Update: About those claims of declining bird populations due to ‘climate change’

Guest Essay by Kip Hansen



Science is a wonderful thing. As time moves on, in a single direction, Science, as an endeavor, corrects past misunderstandings. Unfortunately, corrections seldom hit the headlines. Rather, corrections slowly backfill our store of knowledge eventually coming to the fore, at first in odd places, and finally become generally accepted.

Last October I wrote an essay here entitled “About those claims of declining bird populations due to ‘climate change’“ . The popular press and environmental activists were making wild claims about declines of bird populations over time. The bottom line of the essay was that changing land use, and the persistent drought in the southwest, was generally responsible.

(Well, that and free-roaming domestic cats who wreak havoc on ground- and low-nesting birds in urban and suburban areas.)

My sons are hunters in the area known as Upstate New York – generally, any part of New York state north of the NY/NJ megalopolis. When I visit in the summer, I get a hunting license so I can tag along with them while they walk the wild woods of the Catskills. Getting a hunting license means I also get a copy of the current year’s “New York: Hunting and Trapping Official Guide to Laws and Regulations”. In this years edition, we find on page 74 an article titled “The Young Forest Initiative”.

(Yes, I know, I am supposed to tell you about the birds…I’m getting there.)

The Young Forest Initiative is designed to handle a particular environmental problem in New York State: the lack of forest clearcutting has resulted in a serious decline of some species of birds and small mammals that require young forests – sometimes called transitional forests. The article leads with:

“DEC’s [Department of Environmental Conservation] Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources (DFWMR) recently launched the Young Forest Initiative to considerably increase habitat management on Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) for wildlife that need young forests. Important game species like American woodcock, ruffed grouse, and snowshoe hare all rely on this disturbance-dependent habitat, as do many at-risk species such as New England cottontail, golden-winged warbler, and many charismatic and well-known songbirds such as brown thrasher and eastern (“rufous-sided”) towhee. Population declines of these species are attributed to a lack of habitat that they require for foraging, cover, nesting and raising young. To address this issue, the goal of the YF Initiative is to create, restore and maintain habitat on WMAs so that 10% of the forested area can be considered young forest.”

What has caused this loss of habitat?

“Historically, natural disturbances such as fire, flooding, insect outbreaks, or environmental engineering by beavers, as well as human-caused events like logging and farmland abandonment, created young forests. Decades of suppression of these natural processes and changes in human land use have resulted in a landscape that is largely mature forest.”

To correct this lack of young forest, the DEC says:

“ Today, active land management is required to maintain young forests throughout New York’s landscape. DFWMR is working with the Division of Lands and Forests to ensure that there is ample habitat for young forest-dependent species. Forest regeneration cuts — such as clearcuts, shelterwood cuts, and seed tree cuts, as well as salvage operations following natural disturbance — are one of the tools that land managers use to create a diversity of habitats and forest age classes.”

The bottom line is that the shift away from clearcutting to harvest timber and create pastureland and farm fields, along with suppression for forest fires and, in many areas, removal of “pest beavers” to prevent their dam building which floods the property of rural homeowners, as happens in my area of the Catskills, has resulted in the seemingly good situation of New York state having “mostly mature forests”. However, a homogenized environment is not what wildlife needs. It needs all kinds of habitat niches – including clearcut and burned over areas, beaver-dam created meadows as well as mown hay fields and highway roadsides and fence line hedges.

Here in New York State we find the following situation: “New York state is 63 percent forested — forests cover 18.9 million acres of our 30 million total acres. Much of this land is privately owned and managed for wood or pulp. Most of the land owned by the state is forested.” Of that almost 19 million acres, only 350,000 acres are considered “old growth” (containing a natural succession of trees, oldest being 180 to 200 years old). For us here in New York, that means that the clearcutting of the 1800’s and 1900’s removed most of those 19 million acres of trees. In my area of the Catskills, forests were removed for building materials, both local and to build New York City, to access bluestone deposits (made into sidewalks and curbing for NY City), burned for charcoal, and to create endless, almost continguous, pastureland for sheep and cattle. In fact, in my particular area near the Catskill Park, one finds nearly all the woods are crisscrossed with old stone fences that once separated fields and pastures and whole woodsy neighborhoods are built on tailing piles from old bluestone quarries.

All that change – from mature forest clearcut to make to pastureland, later abandoned back to young forest and, in many areas now, back to mature mixed hardwood/softwood forest – produced magnificently varied habitats for wildlife here. As I highlighted in last October’s essay, the recent declines in some species – remember, most species are increasing – are due to land use changes such as the abandonment of marginal farmland and pastureland – but another change has been in the slowdown – almost a complete stoppage – of the clearcutting forested areas.

Now with the Young Forest Initiative, New York’s DEC is initiating clearcutting five and ten acre plots to restore the natural balance to the environment, making living and breeding spaces for the wildlife that needs transitional and young forest habitats to be successful. Their goal is to have 10% of their managed forests in the process of transitioning from clearcut to young forest to mature forest, all at varying stages over time.

The Bottom Line:

The current view of environmentalists seems to be that change itself is bad, that it is our duty to preserve things the way they are today (or return them to the way they were “when I was young”, or “in my grandfather’s day”). This view slops over into the reports of such groups as the Audubon Society which cries disaster when bird populations are found to be changing — decreasing in some areas – when in fact, bird populations are doing what they always do, they change in step with the changes of their environments.

New York state’s Department of Environmental Conservation has a better idea – stop preventing change, initiate change to improve the environment for native species. Rather than decry clearcutting and the harvest of trees, step up clearcutting, it is not destruction but creation, to make room for species that need those re-growing young forests to prosper.

How cheering to find common sense and applied science overruling the madness of “Stop Everything” we hear so often from the overwrought but under-thinking.

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Author’s Comment Policy: This essay is not about Global Warming, Global Cooling, Carbon oxides, or Climate (changing or not). I am not generally qualified to respond to questions about those subjects and won’t do so.

I will be happy to answer your questions about the essay above or the original essay last October. I like birds.

Anyone foolish enough to take the bait to talk about my opinions on free-roaming domestic cats and their effect on bird and small mammal populations should be prepared to suffer the consequences (chuckle…)

I look forward to reading your comments shared here.

# # # # #

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October 7, 2015 9:37 pm

I think my home state of WI does this clear cutting for transitional purposes as about 8 years ago when we were hunting on public land one of the spots we picked for the three of us (My dad, brother and I) was a clear cut area. I’m glad that states DNR’s are realizing that animals, just like ourselves, are creatures of habit, but adaptable to change and we should study more how our current forest management policies are actually affecting natural flora and fauna instead of assuming that clear cutting, forest fires, and floods are bad.

Robert Ballard
Reply to  rangerike1363
October 8, 2015 7:07 am

As with many issues the conclusions of careful study are pushed to the side by organized activism. Try convincing a legislator under attack by grade school letter campaigns to support treating feral cats as vermin in SW Wisconsin to protect the many species of ground nesting birds. On the other hand, it can be demonstrated that all life is invasive give the opportunity to expand into a new environment. Any justification for picking niche winners and losers beside basic economic self interest is emotional folly. A true “natural area” cannot be a “Nature Preserve”.

Reply to  Robert Ballard
October 8, 2015 9:28 am

Feral cats? Trap and kill them, like we do rats.

Sweet Old Bob
Reply to  Robert Ballard
October 8, 2015 11:33 am

In my area (eastern Ks ) the majority of farmers and ranchers LIKE the cats ,hate the rodents and the loss and damages they cause . Large areas are off limit to all but trusted hunters , some totally off limits to hunting due to city slicker hunters who think they have the right to tell the farmers/ranchers how to run their land.
In my area, the biggest threat to Quail is wild turkeys.
A feral cat won’t make a pimple on the a$$ of a bobcat…..and we have plenty of them.
Oh , and we still have good bird hunting….
I think cats are like CO2…their effect is greatly over-estimated…..

October 7, 2015 9:43 pm

I studied birds and worked to improve habitat for birds. The climate alarmism that is suggesting birds have been threatened by climate change is not supported by recent claims by Audbon http://landscapesandcycles.net/audubon-s-bad-climate-science.html Audubon has used climate fear mongering to help fund raising, but the real result is a misrepresentation of how populations naturally change as landscapes evolve, and accurately determining when landscapes change is detrimental and when it is beneficial

Reply to  jim Steele
October 8, 2015 3:15 am

True Jim, but most natural changes benefit one species group or another possibly new species. Environments, like climates, change and have done for 4.5Ga, so who is to say which is good , which bad. Even mined areas come good in the end.

Reply to  jim Steele
October 8, 2015 4:10 pm

In my neck of the woods audobon had a million dollar deal to study bird deaths from a proposed winnd farm

Reply to  jim Steele
October 11, 2015 8:36 am

Not to mention, but I will, that one of the biggest killers of birds and bats these days are wind and solar farms. The worst being that raptors are increasingly affected, not just song birds.

October 7, 2015 9:45 pm

Progressive environmentalists have the same intellectual deficiency affliction common to all Progressives, The Never Enough Syndrome.
If by some stroke of the pen, God or Big Government gave them everything they were asking for today, by tomorrow it would not be enough. So they would be protesting for more, claiming some new level of insufficiency exists, demanding evermore. The only cure for rational society is too ignore them like the spoiled children they have become.

Louis Hunt
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
October 7, 2015 9:54 pm

And if by some stroke of bad luck progressives gained the ability to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as much as they wanted, they would end up killing us all.

Reply to  Louis Hunt
October 15, 2015 7:35 am

Let Obama play with his global warming toy all he wants, while CO2 keeps increasing on its merry way to make planet Earth a better place to live. Earth dynamics is well contained by self-regulating negative feedback the meaning of which escapes alarmists’ ability to understand. In the last 17 years CO2 level increased by 38 ppm, while the real global temperature keeps coming down. CO2 is what all life on our planet is made from, and there is never enough of it satisfy the demand by all vegetation to thrive. Advanced greenhouses add 3 times the ambient level of CO2 and show production increases up to 40%. Whatever little CO2 humans can produce can only add up to benefit the life as we know it, if effective at all.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
October 7, 2015 11:21 pm

That is by far the best description I’ve ever heard for their mental illness. It should be in the DSM. Totally agree on the treatment!

