Terrence N. Ingram, president of the Eagle Nature Foundation and author of “Silent Fall,” conducted his 7th Annual Fall Big Bird Day on Saturday, Sept. 3, at his home south of Apple River, Ill. On this day he documented only 74 birds of 24 species, the fewest he has seen in the past seven years of doing these counts.
Ingram started his Fall Big Bird Day Event after noticing that he was seeing fewer and fewer birds each fall and felt that someone needed to document this decline. He used to see hundreds and thousands of birds flying south daily each fall past his home, a news release says.
On his first Fall Big Bird Day in 2016 he saw 230 birds of 39 species. The numbers of birds and species he has seen have gradually been decreasing each year since then.
This loss of bird life indicates that the birds are having a tough time surviving in both Ingram’s area and further north, where many of these birds live during the summer. Ingram strongly believes that this loss of bird life is because of increased use of agricultural sprays, whether from aerial sprayers or ground sprayers. “Farmers have fallen victims to the big chemical companies’ claims that they can’t make a crop without using these sprays,” Ingram says in the release.
This year he saw only one bird each of eight species, including: American Kestrel, Hairy Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Red-Headed Woodpecker, Red-Bellied Woodpecker, Crow, Red-Breasted Nuthatch, and Northern House Wren. He saw two birds each of seven species, including: Mourning Doves, Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds, Barn Swallows, Black-Capped Chickadees, White-Breasted Nuthatches, Catbirds, and Cardinals. He saw three birds of 2 species, Blue Jays and Northern Orioles. He saw four birds each of five species, including: Nighthawks, Robins, House Sparrows, Red-Winged Blackbirds and House Finches. The most birds of any species seen were 14 Eurasian Collared Doves, he says.
This year, Ingram’s wife, Nancy, and Drew and Gilbert Walter from Dodgeville, Wisconsin, helped track sightings.
“I am afraid that soon there won’t be any birds left to see,, and my book ‘Silent Fall’ will become a reality,” Ingram said in the release.
For more information, contact Ingram at 815-594-2306.