On Sept. 9, Terrence Ingram will conduct his seventh Fall Big Bird Day. He started this annual bird count in 2016 to document the loss of birds to the agricultural sprays and the devastation that these sprays have been causing to bird life in the area, as well as the damage to insect and plant life, which is the lifeblood for the birds, a news release says. 

Each year he has been seeing fewer and fewer birds, both in numbers and varieties, the release says. 

Members of the public are invited to join Ingram at 8384 North Broadway Road, south of Apple River, where he will count birds from dawn until dusk.  If you plan to join him, call 815-594-2592 in advance, to let him know about what time he can expect you so that he will be close to the house and in the prairie or woods.             

To help the Eagle Nature Foundation raise money for their efforts to save the Bald Eagle, Ingram asks for pledges for how many species of birds he can identify on that day. After the count those people responding will receive a report as to how many bird species were seen on that date.

“The agricultural sprays have got to be stopped if we are to retain any portion of the world we used to live in,” Ingram said. “Not only are these sprays killing the birds, they are killing the insects as well.” He has not been able to keep any honeybee hives alive during the summer for the past eight years. “As these poisons are killing the birds and the insects, they are definitely having an affect on humans as well.  But maybe it will be too late when this is finally determined,” he said.  

 Ingram’s Big Bird Days do not just document the loss of bird life in his area. The lack of any migrating birds indicates that those birds which are nesting further north are having problems as well. 

“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.”

Just eight or nine years ago a person could look to the sky in the fall at most any time, especially during the evening, and see hundreds of birds migrating. There always seemed to be birds singing throughout the day, Ingram says.

On Sept. 9, Ingram – the author of “Silent Fall”- says a whole hour could go by without hearing a single bird.  

For more information, contact Ingram, executive director of Eagle Nature Foundation, 300 E. Hickory St., Apple River, IL 61001, or call 815-594-2306.