Bird populations of many species are in serious decline across the US. Recent studies report that approximately one-third of the US bird species border on endangered or threatened status. For the most part, humans take the blame for the reduction in numbers, for a variety of reasons.
The biggest contributor in the population decline is the loss of habitat. The building boom in the United States in the past century has virtually destroyed the natural nesting grounds of many of the birds in question. Birds that are native to or migrate through highly populated areas, such as coastal regions, seem to have the biggest drop in population.
The other major factor, tying humans to the slow extinction of birds, is the impact on the environment. Air and water pollution are also placing the birds in grave danger. Smog, pesticides, and other environmental issues are affecting the air, water and plant life that birds rely on for survival. Food sources are dwindling or contaminated. Climate change is driving them from their natural habitats. Accidents, such as oil and chemical spills, are killing birds off. People are not only destroying their own natural habitat, but also that of every living thing, including birds.
Surprisingly, hunting is not to blame for the majority of the problems in this recent discovery, though continuing to hunt some of the affected species could be detrimental. Unlike past problems with species becoming endangered in populated areas, the intentional killing of birds has not caused a significant reduction in the numbers. People who hunt might add to the problem, but they are not the base of the issue.
It is certainly possible for humans and birds to coexist in the United States, but not without some serious changes. Protecting established nesting areas and reducing the environmental impact on natural resources would help to slow the decline of the birds. Everyone must take part in these efforts, for there to be hope for the future of the dropping numbers of birds.