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
October 8, 2015 1:58 am

Another good example of “The Never Enough Syndrome” is here in the UK. The govenment has just introduced a rule that large businesses now have to charge customers for plastic bags, but businesses employing less than, I think, 50 people don’t have to. .Whilst I think this is a good rule, the campaingers are immediately chanting “Not Enough, Not enough”. They now want a complete ban. I wonder what their chant will be if they succeed in that.

Reply to  Harrowsceptic
October 8, 2015 4:21 am

and the majority of households actually used reused those bags as they were reasonable strength, for storage of bits n bobs or to put the garbage out in..
so what happened in Aus when our leaders did this?
people pay for better thicker bags and many reuse them still, a lot dont.
and the others buy woven nylon bags for a dollar that disintegrate to really foul nylon dust in 12 mths or less in sunshine ie no good for shed storage.
and the sales of binliner bags soared!
what did it solve or remedy?
bugger all!!!
made more profit for big biz plastics in truth

Reply to  Harrowsceptic
October 8, 2015 5:44 am

It’s obvious. After ban the bags, it will be ban the businesses. And that will be utopia.

Gerry, England
Reply to  Harrowsceptic
October 8, 2015 5:49 am

It is 250 staff not 50. And then there is a list of products which can have a free bag unless you put something else in it that isn’t on the free list. The government are charging VAT on the 5p charge and the remaining money might go to charity but there is nothing in law to say this. A simple idea given to bureaucrats emerges in pages of confusion. The idea that bags get reused around the home is lost on them but then the aim is to reduce litter as well as reduce the number used.

Reply to  Harrowsceptic
October 8, 2015 6:12 am

On a similar and related topic (to the plastic bag regulation) I have just spent the last two days cutting up a tirolia stove (like an aga) in situ, in my kitchen and hauling the boiler and various filthy parts through into my garden.
I used two kinds of angle grinder, a 580watt grinder for thin metal and a 2000watt grinder for some more hefty parts.
Whilst doing this job, I also had to continually remove 20 years of soot and ash, plus angle grinding debris.
I used my 2300watt Hoover to do this. Sometime on reduced power and sometimes on full power because the job required it.
The alternative would have been to brush up the soot and debris as I went, which would have created large amounts of hazardous airborne dust and caused me to become exhausted.
It occurred to me whilst I did all this, that the vacuum cleaner that I was using has now been removed from the E.U. market due to restrictions on maximum power rating.
Sadly, for the job that I was doing, a 700watt floor sweeper would not have sufficed.
Just as I DID have to use my 2000watt angle grinder, I also DID have to use all 2300watts of hoover power for the more stubborn soot removal tasks.
Who are these morons that they should dictate that people shall not hoover at above 700watts?
And has it not occured to them that whilst in my situation I may have eventually managed, I may have saved approx. 20 pence worth of leccy, at the cost of wasting maybe an extra 2 hours of my time, slaving, whilst breathing in massive quantities of soot.
Yes, I suppose that wasting time pointlessly slaving and breathing in soot, would be their prefered options.
Victorian England, here we come!!

Reply to  Harrowsceptic
October 8, 2015 6:41 am

Ridiculous it is, IMO.
About ten thousand of those bags equal like two ounces of plastic.
They should do something useful, like walk around picking up litter if they are so concerned.

D.J. Hawkins
Reply to  Harrowsceptic
October 8, 2015 7:50 am

@Kip Hansen
Yes, I believe it is a cornstarch based plastic. Just don’t confuse the two, or you may wind up with your onions all over the floor at some point!

Reply to  Harrowsceptic
October 8, 2015 8:04 am

“there is a formulation of plastic for these bags that causes them to disintegrate after a time in either sun or water (in a land fill or in “the wild”)”
Yeah the one big piece now becomes lots and lots of little ugly pieces. Had a forgotten trash bag deteriorate at the back of my yard, heck of a time picking up all of the pieces which continued to come apart. And all of the ugly smaller pieces are still unnatural plastic. Of course some don’t have a problem with a beach site (for example) loaded with this kind of broken down washed up plastic as long as it’s still “disintegrating”.

Reply to  Harrowsceptic
October 8, 2015 8:49 am

Er ….
Sorry to nitpick, but for “UK” read “England”.
Scotland has had this for over a year and I have to say that the reduction of plastic litter is most welcome.

Margaret Smith
Reply to  Harrowsceptic
October 8, 2015 9:32 am

We already have a complete ban in our part of the UK but you can buy 100 plastic bags, without those annoying little holes, for £1. The campaigners now want an end to all packing.

Reply to  Harrowsceptic
October 8, 2015 10:40 am

The same companies that make the binliners also made the plastic shopping bags. It’s not so much more profit as profit changing from one product to another.
PS, the binliners use more plastic than did the shopping bags, so they take up more room in the dumps and break down more slowly in the wild.

Reply to  Harrowsceptic
October 8, 2015 10:43 am

Frog: It’s a safe bet that none of the people who passed the law limiting the power of vacuums, has never actually used a vacuum.

Reply to  Harrowsceptic
October 8, 2015 10:44 am

When vacuums have less power, people spend more time vacuuming.
Most of the so called savings in electricity disappears right there.

Reply to  Harrowsceptic
October 8, 2015 4:20 pm

…hadn’t ever heard of the wattage restriction. Kinda like the low flush toilets that need flushed two or three times.

Reply to  Harrowsceptic
October 11, 2015 9:16 am

Of the gazillion plastic bags used a comparative few end up free range. Like most leftist causes, banning them is a complete over reaction and ignoring the good. Better to use those reuseable sacks that breed all matter of bugs and crust to lay your rolls and butter in? Not in my mind.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
October 8, 2015 6:38 am

Good point Joel.
I have often wondered why they excoriate conservatives the way they do.
If there was never an opposing voice to their madness, they would go totally of the deep end, and must know it.

Crispin in Waterloo
October 7, 2015 9:48 pm

Man is part of nature. Without us, nature is incomplete. We build, burn, chop and grow stuff. We are and have an influence. Nothing wrong with that. Usually.
Well…. watch those beavers, eh? They look Canadian. Dam fine animals deserving floods of praise. Bit stubborn, eh?

Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
October 8, 2015 6:48 am

Muskrats are the neutralizers of beaver and human built dams. The wetlands here are always changing.

Leon Brozyna
October 7, 2015 9:49 pm

Change is neither good nor bad, it just is … and for the environmentalist that objects to any change, he will one day achieve his ultimate goal of no change … death, while life passes him by, changing along the way, every day.

Leonard Lane
October 7, 2015 10:24 pm

Some of the best elk and turkey hunting in eastern AZ is in the mountains where logging was done by clear cutting, has regenerated substantial forests, and then, has been selectively logged in patches and areas. The mix of meadows, brush, and young trees, and maturing forests leads to a fantastic range of habitat and an abundance of big game, small game, and non-game animals.

October 7, 2015 10:24 pm

Thanks for the article. What is your opinion on the possibility of declining bird populations due to wind farms?

Reply to  Kip Hansen
October 8, 2015 8:25 am

I was thinking perhaps some kind of sonic beacon that either they hate the sound of or causes them to learn avoidance the Darwinian way.
Better to ward them off to begin with of course.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
October 8, 2015 11:25 am

How about deer whistles on the blades? (though I wonder if those really work)

Reply to  Kip Hansen
October 11, 2015 3:14 pm

err – something that doesn’t disturb humans at the same time – the way sonic devices would

October 7, 2015 10:31 pm

Birds will catch other birds on the wing, I’ve seen eagles catch snakes out of a bed of reeds, then of course robins are good at catching worms, blackbirds will overturn leaves to get the critters moving, flycatchers are well named, cedar wax-wings like berries, swallows will patrol an open field or near shore waters for insect hatchlings, then there are hawks and sparrows, etc.
A lack of birds indicates a lack of the birds preferred meal.
They can move to better pastures easily, they can fly.

Reply to  u.k.(us)
October 8, 2015 12:02 am

@u.k. (us), Thank you for your description, 25 years ago we moved on to a small acreage, It had a 7 acre mixed orchard but not much else , over the years we planted a few more fruit trees on the lower perimeter, other trees like mountain ash, spruce and and a few pines and also wild rose bushes, berry shrubs and had a vegetable garden, before that time we saw very few different species of birds ( sparrows, robins etc some quail).
But we see so many birds now, it’s hard to keep track of. The area that matured I think is less than 1 acre but the variety is astounding. ( I just wish the falcons and hawks would leave it alone but hey, that’s nature and they were not here before either! But the eagle that got one of our cats has been banned!)

Reply to  asybot
October 8, 2015 2:26 am

I’ll bet you have no appreciation of the irony in your comment. Shame, because it is quite quite amusing. 😉

Tom Lea
Reply to  u.k.(us)
October 8, 2015 6:01 am

More on wild bird mortality caused by cats (domestic and feral) is found in the alarming report by the Wildlife Management Institute at the site below.
Here in Maine, one of the most heavily wooded states in the USA, we have an issue of a rapidly declining cottontail rabbit population due to loss of habitat (meadows, etc.). One issue specifically identified is the reduction in clearcutting in recent times.

Reply to  Tom Lea
October 8, 2015 9:25 am

I lived on a property with fruit trees, next to a lady who supported a pride of feral cats that lived on her roof. We had great fruit harvests until we got two dogs who kept the cats at bay. Then the black rats and squirrels moved in, eating all our plums, nectarines, persimmons, and pomegranates before they ripened.
Birds newly safe from cat predation nested in a 12 ft hedge outside my window. One evening I saw a rat climb to the nest and merrily chomp all the eggs.
I like birds, but I have no problem with cats chomping the slow-witted ones that might have succumbed to some other predator had the cats not been there. And when your food is being eaten by rodents, a dead baby rabbit, squirrel, rat, or vole is not a grievous discovery.
Of course, reason will not dissuade those who are still imbued with the witch-hunt indoctrination that helped spread the black plague from self-justifying their torturous inclinations toward cats.

