Why Birds Really Matter

Many of us awaken each morning to the sound of songbirds greeting the day. Birds are such a ubiquitous part of our lives that most of the time we don’t even notice them. Yet the truth is that their numbers are declining sharply. According to the State of North America’s Bird Report 2016, more than one-third of North American bird species are at risk of extinction without significant conservation action.

The issue of conservation is not, in fact, for the birds. This week, thousands of ornithological professionals gathered in Washington, D.C. to address the issue of bird conservation at the largest-ever North American Ornithological Conference, hosted for the first time by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center.

Birds are indicators of environmental health. They are quite literally the canary in the coal mine who let us know when something is not right in our ecosystem.

Listen as former President Jimmy Carter and a nine-year-old aspiring ornithologist explain why birds really matter.

2016 North American Ornithological Conference

Nine-year-old aspiring ornithologist Keith Gagnon explains why birds really matter:

Posted: 19 August 2016
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