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Silence of the Songbirds

By Bridget Joan Stutchbury, 1962-

Wood thrush, Kentucky warbler, the Eastern kingbird--migratory songbirds are disappearing at a frightening rate. By some estimates, we may already have lost almost half of the songbirds that filled the skies only forty years ago. Renowned biologist Bridget Stutchbury convincingly argues that songbirds truly are the "canaries in the coal mine"--except the coal mine looks a lot like Earth and we are the hapless excavators.
 
Following the birds on their six-thousand-mile migratory journey, Stutchbury leads us on an ecological field trip to explore firsthand the major threats to songbirds: pesticides, still a major concern decades after Rachel Carson first raised the alarm; the destruction of vital habitat, from the boreal forests of Canada to the diminishing continuous forests of the United States to the grasslands of Argentina; coffee plantations, which push birds out of their forest refuges so we can have our morning fix; the bright lights and structures in our cities, which prove a minefield for migrating birds; and global warming. We could well wake up in the near future and hear no songbirds singing. But we won't just be missing their cheery calls, we'll be missing a vital part of our ecosystem. Without songbirds, our forests would face uncontrolled insect infestations, and our trees, flowers, and gardens would lose a crucial element in their reproductive cycle. As Stutchbury shows, saving songbirds means protecting our ecosystem and ultimately ourselves.
 
Some of the threats to songbirds:
• The U.S. annually uses 4-5 million pounds of active ingredient acephate, an insecticide that, even in small quantities, throws off the navigation systems of White-throated sparrows and other songbirds, making them unable to tell north from south.
• The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conservatively estimated that 4-5 million birds are killed by crashing into communication towers each year.
• A Michigan study found that 600 domestic cats killed more than 6,000 birds during a typical 10-week breeding season.
Wood thrush, Kentucky warbler, the Eastern kingbird--migratory songbirds are disappearing at a frightening rate. By some estimates, we may already have lost almost half of the songbirds that filled the skies only forty years ago. Renowned biologist Bridget Stutchbury convincingly argues that songbirds truly are the "canaries in the coal mine"--except the coal mine looks a lot like Earth and we are the hapless excavators.
 
Following the birds on their six-thousand-mile migratory journey, Stutchbury leads us on an ecological field trip to explore firsthand the major threats to songbirds: pesticides, still a major concern decades after Rachel Carson first raised the alarm; the destruction of vital habitat, from the boreal forests of Canada to the diminishing continuous forests of the United States to the grasslands of Argentina; coffee plantations, which push birds out of their forest refuges so we can have our morning fix; the bright lights and structures in our cities, which prove a minefield for migrating birds; and global warming. We could well wake up in the near future and hear no songbirds singing. But we won't just be missing their cheery calls, we'll be missing a vital part of our ecosystem. Without songbirds, our forests would face uncontrolled insect infestations, and our trees, flowers, and gardens would lose a crucial element in their reproductive cycle. As Stutchbury shows, saving songbirds means protecting our ecosystem and ultimately ourselves.
 
Some of the threats to songbirds:
• The U.S. annually uses 4-5 million pounds of active ingredient acephate, an insecticide that, even in small quantities, throws off the navigation systems of White-throated sparrows and other songbirds, making them unable to tell north from south.
• The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conservatively estimated that 4-5 million birds are killed by crashing into communication towers each year.
• A Michigan study found that 600 domestic cats killed more than 6,000 birds during a typical 10-week breeding season.

Format

Book

Availability

1 available at Main (Downtown)
  • 598.8 Stu, Nonfiction

Publish Date

2007

ISBN

0802716091


Format: Book
Author: Stutchbury, Bridget Joan, 1962-
Title: Silence of the songbirds / Bridget Stutchbury.
Publisher Date: New York : Walker & Company, 2007.
Subject: Songbirds Endangered species
Isbn: 0802716091 9780802716095
Current Holds: 0
System Items Available: 1
System Items Total: 1
Call Number: 598.8 Stu
Oclc: 123769909
Upc:
Bib Id: 270491

Format: Book
Author: Stutchbury, Bridget Joan, 1962-
Title: Silence of the songbirds / Bridget Stutchbury.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
Publisher, Date: New York : Walker & Company, 2007.
Description: 256 p. : ill. (some col.), maps ; 24 cm.
Subjects: Songbirds
Subjects: Endangered species
Notes: Includes bibliographical references (p. 227-244) and index.
Contents: Paradise not yet lost : the tanagers and warblers of Gamboa, Panama -- Canaries in the mine : songbirds and our ecosystem -- The breeding bird survey : taking a census of migrating birds -- Birds in the rainforest : the effects of deforestation and fragmentation -- Coffee with a conscience : preserving bird habitats, one cup of coffee at a time -- Falling from the sky : the ongoing scourge of pesticides -- Bright lights, big danger : small-town and big-city hazards to migrating songbirds -- Stalking the songbirds : cowbirds, cats, and other predators -- Living on the edge : birds need not just homes but neighbourhoods -- Epilogue : answering the cry of the songbirds.
ISBN: 0802716091
ISBN: 9780802716095
Requests: 0
Available Copies: 1
Total Copies: 1
Call Number: 598.8 Stu