On Saturday, May 7, 2022 Terrence Ingram, president of the Eagle Nature Foundation (ENF) conducted a Spring Big Bird Day at Apple Creek (Illinois) Prairie, Arboretum and Woods.
He started conducting this annual bird count in the year 2016 to document the loss of birds to the agricultural sprays and the devastation that these sprays have been causing to our bird life in the area, as well as the damage to insect and plant life, which is the lifeblood for the birds, Ingram says in a news release.
Each year he has been seeing fewer and fewer birds, both in numbers and varieties, Ingram says.
This year on Big Bird Day, Ingram recorded 43 species of birds. This is three more species than he had documented last year. Many of the species were different from those seen during last year. Of the 43 species he did see all day, he only saw one bird of 16 of those species, and two birds of 10 species.
To help the Eagle Nature Foundation raise money for their efforts to save the bald eagle and other endangered species, Ingram seeks pledges and has received $6.00 in pledges for each species seen that day. So far ENF has received donations of $630, not considering the per species pledges.
Ingram says agricultural sprays are killing both birds and insects. He says he has not been able to keep any honeybee hives alive during the summer for the past seven years, and that poisons killing the birds and the insects are having an affect on humans as well.
“The lack of very few migrating birds indicates that those birds which are nesting further north are having problems as well,” he said. “Without our insect-eating birds to help control insect populations, some of these insects will become a very real problem in the near future. Mosquitoes, gnats, locusts, and flies will be the first to get out of control. These local population outbreaks will expand and become widespread. We must work now to develop new non-chemical ways to grow our needed crops that will allow our birds and insects to survive.”
“Just 10 years ago a person could look to the sky in the spring at most any time, especially during the evening, and see hundreds of birds migrating. There always seemed to be birds singing throughout the day,” he said.
Ingram wrote a book, “Silent Fall,” about the loss of bird life.
For more information, call Ingram, in Apple River, Ill., at 815-594-2306.