Terrence N. Ingram, president and executive director of Eagle Nature Foundation in Apple River, Ill., conducted his 2023 Spring Big Bird Day on May 6.

He started Big Bird Day in 2017 to document the loss of bird life because of agricultural sprays, he says in a news release.

Look for a bird bath with a gentle, gradual slope so birds can comfortably enter and exit the water.

“It is definitely doing that,” Ingram says. “Seven years ago, I was able to document 54 species of birds with hundreds of birds and that was fewer than in previous years. Each year the number of birds has been decreasing. This year we only documented 36 species and less than 100 birds all together. Of those 36 species only one bird of each of 20 species was seen.”

May 6 was mostly cloudy all day with the temperatures climbing only into the low 60s.

“This year we saw only 36 different species, which is seven less than last year. But the bigger concern is that of the 36 species seen, only one bird each of 20 of those species was seen all day.” In the case of six species, he saw only two birds of each species, the release says.

This year, one each of northern and orchard orioles were spotted. Four years ago, Ingram saw a maximum of 13 of them at one time. This year two birds at one time were the maximum. Ingram didn’t see or hear any flycatchers, goatsuckers, warblers, or vireos all day. 

Seven years ago he had walked about 3 1/2 miles on Big Bird Day. This year, he said, the only birds observed were from the house or deck. The temperature rose to about 61 degrees during the afternoon. 

By the end of the day, he saw only 36 species of birds, which is seven fewer than the number of species he had seen on last year’s Spring Big Bird Day. They were not the same species. Back in 2017 on Spring Big Bird Day he saw 54 species, which was low compared to previous years that were not documented.

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