Reply to  Tom Lea
October 8, 2015 10:06 am

The only thing I know about cats, I learned from my sisters wild beast.
She would let it out at night, sometimes it would come home unscathed, other nights a bloody mess.
What it was up to at night, I can’t even imagine.
I used to play fight with her cat, it knew me so it was just play fighting, but when it went into (at the flip of a switch) full fight mode, you get all the claws out and a crazy muscle strength.
The good old days.

Reply to  Tom Lea
October 8, 2015 12:06 pm

I trained my cat to not hunt birds from an early age. I have no problem with the rats, mice and voles that show up on my door step. She gets huge praise when she bring me a mole 🙂 Last year a bird hit a window so I looked out to see if it was dead. The cat was near so I watched to see what she would do. She moved close to the bird but sat and watched till it recovered and flew away. I wish more cat owners would try to train their cats rather than accepting it’s the nature of the beast.

Reply to  Tom Lea
October 8, 2015 2:14 pm

You are a star.
W strive to train our cats.
With, I think, a little success: they stop clawing the carpet (there are scratching posts . . . . ) when warned & finger waggled. For a bit, only.
WE, however, are trained to open doors . . .
Dogs have masters.
Cats have staff.
Auto appreciating your success.

Reply to  Tom Lea
October 8, 2015 11:25 pm

Maybe you just did not see them because they kept out of site with cats lurking about?
And I do not think many would mind if a cat ate every single rat and mouse within 100 yards of their home or barn. But they can never do that.
There are always ones which are much more skittish and shy.

Reply to  Tom Lea
October 8, 2015 11:29 pm

“other nights a bloody mess.
What it was up to at night, I can’t even imagine.”
Almost surely fighting with other male cats over a female in heat. Or just territory. But it usually only gets bloody when mating rights are involved.
This is almost always restricted to unneutered males.
I have had a lot of cats over the years, and including ones that my family and friends had, that I know the history of…it is many many dozens.

Reply to  Tom Lea
October 8, 2015 11:57 pm

“More on wild bird mortality caused by cats (domestic and feral)”
This WMI report does not give any justification for the estimated number of feral cats, in the US, just gives it as 60,000,000.
There are about 3000 counties in the US. Many of these are places where there is nothing but wheat or cord growing. Many are in places like Utah, or Wyoming, or other difficult habitats.
In such places, the idea of thousands of feral cats per county is plain nonsense.
But just using the whole numbers, we get a figure of 20,000 feral cats per county.
For a typical Florida county of 600 square miles, this is over 33 cats per square mile.
Clearly there are many places where the number is at or close to zero feral cats.
But these numbers suggest that there are, at the very least, over 33 cats in every single square mile of Florida.
But all you have to do is consider that there are people is concentrated clumps all over the country, and few cats compared to the number of people.
I would bet umpteen gadjillion quatloos that if we combed every inch of the country, we would not find anywhere close to this number of wild domestic cats.
In fact, those numbers are ludicrous to anyone who stops to consider how many cats would have to be luring about.
It would literally be a vast hidden secretive horde of invisible ninja puddy tats, on a continuous bloody rampage of death…that no one ever sees much of.
Sure there are wild cats, bunches of them in some places.
But cities of them?
An eye roller.

Reply to  Menicholas
October 9, 2015 8:14 am

“In fact, those numbers are ludicrous to anyone who stops to consider how many cats would have to be luring about.
It would literally be a vast hidden secretive horde of invisible ninja puddy tats, on a continuous bloody rampage of death…that no one ever sees much of.
Sure there are wild cats, bunches of them in some places.
But cities of them?
An eye roller.”
Keep rolling your eyes…..reality is a fascinating place to live!
There are huge organizations that support the massive feral cat population across our company. Here’s what a huge organization dedicated to supporting feral cats says:
“Neighborhood Cats believes Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the most humane and effective method available to end the severe feral cat overpopulation crisis faced by this country. Our mission is to make TNR fully understood, accepted and practiced in every community.
“To accomplish our goals, we work on both the local and national levels. In New York City, where we are based, we have guided the development of one of the most comprehensive community TNR programs in operation today. To promote TNR throughout the United States and beyond, we have created award-winning educational materials, including books, videos and online courses. We host the leading website in the field, present at conferences and seminars throughout the country, and regularly collaborate with other organizations to develop new materials and tools.
“Tens of millions of cats living on the streets and struggling to survive is today’s reality. Neighborhood Cats is determined to make sure the same is not true tomorrow.”
While your eyes are rolling, do-gooders are encouraging and supporting the tens of millions of wild cats roaming every square mile of America. Believe it or not.
Here’s just a few of them:
And specifically, for Florida, since you’re focusing on that state:
” B. In Florida: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC) estimates that the population of owned cats in Florida is about 9.6 million, and the feral cat population may be 6.3 to 9.6 million. [FN7] Based on ABC’s poll showing an average of 35 percent of owned cats are kept exclusively indoors, the number of owned and feral cats, combined, that are outdoors and potentially preying on wildlife in Florida is in the neighborhood of 12.5 to 15.8 million.”

Reply to  Tom Lea
October 9, 2015 11:31 pm

More quoted numbers by people who have every reason to want to exaggerate.
Made up numbers.
I know that there are a lot of feral cats. Ten million would be a lot. Too many.
If you think there is one feral cat for every five humans in this country, I can not help you.

Reply to  Tom Lea
October 9, 2015 11:34 pm

Florida has a human population of 19 million and change.
I am sure there is not one own cat for every two persons, just as I am sure there is not one feral cat for every two persons.
There are a lot of cats, but there are not as many cats as people in Florida…or any other state.
I think you must just love to believe what you are told without stopping to actually think about it the way I am trying to guide you.

Reply to  Tom Lea
October 10, 2015 12:07 am

These numbers for owned pets have serious and glaring methodological flaws.
Unscientific polling, triple counting by such factors as not taking into account that if three people live in a household, then all three own a pet, even if it is only one pet, failing to account for difference in response rates for people who own vs people who have zero interest in pets…
I bet one would get better numbers by looking at the amount of cat food or cat litter sold.
If there are 19-20 million Floridians, no way are there 10 million owned cats in Florida.
And I bet they just guessed that there was one cat living feral for every owned cat…how else would these numbers just line up like that?
My look into this over the years has convince me that a lot of such statistics are little more than back of the envelope calculations done by someone using sloppy reasoning, and once quoted, such stats take on a life of their own…sort of the way that it became common knowledge that salt raises blood pressure…based on nothing at all. No studies ever showed it did. No epidemiological evidence was ever compiled before doctors began telling everyone to avoid salt.
Even after being debunked, people, including medical professionals who were involved in proving there is no link whatsoever, still cling to the disproven idea.
I can not understand why some people will decide that something just needs to be believed because someone else said it and wrote it down.

Reply to  Tom Lea
October 10, 2015 4:23 am

“Keep rolling your eyes…..reality is a fascinating place to live!”
I know…perhaps you should try it sometime, if you can ever get over your addiction to made up scare stories and ludicrous projections with little basis in objective fact.

Reply to  u.k.(us)
October 8, 2015 9:34 am

@ maudbid ,
It seems like you had something to say, if you did it didn’t across well, maybe you want to say it again.

October 7, 2015 10:51 pm

This article seems rife with the possibility of unintended consequences. I don’t think the author intended that, but any time I read of spontaneous reassignment of land use I often find unintended and undesirable consequences. I will also add that I do believe change is bad for today but that change is beneficial for the future. All changes in our past have accumulated in today and it is pretty good. There is unknown risk, though, because we don’t necessarily know who the winners will be in that future. It could be Democrat/Socialists, right wing evangelical nutters, or fire ants. We don’t know. Being a big fan of hard science that succeeds all wacko crazy hypotheses, I’d like to thing solid science will prevail.

Phillip Bratby
October 7, 2015 11:12 pm

It;s the same in England. Traditional methods of coppicing woodland, laying of hedges and graizing to keep down scrubland largely ceased and have resulted in a lot of the old habitats disappearing. Removal of hedges and growing of monoculture forests and crops made things worse for wildlife. In many areas, traditional methods are increasingly being used, but it is a labour-intensive and expensive process.

Grey Lensman
Reply to  Phillip Bratby
October 8, 2015 12:09 am

So, introduce more variety, coppicing, charcoal making, truffles, mushrooms, forest products, increase the diversity, get added value. free range pigs, bit wild but hey somebody can and will do it if given the chance.

Reply to  Grey Lensman
October 8, 2015 3:19 am

We have free range pigs in the UK, these are wild boar escaped from farms, do lots of damage but taste very good.

Reply to  Grey Lensman
October 8, 2015 6:44 am

There is an epidemic of those wild hogs here in the US.
Unbelievable what they can do to a lawn in one night.
A herd of them walking towards you all alone is a fearsome sight…even when in a car.

Reply to  Grey Lensman
October 8, 2015 4:28 pm

… Passel of hogs (or sounder of swine); and they are difficult to herd.
I don’t know why we need professionals to remove them (in a lot of cases). Just tell the high school kids that they can now do what their great-grandfathers did when they were young.

Reply to  Grey Lensman
October 8, 2015 6:58 pm

Don, The incident I was thinking of occurred a few months before I moved to Fort Myers. I believe the year was 2011, and I was living in Altamonte Springs, and my warehouse and office were in Sanford Florida.
We had noticed entire lawns in our office park being torn up as if by a plough. Some in our office recognized the damage as being caused by wild pigs, when they put their huge teeth into the ground and walk forwards, completely removing the sod while they apparently sniff out any grubs and eat them. The damage is such that it would take a front end loader or grader to re-level the dirt, and new sod or seed planted.
Anyway, I was going in to the mostly deserted office park on a weekend afternoon, and coming up the road towards me was what I guess was a family of these beasts, maybe ten or twelve individuals, from normal pig sized and colored to huge ones the size of a large cow it seemed, although wider and not as tall, with brown to black fur and giant teeth, seemed like a foot long perhaps. They took up the whole road and were walking in a random pattern, mostly to a pace set by the biggest ones.
They looked easily big enough to completely wreck my pickup truck if they took a mind to it.
Google wild pigs if you have never seen how big they can get, or the fur and teeth wild ones have…look nothing like farm pigs.
So it was a passel, or a family unit, maybe not technically a “herd”, but they was big and a lot of them and scary looking as all get out.

