. The green peafowl’s populations are in serious decline and the species is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List. China is home to about 500 of these birds, all of which are known to occur only in the Yunnan province.
The Scarlet Robin (Petroica boodang) is a small, insectivorous woodland bird whose male population sports a bright red breast and a white cap. Many are lucky enough to still see them around paddocks and homesteads in the cooler months. However, they are a species in serious decline. It has been determined by the NSW Scientific Committee that the Scarlet Robin is facing a high risk of extinction in NSW in the medium-term future. The ‘Save Our Scarlet Robin’ project is funded by the NSW Government via its Environmental Trust and will run for 10 years (to 2026) in the south east of NSW.
Some species of North American hummingbirds are in severe decline and a British Columbia research scientist says one possible cause might be the same insecticide affecting honey bees. Christine Bishop with Environment and Climate Change Canada said researchers started looking at a variety of factors that may be responsible, ranging from habitat loss to changes when plants bloom. To try and find some answers, researchers began collecting urine and feces from the birds for testing.
Midden jaren zeventig werd de broedpopulatie van de zomertortel (Streptopelia turtur) geschat op 35.000 to 50.000 paar en kwam de soort nog bijna overal in Nederland voor. Eind jaren negentig was de broedpopulatie sterk ingezakt, naar 10.000 tot 12.000 paar. In de periode 2008-11 broedden nog maar 5.000 paar in ons land. Veldwerk dat in 2013-15 voor de nieuwe Vogelatlas van Sovon Vogelonderzoek Nederland is uitgevoerd toont een nog schrijnender beeld. Het zou zomaar kunnen dat we niet veel verder komen dan hooguit 2.000 broedpaar.
When Ashtabula County Master Gardeners speak to local groups about creating bird-friendly landscapes, the volunteers are often asked why certain bird species are disappearing from backyard feeders. At times the answer is simply that some birds, like goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis), move from place to place within their territory to ensure a food source isn’t depleted. Another reason is not quite so benign. Many native bird populations are in serious decline because of the loss of habitat and subsequent food sources.
It is the epitome of spring’s awakening but this year the sound of the cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) has become increasingly rare. The bird has declined by two thirds in twenty years. Reasons for its scarcity are unclear but one possibility is associated with its overwintering grounds in Africa. Another factor may be related to the cuckoo’s diet which consists of hairy caterpillars and the larvae of the garden tiger moth that has suffered a massive decline, along with moths in general. Pesticide spraying and grubbing out of hedgerows are probably to blame too.
In Niedersachsen gibt es nur noch rund 200 der in ganz Deutschland extrem selten gewordenen Birkhühner (Lyrurus tetrix, Syn.: Tetrao tetrix). Diese Restpopulation in der Lüneburger Heide sei eines der letzten ursprünglichen Vorkommen in Mitteleuropa, teilte die Landesjägerschaft in Hannover mit. Bei einem bundesweiten Bestand von nur noch rund 1200 Exemplaren komme dem Vorkommen eine besondere Bedeutung zu. „Das Birkwild war bis zur Mitte des 20. Jahrhundert ein Charaktervogel der norddeutschen Moore und Heiden“, sagte Egbert Strauß, Wildbiologe der Landesjägerschaft.