Arts, Dining & Entertainment

Find out, Where Have All the Songbirds Gone?

Courtesy of Jeff Nadler

BICKNELL’S THRUSH

Wednesday, Aug. 19 at 7:30 p.m. — BELMONT — If it sounds like someone turned down the volume on the birdsong chorus in the nearby trees, you’re not imagining things. Many species of songbirds in Vermont have declined dramatically in recent years. “Saving the Songbirds,” a free forum Wednesday, Aug. 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mount Holly Town Library, will examine the threat to songbirds and what’s being done to reverse the problem.

Chris Rimmer, an ornithologist and Executive Director of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, will lead the program, as part of the popular “Know Your Wild Neighbors” summer wildlife education series sponsored by local community and conservation groups.

The birds at risk range from common species such as the Bobolink – often seen singing its bubbly song on the wing or from fence posts around hayfields – to Bicknell’s Thrush, a reclusive songster that lives in northeastern mountaintop forests and flies a long migration path to a handful of Caribbean islands each winter.

“No one cause can be pinpointed as to why so many songbird populations are diminishing”, says Rimmer, “but we need to better understand the factors underlying declines so that we can rectify them. Songbirds add immeasurably to our quality of life here in Vermont, but they play vital ecological and economical roles too.” Beyond the beauty of birdsong and the importance of conserving all wildlife, birds are important to humans because they disperse seeds, control insect populations, and, like bees, pollinate flowers.

For more info, email [email protected] or call 802-259-2235.

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