Reply to  Grey Lensman
October 8, 2015 7:04 pm

TW, this area is about 40 miles from the Cape. I was on my way back from my usual weekend day trip to Playa Linda Beach at the National Park at Cape Canaveral. Great place to go and read.
Anyone want to hear about the time I was swimming on a deserted beach there and was 100 yards from shore, when a 18 inch dorsal fin, cutting through the water straight towards me, caught my attention?
Oooh, baby. Sure glad that day that I was a sprinter in my swim team days…

Reply to  Grey Lensman
October 8, 2015 7:07 pm

I do not think this is photo shopped…1800 pounds is the Florida record:

Reply to  Grey Lensman
October 8, 2015 7:14 pm

Well, maybe it is photoshopped after all.
That gun looks way to small, that’s is for sure.

October 7, 2015 11:16 pm

@Kip Hansen; I live in mixed woods an hours drive from the nearest town and our biggest problem with bird population decrease is caused by bird hunters! specially the ones that shoot cats on sight. After I put out word that I would hunt down and shoot these poachers. The birds and cats have lived in peace. And I can enjoy the quiet no longer disturbed by gun blasts. 😉 …pg

Reply to  p.g.sharrow
October 8, 2015 3:55 am

An interesting claim, though bogus.
There are specific hunting seasons for birds. During these brief hunting seasons, specific daily, total in possession and even yearly limits on birds are in force.
Hunting is patrolled and rigidly enforced by an experienced cadre of wildlife officers.
Bird hunters?
Bird hunters that shoot cats on sight?
And you’ve supposedly threatened these unknown persons through vague and very unreliable word of mouth? That you, personally will hunt down and shoot poachers? That sounds very much like a looney spouting nonsense while walking down the road.
Now, all of a sudden you end by calling the ‘bird hunters’ poachers. By your descriptions and apparent lack of knowledge regarding hunting laws, why do you call them poachers?
There are unprotected birds that are considered vermin; grackles, starlings, English Sparrows, etc. House cats that are pets are protected in that the owner can sue for damages. Wild feral housecats are generally considered vermin.

Reply to  ATheoK
October 8, 2015 9:02 am

If You are hunting on private land without invitation, you are a poacher, an armed thief.
I know all about hunting. Long ago, I hunted, not for sport, To eat. There is no “Sport” in blasting wildlife with a firearm. I spent 4 years in the Southeast Asian war and would rather not listen to gunfire.
You need to have better manners…pg

Reply to  ATheoK
October 8, 2015 2:43 pm

I agree…bird hunting for sport?
I knew some people in central Florida who would go out “shootin”. Just shoot every dang thing that moved. Borders on criminal if you are not eating what you kill. I would not mind making it a crime.

Reply to  ATheoK
October 8, 2015 6:35 pm

It is already a crime. Just contact your local DNR or wildlife officer. Cell phone photos can be submitted for identification and proof.
Florida does have a lot of exotic invasive species they want out of the swamps; but there are still laws against waste. Killing the critters and leaving the carcass is considered bad form if not outright illegal.
There is no license to shoot everything that moves.
A number of states reward hotline tips. Violators of hunting, fishing or conservations laws are subject to having everything used in the commission of the crime seized; guns, gear, vehicles, watercraft are frequently seized when violators are arrested.
Department of Natural Resource (DNR) officers take every one of these offenses very seriously.
Only the landowner or someone specifically identified by them can legally determine who is a trespasser and if they are trespassing. If you’re neither, you have no business making that claim.
If you are so empowered, call the law!
While the DNR or wildlife officers do take an interest in trespassers, local police will detain/arrest trespassers.
No matter what your background, spurious accusation, over the top exaggerations or groundless claims regarding lawful activities are serious issues. They harm people, families and legitimate conservation activities.
In USA, the vast source of funds for conservation are from hunting and fishing licenses or Federal excise taxes on their gear and ammunition.
Sportsmen and ladies are the main drivers towards genuine and real wildlife restoration and conservation.
Yeah, you know about hunting… Even in that statement you insult those of us who hunt and have spent substantial time contributing to wildlife restoration.
No one is empowered to ‘hunt and shoot’ trespassers or even killers destroying wildlife. Nor is anyone empowered to harass people engaged in the legitimate pursuit of shooting or hunting.
If you think they’re breaking the law, call the police or DNR officers.
For your information, I still hunt to eat. Most middle income to poverty level folks hunt and fish for the food first; to be outdoors second.

Reply to  ATheoK
October 8, 2015 7:25 pm

i should amend my comments.
There are instances where culling or hunting for reasons other than food may well be called for, such as nuisance gators, these dangerous wild hogs, if a person is out hunting and a bear is charging, the situation in PA where there are simply way too many deer due to a lack of predators, and insufficient carrying capacity of the land to support the existing numbers through a winter. Better to thin the population than let them starve to death for lack of food, or cause traffic fatalities.
In such hunts or, my understanding is an effort is made to try and get the meat to a food bank if possible.
I did not think anything wrong was occurring to hear about shooting water moccasins, but to shoot a hawk was, to me, outrageous.

Reply to  ATheoK
October 8, 2015 8:34 pm

Shooting raptors anywhere, along with gulls, seabirds, buzzards, condor, etc. is a Federal crime.
Yeah, I’ve ‘seen’ said birds on television that they claimed were shot. I have never seen said birds in person that were actually shot. Cars and trucks are far more dangerous as they strike the birds on the road trying for road kill.
Culling? Hunting for food is far more efficient and far cheaper as people pay for their own time, gear and ammunition.
Suburban and urban areas that harbor deer yet restrict or forbid hunting are where deer are most problematic. Yes populations are up in many areas, but wildlife departments try to establish seasons and harvest bag limits with the intention of controlling the deer populations. Which is why most areas that allow hunting have far less of a deer ‘problem’.
Many states, e.g. Pennsylvania, have programs called ‘Hunters for the hungry’ where good meat is donated for the needy.
Food banks in a number of states share out significant portions of venison and other meat from hunters. Technically that includes butchers as far more meat is donated than there are butchers to grade and cut the meat up. So many of the involved butchers donate significant amounts of their valuable time.
And I oppose needless killing, period. While water moccasins are not found in Pennsylvania, copperheads and rattlesnakes are.
I catch a copperhead on my front porch area roughly every other year or so. In twenty years, I have only killed one that refused to allow me to catch him. That snake was sacrificed for the safety of the family.
All of the others were caught and let go deep in the woods.
I didn’t even kill the black snake hanging from the tree above my goldfinch feeder. Usually black snakes are so amenable that they are easy to catch and carry to elsewhere. I’ve never knowingly killed a black snake, rattlesnake and many others. Snakes are generally good critters to have around.
While black bears are not tame cute little critters, nor do they charge every time you see one.
In Louisiana, gators are hunted in season for both it’s hide and meat. Very little of a gator or pig is wasted.
Hoghead cheese is a treat aspic in Louisiana and surprisingly in Pennsylvania too. Though Louisiana’s is far more spicy. In Europe, hoghead cheese is termed an aspic or pate. Pennsylvania has scrapple that serves a similar purpose to hoghead cheese; i.e. everything of a pig is good food but the grunt. Better termed, waste not, want not.
Lastly, an official cull often results in wasted meat and hide. Culls seek to reduce herds by substantial amounts. So a licensed cull in a city park results in far more dead animals than any one or several butchers can handle.
Consider that a farmer with a deer problem, or pigs, can get a waiver or special license from the state to immediately reduce a problem population. By word of mouth a farmer can solicit and receive sufficient trusted help from hunters to effect the necessary reduction and not one critter is wasted.

Sandy In Limousin
October 7, 2015 11:55 pm

I can’t speak about Limousin having only been here 3 years. Previously I spent 30 years living in the outskirts of Derby in the UK. Over those years there was a change in garden bird and mammal populations. During that time the population of Magpies and Grey Squirrels increased from seeing an odd one now and again to seeing groups of Magpies in the garden and having infestations of Grey Squirrels in the roof, whilst numbers of small birds declined. It should be noted that Grey Squirrels are a non-native species in UK. Also in the later years we had Sparrowhawks visiting the garden for a meal from time to time.
That being said cats were also regulars in the garden. The net result was a reduction in the number of smaller birds in the garden despite neighbours feeding them all year round which is something of a British obsession now. Going on nothing but personal observation I think that the Magpie and Grey Squirrel population increase had more to do with the change in small bird populations that a fairly constant population of well fed cats.
Also a fairly constant number of birds, mainly Doves and Blackbirds, killed themselves by flying into windows.

Reply to  Sandy In Limousin
October 8, 2015 12:17 am

The biggest detriment to the lives of birds where I live are adolescents with pellet guns and older folks who love to spray toxic chemicals all over their gardens. Oh, and hunters of larger game who only wound with lead bullets, then don’t bother to track the game and finish it off. Experienced with raptor rescue here, a large percentage which come in with lead poisoning from eating bullets with their meals.
Guess Lynx, bobcats, and ocelots aren’t considered “cats” either . Felines are a part of the North American ecosystem, period.

