Important Bird Areas

Photo Group
Sora, a rail species that depends of wetlands.
Photo by: 
Rick Jordahl

Many of you have asked about the recent article, in the Kansas City Star about the disturbing decline in common birds. If you would like more information about this topic, we have many copies of the original article, Wake Up Call, that Audubon published in their magazine.

It is quite easy to look at the number of Common Grackle that are attacking your bird feeders and find it hard to believe there has been such a drastic drop in their numbers. You have to look at the big picture. Your bird feeders provide a perfect environment for grackle especially with such tremendous loss of quality natural habitat.

Ruth and I see it on our Breeding Bird Survey Routes we run each year. Where there is quality habitat like restored native tallgrass prairies, there are good numbers of quality birds. Highly disturbed areas are often void of anything but House Sparrows and starlings.

The Important Bird Areas program has been around for several years now and is a global effort to identify and protect lands that are critical to birds and other wildlife. Audubon Missouri has identified 47 sites as IBA and you can learn more about them on their website www.mo.audubon.org. Once there click on the Birds and Science tab.

By Mark McKellar

SUMMER 2007