Nature Canada

New report on massive bird declines shows evidence of ecological crisis

September 20, 2019


Nature Canada reacts to Decline of North American Avifauna report

Naturalist director Ted Cheskey available for interviews on bird declines in Canada

OTTAWA (Sept. 20, 2019)—Ted Cheskey, Naturalist Director of Nature Canada made the following statement in response to a new report in Science called, “Decline of North American Avifauna”:

“We can see in this report a lot of similarities between the State of Canada’s Birds 2019 report released in June. All regularly occurring 529 species in USA and Canada were analyzed for trends since 1970, and the news is not good.

The results from the 1970 to present analysis are net loss of 2.9 billion birds, out of around 10 billion total for USA and Canada. Groups that are doing especially poorly will be familiar to many Canadians: forest birds, grassland birds and aerial insectivores.

Even common birds like Red-winged blackbird, Horned Lark, House sparrow and Juncos have seen declines.

While some groups of birds have actually increased, the overall number of birds has plummeted. The paper is about the science, but the researchers also state that this is clearly a sign of ecological crisis that birds indicate so well.

Habitat loss, pesticides, cats, windows, and climate change are identified as key culprits.”



  • The full report is available at
  • In less than a single lifetime, North America has lost more than one in four of its birds, according to a report in the world’s leading scientific journal.
  • Nature Canada’s work involves monitoring and restoring habitat for shorebirds, aerial insectivores and grassland species around the country.
  • Nature Canada also runs the “Cats and Birds” campaign, an education and awareness program aimed at helping to keep cats safe and save bird lives.


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