Reply to  msbehavin'
October 8, 2015 3:39 am

Kids with pellet guns? What, an army of kids shooting all day? – Sounds like exaggeration. Bluntly, I don’t believe you.
Older folks spraying toxic chemicals on their gardens? – Just what birds are killed? Eating leaves?
– Another exaggeration.
I will agree that people spraying large acreages of grass to kill all the insects do cause detriment to bird populations. All of the insect eaters e.g. bluebirds, must move or starve.
That is a major reason why grackles, starlings and English sparrows are the primary bird populations in urban and suburban areas. Luckily, farmland and rural areas still have large populations of the insect eaters.
Hunters of larger game who wound with lead bullets? Why the emphasis on lead? Sounds like the start of another bogus claim.
It is not only unsportsman like and embarrassing to the hunters, it is illegal. Hunters caught not following up on injured animals are subject to fines, imprisonment and loss of hunting privileges.
Stories about how common injured animals are, are just stories, spread by the misinformed, usually anti-hunting misinformed.
You claim experience with raptor rescue? And you claim that a large percentage come in suffering from lead poisoning and that they ingested that lead?
Where is your proof? Blatant Lie!! That is an old claim used by the anti-hunters to get anti-lead laws passed in California, on zero USA evidence; the evidence they submitted were fuzzy xrays allegedly taken in the UK.
Lynx, bobcats, ocelots, jaguar, mountain lions are all wild creatures and have natural constraints on their populations.
Housecats breed frequently and have large litters. Those lovely ignorant urbanites who don’t want their kitty anymore, but can’t take responsibility instead take the cat for a ride and dump them in the country.
Without a cat lady around to feed them a significant portion of those abandoned cats turn feral.
An area that could support a few families of naturally wild cats, instead find literally dozens to hundreds of feral housecats in small areas.
Ground nesting birds have suffered disastrous population declines from feral kitties. Rabbits, ground squirrels, chipmunks, moles, voles and even muskrats are in decline. Birds that feed on the ground are having difficulty.
Instead of claiming piety from having visited ‘raptor rescue’, go and actually volunteer for the various conservation groups trying to aid the embattled small animals!

“… License sales and Federal excise taxes on equipment, hunters and anglers pay for most fish and wildlife conservation programs!
contributions, in the form excise taxes paid on sporting firearms, ammunition and archery equipment, benefit every state and have generated approximately $5.6 billion for wildlife conservation since 1939. The contribution for 2009 is a record — nearly $336 million, according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, which recently announced the Wildlife Restoration apportionment.
Look up and volunteer to help with the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)!
Virtually any restored, rescued and/or protected animal, bird or fish in North America has been and is funded by voluntary license fees and Federal excise taxes paid by hunters and fisher people!

All of that money paid to WWF, Audubon, Sierra Club, greenpiece and so on; most of the cash does not go towards nature, wildlife, animals, birds or fish. Instead it goes towards administration and fund raising.

Reply to  msbehavin'
October 8, 2015 10:00 am

“An area that could support a few families of naturally wild cats, instead find literally dozens to hundreds of feral housecats in small areas.
“Ground nesting birds have suffered disastrous population declines from feral kitties. Rabbits, ground squirrels, chipmunks, moles, voles and even muskrats are in decline. Birds that feed on the ground are having difficulty.”

Talk about exaggeration…where are you getting this nonsense? Where I live, cats don’t live long out in the “country.” Those that wander outside the shelter of their home turf after dark become coyote food.
Muskrats are not threatened by cats. Muskrats will eat bird eggs, as will squirrels and rats. Mink, weasels, and raccoons eat birds, rodents, and even kittens if they can get them.
And then there’s the occasional “killer squirrel”:

Reply to  verdeviewer
October 8, 2015 12:05 pm

It appears that the study covered the entire USA, not just specific neighborhoods.
“Cats that live in the wild or indoor pets allowed to roam outdoors kill from 1.4 billion to as many as 3.7 billion birds in the continental U.S. each year, says a new study that escalates a decades-old debate over the feline threat to native animals.”
[Image Below Appended by Kip Hansen]
Cats vs. Birds

Reply to  msbehavin'
October 8, 2015 2:49 pm

I have seen very few cats that could catch and eat a squirrel.
Flying squirrels, only the babies. Grey squirrels…they cat run circles around a cat, run up a brick wall, jump onto wires from 15 feet away…be a tough cat that cat catch one of them.
I have had cats corner them…and finally walk away after seeing what the squirrel could do.
One time, I had a big cat corner a squirrel in the top floor of our Philly house one time. Old place, the top floor was small rooms that had been servants quarters back in the day. The squirrel was jumping from one plaster wall to another, landing in the center of the wall like it had glue for feet, and screeching the whole time. The Storminator considered for a while, they got out of there…he was no slouch either. That squirrel was incredible fast and agile.

Reply to  msbehavin'
October 8, 2015 7:16 pm

“verdeviewer October 8, 2015 at 10:00 am
“An area that could support a few families of naturally wild cats, instead find literally dozens to hundreds of feral housecats in small areas.
“Ground nesting birds have suffered disastrous population declines from feral kitties. Rabbits, ground squirrels, chipmunks, moles, voles and even muskrats are in decline. Birds that feed on the ground are having difficulty.”
Talk about exaggeration…where are you getting this nonsense? Where I live, cats don’t live long out in the “country.” Those that wander outside the shelter of their home turf after dark become coyote food…”

It is not an exaggeration verde, nor is it nonsense.
Look up and volunteer some time or money at “Quail Forever org” or “National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative”.
Better yet, volunteer a few hours a week working on any dairy farm near you. Dairy farms quickly collect far too many cats from the lost feral kitties following their noses.
Minks and other critters of the weasel family are ferocious hunters. I did not include them as endangered by cats. Skunks can actually be tame towards people, they’re very opportunistic in catching and eating small animals and insects.
I spent a fair part of my youth earning money by trapping muskrats. I’ve never seen a muskrat eat anything meat or even try to seriously defend themselves. I have pulled cats from out of muskrat burrows, in the water, where I assume the cats were hunting muskrats.
Squirrels will try anything. They will even catch birds occasionally, more out off territorial spite I believe, than hunger.
Rats and even mice are nasty vicious creatures. When putting out rat traps, it is not unusual to find only a scrap of fur under the metal trap arm. This can happen with mice occasionally, but it is unlikely.
Coyotes will eat slow lazy fat cats lolling around their houses along with small dogs. Coyotes take a great deal more care when dealing with a feral cat and coyotes are very unlikely to kill a feral cat unless they catch the cat far from trees or tunnels.
Pigs are a problem in many areas. People who’ve raised the larger versions of pigs, aka hogs, will warn you to ‘not fall down!’ in the pig pen. While alpha wild boars can be fearsome, even domestic hogs have been known to consume and kill people (in that order).
Raccoons run the gamut from vicious to nonchalant. Only the smaller raccoons fear dogs and I assume feral cats. While the largest raccoons will even stand their ground with bears, if briefly. Though it is far more terrifying when the raccoon hisses and snarls at a skunk while trying to steal the skunk’s food.
No-one is safe when a skunk gets upset.

Reply to  msbehavin'
October 8, 2015 7:33 pm

“Cats that live in the wild or indoor pets allowed to roam outdoors kill from 1.4 billion to as many as 3.7 billion birds in the continental U.S. each year, says a new study that escalates a decades-old debate over the feline threat to native animals.”
I do not believe these numbers for a second.
Just do the maths…there would have to be a veritable invisible army of ninja Fluffys for this to be even close to true.
I suppose I will have to present the case for calling BS on these numbers.

Reply to  msbehavin'
October 8, 2015 9:22 pm

RE: ATHEOK October 8, 2015 at 3:39 am
“Kids with pellet guns? What, an army of kids shooting all day? – Sounds like exaggeration. Bluntly, I don’t believe you.”
Who is doing the exaggerating? Projection, much?
Yes there are quite a few kids/adolescents with pellet guns here where I live, and I’ve personally stopped them from shooting jays, flickers, robins, thrashers, wrens, orioles, hawks, quail, and other species. By the time LE are called and actually arrive (if they arrive at all), the kids have disappeared. Bird shooters are not high on the list of priorities for our local very understaffed LE agencies.
I never said there was “an army”, you did. But there are certainly enough to make a sizable dent in the local populations, especially when their ‘target practice’ occurs during mating and nesting season, as it generally does. Since many of these “local” birds are also migratory, I can presume that wherever they would have migrated to if they had survived their breeding season will also record a decline in population.
“Older folks spraying toxic chemicals on their gardens? – Just what birds are killed? Eating leaves?
– Another exaggeration.”
Maybe you need to educate yourself regarding avian physiology.
Birds are entirely capable of absorbing all sorts of toxins through the exposed skin of their feet and legs which will kill them deader than a doornail, no “leaves” necessary. Of course eating the poisoned invertebrates has the same effect, as does drinking water from contaminated vessels and runoff, and eating vegetation that has been sprayed with toxins .
I singled out “older folks” because in my area there are many who never discard the older herbicides and pesticides that they keep in their sheds, that they bought years ago and will continue to use until it is used up. Birds land in the garden, lawn, and golf course areas ON THEIR FEET.
Just one example :We get a lot of spiders here that people spray for-one species that eats them and other bugs (poisoned or not) are Western Bluebirds. Lawns are favorites for Bluebirds and Robins also.
But now that you have mentioned leaf eating, herbicides also contribute to the problem, particularly here in California during times of scarce water. Lots of birds eat vegetation as a water source, including doves. Bird species can and do in fact die from “eating leaves” that are contaminated, such as our ground-nesting Valley Quail.
“Hunters of larger game who wound with lead bullets? Why the emphasis on lead? Sounds like the start of another bogus claim.”
Well, ATheoK, I don’t know what bubble you live in, but people here in Northern California still use lead shot/bullets on game and non-game animals. Lead ammo was banned by the feds some time back for waterfowl hunting, so other than lead fishing sinkers which are mostly in the water, the land-based sources that raptors and other scavengers (corvids) are most likely to come across will be shot animal remains.
I emphasized “lead” because, ummmm, without lead, one cannot have “lead poisoning”. (Did I really have to explain it to you, are you that dense?). When a necropsy identifies lead pellets/fragments in the bird, and lead in its tissues and blood, and the animal is obviously impaired neurologically then “lead poisoning” is likely a substantial factor in its death. I did and do work in wildlife rescue, and have personally captured downed eagles for transport to the local licensed wildlife rescue. Don’t make assumptions, they make you sound like a moron.
How about yourself? Where is your real-life experience? Or do you just like to rant?
“You claim experience with raptor rescue?” already answered
“And you claim that a large percentage come in suffering from lead poisoning and that they ingested that lead?Where is your proof? ”
Right here:
“Blatant Lie!! That is an old claim used by the anti-hunters to get anti-lead laws passed in California, on zero USA evidence; the evidence they submitted were fuzzy xrays allegedly taken in the UK.”
Where’s your proof Atheok??? Sounds like you just want to spew . My cited paper came out last year.
Lead ammo was banned several years ago within the range of the California condor, precisely because it was killing them as a residual effect of eating lead ammo -tainted wildlife remains .
The follow up studies after the ban demonstrate this.
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0017656 read the other 58 citations that support it.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/wsb.469/abstract This one (2014) points to national prevalence of lead poisoning in eagles.
“It is not only unsportsman like and embarrassing to the hunters, it is illegal. Hunters caught not following up on injured animals are subject to fines, imprisonment and loss of hunting privileges.”
As a licensed hunter, I agree with this, as far as it goes.
However, you seem to assume that all “hunters” are also “sportsmen”, a typical logical fallacy. Hate to break it to you Atheok, but that’s simply not true, many of them are just idiots with guns. That’s what you get for making uninformed assumptions about other people.
Just as with “scientists”, there are many people that hunt who fall short on the “ethics” and “competence” components of the craft. Again, you apparently don’t have any real-life experience of your own in this area, and sound incredibly naive regarding human behavior.While they may indeed be “subject to” all those consequences you mentioned, with only one game warden for my entire very rural area on shift at any given time, getting caught isn’t very likely to happen, especially if the animal is shot on private property .Enforcement and/or apprehension of these people is scarce. Additionally, even ordinarily ethical hunters often don’t follow wounded game here as they should because the odds of coming across a major illegal pot grow/processing area, complete with armed guards (where the hunter becomes the target ) are fairly high. This doesn’t even take into account the number of non-game animals that are shot and left to die (like ground squirrels).
Don’t take my word for it, here are the latest hunting citation figures available (2011)from my state :
Please note the majority of citations (3/4) were issued for fishing infractions, not hunting. There were only 2587 hunting infractions noted for the ENTIRE state.This figure includes stuff like trespassing (230), having a loaded weapon (I guess in a car)(199), and hunting without a license (216).
“Stories about how common injured animals are, are just stories, spread by the misinformed, usually anti-hunting misinformed.”
Why don’t you try doing your own research on this claim of yours and then report back to us?
Maybe you would also like to report your claim to UC Davis Veterinary hospital too, so they no longer find it necessary to treat mythological animals. While you are at it, notify my immediate neighbor who runs the deer/fawn rehab for this region.
But in one sense , you’re right, one is much more likely to find the bird or other animal already dead rather than just injured . Right now, it’s skunk road-kill season where I live.
“Ground nesting birds have suffered disastrous population declines from feral kitties. Rabbits, ground squirrels, chipmunks, moles, voles and even muskrats are in decline. Birds that feed on the ground are having difficulty.”
This one is so full of holes it is ridiculous. Cite your sources to support your claim as to North American feral cats being responsible for ANY of the “disastrous population declines from feral kitties” you claim. Please tell us exactly where your population statistics are coming from, if from somewhere other than your own fevered imagination. Alarmist claims don’t sit well here.
Otherwise your rant is nothing more than hot air and BS.
And frankly, I don’t think you know at all what you are talking about.

