An Article submitted to Niagara At Large by Lynda Goodridge
Posted November 24th, 2021 on Niagara At Large
Niagara, Ontario – This past October, Deb Sherk (a fellow Fort Erie resident and President of the Fort Erie-based Bert Miller Nature Club) and I made a presentation to our local Fort Erie Town Council (in Niagara, Ontario) asking them to consider working towards becoming a Bird Friendly City.
The Great Egret and the Great Blue Heron are able to co-exist with one another, but will they be able to continue to exist in waterways which are increasingly congested by human traffic and polluted by human activities? Photo by Ron Goodridge
At a council meeting this November 22nd, we were pleased to see Fort Erie Council approve a motion, directing the town’s staff to “provide a memorandum offering suggestions on how staff can investigate and provide recommendations on becoming a Bird Friendly Municipality.”
This initiative is actually a process that leads to certification, under guidelines developed by Nature Canada. It recognizes the efforts made by cities to save birds and to acknowledge the important role that they play in maintaining our ecosystems.
A major study done by Cornell University, specifically the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, shows a cumulative loss of nearly *three billion* birds since 1970, across most North American biomes (aquatic, grassland, forest, desert, tundra).
This new study finds steep, long-term losses in virtually all groups of birds in Canada and the U.S. Another way to phrase this is from the Audubon Society which states that North America has lost more than 1 in 4 birds in the last 50 years.
About 90 percent of the missing birds came from 12 distinct and widespread bird families – including warblers, sparrows, blackbirds and finches. Grasslands in particular posted the biggest losses, with more than 700 million breeding individuals lost across 31 species since 1970. Continue reading