Three billion birds lost from 1970- 2019: this is a tragedy and we have done it to them! For thousands of years birds lived on the beautiful plains full of wild flowers, spiders, tiny insects, and a variety of tasty food. We have come in and built houses on this precious prairie, destroyed the native plants and "weeds" filled with yummy seeds to devour, and replaced them with acres and acres of blue grass — attractive only to a Home Owners Association (HOA)! To add insult to injury, we spray pesticides that eliminate the insects and spiders on which birds exist and feed their young. Guaranteed death to both!
Let's give them a break! Dump the pesticides and stop using Round-Up. Plant some wild flowers. Let some weeds grow. Birds love dry dandelion blooms — and you can eat the greens — full of nutrition. Add plenty of fresh water resources; throw in a small pile of rotting wood; and supply them with suet and bark butter. Instead of planting tulips and roses, which provide nothing for birds and bees, plant bird-friendly plants instead. Your local greenhouse can help you choose wisely.
Lastly, folks, keep your cats inside. They kill thousands of birds every day. Plus, the outside is dangerous for your cat — exposure to disease, dogs, various wildlife, and traffic are the hazards they face.
We can change this trend and bring back our birds! Let's remember the warning of the canary in the mine. Your reward will be the privilege of hearing birds in a chorus of joy in your own backyard.
Janice G. Eckhardt,