Reply to  msbehavin'
October 9, 2015 12:09 am

Re that squirrel eating the bird…that is weird. But look carefully, and consider the scale…that must be one tiny little bird. It is smaller than the squirrels head. A squirrels head is not very big…shorter than a pinky finger in length. So that bird must be the size of a hummingbird. IOW…a baby.
i did not know squirrels would eat meat.

Reply to  msbehavin'
October 9, 2015 10:42 am

Bird deaths due to cats is based on estimates!
Kittens born outside don’t have much chance of surviving due to natural factors such as cold and lack of food. Snakes also eat new-born kittens.
Stored grain containing animal droppings can’t be sold as it’s unfit for human consumption. Cats protect grain food supplies from animals like rats and mice.

Reply to  msbehavin'
October 9, 2015 12:52 pm

“…Yes there are quite a few kids/adolescents with pellet guns here where I live, and I’ve personally stopped them from shooting jays, flickers, robins, thrashers, wrens, orioles, hawks, quail, and other species…”

You, personally, stopped kids, a few, from shooting all of those species of all those birds…
Yeah, right…
Take a picture and call the LE, especially the Wildlife officers. Tell them where, when, who, and what, supply some pictures, names, addresses and anything else. Let THEM decide individually whether to take action.

“…Birds are entirely capable of absorbing all sorts of toxins through the exposed skin of their feet and legs which will kill them deader than a doornail…”

Yeah, that is a facet of avian physiology I do not know… First I’ve ever heard of it… Nor did I find any references on a quick internet search (+avian +poison +absorption +feet), (+avian +poison +absorb +feet), (+bird +poison +absorption +feet), (+bird +poison +absorb +feet), and so on…
All that popped up and was relatively close was ‘Patent US 3147565 A’, ‘Poison dispensing bird perch’. But the poison isn’t absorbed by the feet, but is kicked into the air by the feet where it is either inhaled or preened from feathers.
Just what is process and mechanism for bird feet poisons absorption?

“…Bird species can and do in fact die from “eating leaves” that are contaminated…”

There are chemicals poisonous to birds. They are usually clearly marked along with instructions for proper handling to minimize hazards to birds.
Misuse isn’t by ‘kids’.

“…land in the garden, lawn, and golf course areas…”

Widespread insecticides, herbicides, woody plant kill preparations, fungicides, copper based slug kill preparations are most abused by those people who maintain large grassy lawns.
While some birds can be killed this way, most professional sprayers do work according to the directions.
What kills the birds is not poison, it is starve or fly elsewhere. No insects, no bluebirds. No insects and no mosquitos, no martins… Seed eating birds are also discouraged from staying due to the lack of food.
Again, misuse is not by kids with bb-guns and rarely by responsible people; like folks who strive for planting native vegetation and refraining from spraying pesticides frequently.
Quail, and perhaps especially the California Valley quail are birds sensitive to many changes in environment, like adverse chemicals.
Normally quail are seed and insect eaters, however for a significant portion of the year they do eat leaves.
While quail are very family and covey devoted, they’re not on friendly terms with humans and human activity; i.e. you will not find coveys or nests in most suburban backyards. Perhaps in low usage lots or overgrown zones, but those areas are not frequently sprayed with aviancide type chemicals.
Grouse are browsers in that a significant part of their year is spent eating brush and tree tips. Again, those areas should be rarely sprayed.
Neither quail or grouse are easy to shoot on the wing by any gun. The California Blue grouse is the exception here as early settlers found they could just knock them out of the trees with stones. Nor have blue grouse changed much since then.

“…Well, ATheoK, I don’t know what bubble you live in, but people here in Northern California still use lead shot/bullets on game and non-game animals. Lead ammo was banned by the feds some time back for waterfowl hunting, so other than lead fishing sinkers which are mostly in the water, the land-based sources that raptors and other scavengers (corvids) are most likely to come across will be shot animal remains.
I emphasized “lead” because, ummmm, without lead, one cannot have “lead poisoning”…”

I live in that ‘bubble’ called the real world.
Shot animal remains… Lead shot animal remains.
What makes lead so poisonous are the soluble lead compounds man uses in so many preparations, e.g. paint where lead compounds form both the background color (grayish white) and the tint color (red, yellow). Those compounds are what is poisonous.
Pure lead is relatively safe. Swallowed lead is relatively safe as it usually passes through the digestive tract before stomach acids can form chlorides.
“Are you really that dense, that I have to explain it to you?” Just a quote, I picked up somewhere.
Early in the California ban lead craze, the alleged lead poisoned condors had ingested a number lead fragments as stones for grinding in their crops.
Actual source for the lead was never identified or seriously searched for.
One person did point out that condors might be attracted to the rather bright tire weights left along many roads, particularly after potholes that shale the weights off.
Relatively hard lead is preferred for tire weights; hardness is usually increased by tin, but is also increased from zinc and silicon. Zinc is a major bird toxin!
Most shot animals are shot with one bullet. Large animal bullets are prized and rated for not breaking up. Often lost bullet weight is the copper jacket.
Small animals may be shot with pellets by a shotgun and some of the small vermin, e.g. coyote, are shot with a varmint bullet. A few of the varmint bullets do fragmentize so that the bullet does not exit the animal. Especially those varmint bullets used for crows.
Shotgun pellet kills, e.g. grouse, quail, dove, rabbit, squirrel are usually hunted for till found. Sometimes, even with dogs, those animals escape.
A small number even with millions of hunters in the field. yet there is the possibility.
A hidden dead animal is a hidden dead animal and not likely spotted by raptors or scavengers. A fox or coyote is far more likely to find and finish the critter.
A bullet shot large animal may be spotted by scavengers, but the big critters will claim the majority of the carcass sooner or later. Usually well before flying scavengers can eat very much.
The bigger the animal. the less the chance a raptor or corvids eats the lone bullet.
Oddly, no-one, even in California, is running around testing bears, mountain lions or coyotes for lead…
End response 1

Reply to  msbehavin'
October 9, 2015 1:47 pm

Try having a small vegetable garden in a rat infested city. You end up with contaminated food if the rats have even left any food.
Cats protect food sources!

Reply to  msbehavin'
October 9, 2015 2:12 pm

“…When a necropsy identifies lead pellets/fragments in the bird, and lead in its tissues and blood, and the animal is obviously impaired neurologically then “lead poisoning” is likely a substantial factor in its death. I did and do work in wildlife rescue, and have personally captured downed eagles for transport to the local licensed wildlife rescue. Don’t make assumptions, they make you sound like a moron…”

Odd that necropsy. Usually they test the flesh and declare lead poisoning is the amount is sufficient and that is not a common activity. Otherwise, the overall appearance is often the reason for diagnosis, unless the carcass is sent to a special place for testing.
Speaking of ‘special place for testing’, your link is to a paywalled research study which I managed to find a free copy, ‘Impact of the California Lead Ammunition Ban on Reducing Lead Exposure in Golden Eagles and Turkey Vultures’
Don’t you love that title?

“…Additionally, we compared the proportion of lead-poisoned bald eagles submitted before and after the autumn 1991 ban on lead shot for waterfowl hunting…”

Actually that is the main focus of the research.
Another one of those “confirmation bias” research studies. Form an opinion, conduct study to prove opinion.

“…We summarized the causes of death of bald eagle carcasses submitted between 1982 and early 2013 and golden eagle carcasses submitted between 1975 and early 2013 to the NWHC in Madison, Wisconsin. In general, necropsy procedures and ancillary laboratory testing (typically guided by any field information available and initial gross findings) followed Franson et al. (1996). Final diagnoses were assigned following a review of the case history, necropsy observations, and laboratory results and were entered into the Laboratory Information Management System database housed at NWHC …”

‘National Wildlife Health Center’, NWHC.
The whole research study was to ‘summarize’ existing findings

“…We conducted generalized logit multinomial regressions to compare the proportion of eagle carcasses submitted to NWHC diagnosed as electrocuted, emaciated, diseased, shot or trapped, poisoned, traumatized, other, and undetermined by region…”

What is not mentioned nor effectively controlled for is the fact that these ‘carcasses’ are not a ‘sample’ of any kind. Instead they are specifically targeted to be sent to the NWHC for analysis; meaning they died and someone wants to know why.
Even with this unbalanced study grouping, only 25.6% Bald Eagles were lead poisoned, and 10.2% were shot.
Totals are 762 lead poisoning, 303 were shot. All of the NWHC bald eagles tested in this study were collected between 1982 and 2013.
I make that as 24.6 bald eagles poisoned per year and 9.8 eagles shot per year.
That is not a study, it is a farce. No controls! No valid sample populations!
The last full state bald eagle reporting year was 1999.
Total breeding pairs reported in 1999 for the continental United States was 4,822.
States were no longer required to submit bald eagle breeding pair surveys after 1999, still some states continued to perform their surveys.
e.g. California listed 151 breeding pairs in 1999 and 200 breeding pairs in 2005.
Even if all of those yearly lead poisoned and shot eagles were from California in 2005 they would constitute only 12.3% poisoned and 4.9% shot. Yet they were not, they were sent from most of the states.
End point is, lead poisoning and shot eagles, raptors, buzzards, vultures and condors are small percentages of the total population. It is mostly fuzzy thinking to try and drive the numbers up.

Predatory and scavenging birds may be exposed to high levels of lead when they ingest shot or bullet fragments embedded in the tissues of animals injured or killed with lead ammunition. Lead poisoning was a contributing factor in the decline of the endangered California condor population in the 1980s, and remains one of the primary factors threatening species recovery. In response to this threat…”

Another confirmation bias study, and you’re proud of this one…
Where are the controls? Why such a limited sample?
Why are there assumptions going into the study?
Again the lead ammunition folly assumption. Lead is not a rapid poison source. Why aren’t the lead sources specifically sought and identified?
Why wasn’t a full qualitative and quantitative blood analysis study done to identify all possible poisons?
Did any one consider that preening may be the introductory source of poisons contained in dust?
How does anyone know whether tetraethyl lead might’ve been a contributory source?
Instead, there is a major anticipated factor that solid lead ammunitions components are the sole lead source; both going into and coming out of the study.
That is pure confirmation bias.
Whatever my qualifications, I am not uninformed and I try not to be so blatantly biased.
Neighborhood kids shooting a lot of birds,
old people with pre-ban chemicals,
lead ammunition,
all wounded raptors and corvids are poisoned or shot,
the woods is full bad hunters and multiply shot game,
UC Veterinary Hospital saving many gunshot game animals,
Only .6% or the people hunting are doing something illegal (2587violations/282266hunting licenses issued)=.916%,
game wardens are spread too far to bother with illegal hunting in your neighborhood.
Yeah, right…

Reply to  msbehavin'
October 9, 2015 2:35 pm

“Barbara October 9, 2015 at 1:47 pm
Try having a small vegetable garden in a rat infested city. You end up with contaminated food if the rats have even left any food.
Cats protect food sources!”

Any garden in an urban area should have the soil tested in several places. Lead paint dust can be a major contaminant and is a source for lead poisoning through your vegetables.
Cats also eat plants and happily use turned over garden soil for their litter box.
Yes, many of the bird deaths due to cats are estimated. Like the bird window deaths are estimated (from researchers counting bird deaths from flying into tall office buildings over a period of time).
While the frequency of bird death for one building is estimated, that is not the frequency for every building as window type, angle and cleanliness are major factors. Clean windows kill more birds.
Combined with a gross estimate for how many windows there are makes for a rather inflated bird death count.
Still, birds do fly into windows hard enough to kill themselves.
Under normal conditions cats do kill birds. While your normal house cat is unlikely to become proficient at catching and killing birds, feral cats do become proficient. Proficiency is a percentage of how many attempts versus successes and even in quite efficient feline predators, the success rate is less than fifty to sixty percent for a feral cat at the peak of their prowess.
Like fox dens, feral cats establish places where they can seek shelter. Also like fox dens, the areas immediately outside of the shelter exhibit how successful that cat is.
Cat dens along with disturbed and ravaged bird nests provide wildlife management their information regarding feral cat damage to wild life populations.
Unlike European hares, American cottontails and other rabbits usually nest in a small depression in the ground lined with rabbit hair and grass. Feral cats are able to, and frequently do, kill adult cottontails; but nest destruction is the problem.
Feral cats are a problem. They are not the sole problem, but they are a problem.
If you live in a city, keep your cat safe, keep your cat inside or contained.

Reply to  msbehavin'
October 9, 2015 3:12 pm

Funny how folks skeptical of climate studies that “estimate” and “suggest” are quite willing to accept the same sorts of studies that foster hatred of cats. The “new study” isn’t the first to put absurd numbers on cat-killed birds that has been picked up by practically every climate-action-promoting media outlet and will subsequently be used by wind turbine promoters to justify killing bats and raptors for the sake of the planet. And yet, “skeptics” parrot the supposed findings without even reading the actual study.
This is another crap study with an unstated objective. The numbers come from a computer model. The data comes from just eight sources: “three based on nationwide pet-owner surveys and five based on research in individual study areas.”
NPR has a good commentary on the flaws:
Of course, reason will not dissuade those still imbued with the witch-hunt indoctrination that helped spread the black plague from self-justifying their torturous inclinations toward cats. There are sickos (there was one in this area) who put out bait for neighborhood cats and kill them when they come onto their property. They justify their “hobby” with studies such as these. Kids crying for their lost pet? Too bad! I’m doing it for the birds.
A cat study that comes out with a press release to major media who then inform us cats are “evil,” “deadly,” “murderous,” and “stone-cold serial killers” should prompt suspicion, not blind acceptance and ridiculous graphs.

Reply to  msbehavin'
October 9, 2015 5:06 pm

Like Menicholas, I researched a 2013 anti-cat study (also by Smithsonian) in response to its use to excuse bird and bat killing by wind turbines. Does the Smithsonian mag headline look familiar?
Feral Cats Kill Billions of Small Critters Each Year
That study was done by green-energy-supporting bird conservationists. Like the recent “new study,” the numbers come from a computer model that extrapolates numbers reported in other studies. The study was roundly criticized by other scientists as being sheer fabrication.
And yet, here we go again…

Reply to  verdeviewer
October 9, 2015 6:03 pm

The cat predation studies are based on solid data collection, with estimates based on the solid numbers. Here are excerpts from just a few of the dozens of studies referenced in the Nature article. These were objective data collection projects–most of them counting just the bodies returned to the cats’ owners, many for the whole cat population of entire villages.
These are NOT just computer projections, estimates, or anything else. The estimates for all of North America are based on the actual data. Estimates of cat populations are based on owner surveys. Estimates of feral cat populations are based on counts. This is probably the least solid number.
Predation by domestic cats in an English village
Journal of Zoology
Volume 212, Issue 3, pages 439–455, July 1987
“We studied predation by approximately 70 domestic cats (Felis catus L.) in the Bedfordshire village of Felmersham over a one-year period. All the prey items brought home by virtually all the cats in the village were recorded and, where possible, identified. A total of 1090 prey items (535 mammals, 297 birds and 258 unidentified animals) were taken, an average of about 14 per cat per year. Twenty two species of birds and 15 species of mammals were identified. The most important items were woodmice (17%), house sparrows (16%) and bank voles (14%).”
“Information on the composition of vertebrate prey caught by house cats in Canberra was collected by recording prey deposited at cat owners’ residences over 12 months. A total of 1961 prey representing 67 species were collected or reported. In all, 64% of prey were introduced mammals, especially mice and rats, with birds comprising 27% (14% native, 10% introduced, 3% unidentified), reptiles 7%, amphibians 1% and native mammals 1%.”
“We reviewed feral cat impacts on native island vertebrates. Impacts of feral cats on vertebrates have been reported from at least 120 different islands on at least 175 vertebrates (25 reptiles, 123 birds, and 27 mammals), many of which are listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. A meta-analysis suggests that cat impacts were greatest on endemic species, particularly mammals and greater when non-native prey species were also introduced. Feral cats on islands are responsible for at least 14% global bird, mammal, and reptile extinctions and are the principal threat to almost 8% of critically endangered birds, mammals, and reptiles.”
Here is the summation of data analysis techniques and sources:

Reply to  msbehavin'
October 10, 2015 12:43 am

Kentklizbe, your referring to these as “solid numbers” is laughable.
As stated here by others, you are doing just what all of these studies has done…picked up on something reported elsewhere, and exaggerated to significance, and gullibly just accepted as gospel these made up numbers.
None of the stuff you cited had anything to do with counts of animals per unit of geographical area.
And polls of pet owners are so flawed it is silly.
Counting pets owned by person, rather than households, is one source of error which likely skews even the data they do collect by a factor equal to the number of people per household: A house with four people and one cat is four cat owners…but only one actual animal!
This MSU study commits several of the most common logical fallacies…starting out with projections borrowed uncritically and of undisclosed methodology, and then using those numbers to multiply out other numbers…then stating, from then on, that this is THE NUMBER of such animals.
It is truly beyond the pale of unscientific nonsense and BS statistical garbage.
The best one can say is no one knows.
But they made 100% sure they did not underestimate any counts…that is for sure.
The numbers may be of by a factor of ten or more.
Which leaves a lot of cats…and there are a lot, just not the outlandish figures they cite.
If there are ten million feral cats in Florida alone, and another ten million owned, that would mean that a state with 7% of the US population of people has nearly 20% of the estimates for cats in the whole US!

Reply to  Menicholas
October 10, 2015 9:55 am

Again, cat people, will be waiting for your “solid numbers.”
Clearly it’s impossible to satisfy your need to defend your parasitic hosts.
If a year long count of actual birds killed by every single cat in a village is not a “solid number,” what would your parasite accept as one?

Reply to  kentclizbe
October 10, 2015 10:26 am

Why do you folks hate cats so much? They’re no more ‘parasites’ than dogs are.

Reply to  msbehavin'
October 10, 2015 7:53 am

Thanks for the link, Kent, but I don’t believe you can derive the study’s conclusions from those locations. There are locations where cats have a significant impact and far more where their impact is dwarfed by that of other creatures. Overall, cats are not the bad influence they’re being portrayed as.
Studies such as the Smithsonian’s seem to be part of a larger effort to turn various groups against each other. Some old science fiction buffs refer to this as the “Costello effect.” Listen to the old NBC “X Minus One” radio rendition of Theodore Sturgeon’s short story “Mr. Costello, Hero” and you’ll understand why.

Reply to  msbehavin'
October 10, 2015 8:09 am

From a Rhode Island study of feral cat colonies:
1. Original ‘expert’ estimates of feral cats in RI were 100,000-200,000. The study found the actual number to be closer to 3,700.
2. The study found 263 colonies of 4 or more cats, with 83% in URBAN areas.
3. Average colony size was 9 cats

Reply to  msbehavin'
October 10, 2015 9:31 am

Regarding the “common knowledge” about cat predation on Pacific islands, endlessly repeated…
Cats were brought onto the islands to control rats that had been inadvertently introduced. Lately, cats get substantial blame for extirpated bird populations, but the blame is misplaced.
When cats were eradicated from New Zealand’s Little Barrier Island in the 1980s, the breeding success of the endangered Cook’s petral plummeted from 32% down to 9% per burrow. Rats are much more efficient egg eaters than cats, and cats had been keeping rat numbers down.
When rats were finally eradicated in 2005, petral breeding success jumped to 59%. So, yes, cats were complicit in reducing the petral population. But if cats not been introduced in the 1800s, rats would almost certainly have extirpated the Cook’s petral on Little Barrier Island long ago.

Reply to  Sandy In Limousin
October 8, 2015 12:18 am

I think the last time I saw a native, wild, red squirrel in the was in about 1972. Sad to see them decimated by an imported grey.

Reply to  Sandy In Limousin
October 8, 2015 12:51 am

Aren’t cats (Felis Silvestris) indigenous to Britain?

Reply to  msbehavin'
October 8, 2015 3:07 am

No, I don’t think so as cats evolved in a dry environment (Apparently). I don’t class Britain as dry, although 1976 was hot alright!

Reply to  msbehavin'
October 8, 2015 3:21 am

The scottish wild cat is, but all the others are not.

Reply to  msbehavin'
October 8, 2015 5:39 am

Cats are indigenous to the Middle East and northern Africa.
And this nonsense about armies of bird eating cats is ridiculous…exaggerated perhaps 100x in the numbers published.
I have debunked it more than once…will look for a reference, because I do not feel like writing that book again.

Reply to  msbehavin'
October 8, 2015 8:34 am

I have seen those camera studies Kip…fascinating snd surprising.
I do not doubt that cats kill small animals, it is the numbers of cats and the numbers of birds killed per year that I strongly believe are overestimated, at least in the estimated I have seen.
I believe these estimates are actually projections based on out of whack extropolations of scanty data, and unscientific polls of cat owners.
I am at work now, but will present my reasoning and math and arguments later if you wish.

Reply to  msbehavin'
October 8, 2015 8:38 am

In fact, I have had cats and do have them still, and have always been a keen observer of wildlife and my pets and those of others…I know they kill plenty of animals given the chance.
I had a plant nurserynin Pasco County some years back, and a whole bunch of cats adopted our place and hung out with our pets. Farm cats can kill and eat larger game than I would have believed.Whole rabbits, intestines, bones and all…and do so right next to a house where I never even saw the rabbits until killed.

Reply to  msbehavin'
October 8, 2015 8:56 am

Kip says:
There is solid science behind the claims of massive damage to particular bird populations by free-roaming cats.
I think Menicholas is right, the numbers are way overestimated. Also, a cat catching a bird improves the bird population, cf Darwin. Cats don’t get the fastest, healthiest and most alert birds. And we know the world needs more lerts…
Go cats!

Reply to  msbehavin'
October 8, 2015 11:26 am

The “Scottish” wildcat is indeed indigenous to Britain, only it was wiped out , apparently by the 1600’s, in most of the rest of its range there. Further, it is considered a subspecies of the European wildcat.
If you recall from the geological history of the area, Britain was once connected to the European mainland , before the channel was flooded. (Yep, GW did it!)
Virtually all “domestic/feral” cats today are descendants of these (originally) wild species, including the Asian and African populations. They are all genetically very close, which is why they interbreed freely and produce fertile offspring today.
It makes sense that in the same vein as human genetics, one could scientifically point to a long ago “asian” ancestor from the fertile crescent for all of today’s wild and domestic Felis silvestris species cats. However, since the cats continue to interbreed , there are multiple “domestication” events that have occurred, not just one. Of course this causes problems for those who think that wild populations should somehow remain “purebred” and unchanging. http://www.scottishwildcats.co.uk/history.html

Reply to  msbehavin'
October 8, 2015 11:39 am

Another link to show the current range of (indigenous) Wildcats:

Reply to  msbehavin'
October 8, 2015 12:11 pm

1.3 to 4.0 Billion birds killed every year.
“Free-ranging domestic cats have been introduced globally and have contributed to multiple wildlife extinctions on islands. The magnitude of mortality they cause in mainland areas remains speculative, with large-scale estimates based on non-systematic analyses and little consideration of scientific data. Here we conduct a systematic review and quantitatively estimate mortality caused by cats in the United States. We estimate that free-ranging domestic cats kill 1.3–4.0 billion birds and 6.3–22.3 billion mammals annually. Un-owned cats, as opposed to owned pets, cause the majority of this mortality. Our findings suggest that free-ranging cats cause substantially greater wildlife mortality than previously thought and are likely the single greatest source of anthropogenic mortality for US birds and mammals.”

Reply to  Kip Hansen
October 8, 2015 2:37 pm

This issue has been corrupted by the AGWers and the crony capitalist “windpower” industry, unfortunately.
Their bogus argument is: ok, our windmills kill birds, but cats kill exponentially more.
As if cats’ slaughter of birds justifies their slaughter of birds.
Both cats and windmills slaughter birds. Both should be held to account for their slaughter.
Glass buildings are right behind cats in killing birds. Architects are working to mitigate building/bird collisions.
Meanwhile cat lovers and whacko environmentalist windmillers continue to deny their complicity in the slaughter.

Reply to  msbehavin'
October 10, 2015 12:56 am

Reply to Kip:
“In fact, the situation is no laughing matter. Cats are hunters and other creatures do fall prey to them in significant numbers.”
Most of the animals killed are rats and mice. No one doubts or disputes this, and yet it is the least mentioned part of the story. Why do you suppose that nearly ever state and local government excludes cats from the leash laws?
Because rats and mice are vile vermin that no one wants in or around their home, their stores of food, or anywhere else.
Without cats…we would be overrun by these fast multiplying scourges.
Tremble under their wrath!

George Lawson
Reply to  Sandy In Limousin
October 8, 2015 3:25 am

As a child of the 1940s, I never ever recall seeing a Canada Goose anywhere in the UK, amongst the birds in Britain that I was taught to observe. Now, for no perceivable reason, Canada Geese have arrived in their thousands across the British countryside and have become a severe pest on the rivers of Britain. Masses of them take over the lawns of riverside houses, the owners of which have to spoil their riverside banks by putting in netting fences to disuade these hoards of geese from taking over their gardens and eating most of what is growing and devastating the ground with their obnoxious droppings, with the result that culling is becoming more acceptble in order to keep their numbers down. Just another case where an introduction, or a re introduction of a species can have the opposite effect to what might have been intended in the first place.

Steve Lohr
Reply to  George Lawson
October 8, 2015 2:50 pm

George, the same thing happened here in the US. I remember once when I was really small a flight of “wild geese” flew over our house. It was genuinely a unique experience and I will never forget how excited my mother was as they were rare where I lived along the Ohio river. Now, holy cow, they are everywhere. They are as ubiquitous as black birds. No shortage, that’s for sure. If someone can explain the change, I would like to know what happened.

Reply to  George Lawson
October 8, 2015 7:57 pm

Hunting laws, conservation funds from license fees and Federal excise taxes and a serious committed effort by group like ‘Ducks Unlimited’.
Ducks, geese and waterfowl were greatly decimated by market gunners. The same characters who exterminated passenger pigeons and several other tasty or beautiful bird species.
Killing everything for sale at the nearest market is usually a practice called rape or simply slaughter. Unlike a farmer who seeks long term sustenance by maintaining healthy populations, market gunners were out to kill critters before someone else could.
Unfortunately, market gunning was a practice fostered and nurtured by the US military. When one animal was exterminated, sights were set on another.
Hunters sought and petitioned for government action on natural resource protection and management. By popular agreement this resulted in the ‘Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937 (16 U.S.C. 669-669k; P-R)’.
This act was so successful in retrieving many animal species from the brink of extermination that fishermen sought similar protection and management for freshwater fish and aquatic life. Much later, similar management actions for saltwater fish were implemented, but not for the greater good, but for commercial usage.
Still, government action and funds collection is near useless without physical action on the ground. While many small or state volunteer groups accomplished great good early on, e.g. deer, elk, bear, turkey, etc., it required a larger effort to seriously help migratory waterfowl.
One of the first and largest groups established was ‘Ducks Unlimited’. DU identified where and how waterfowl were at their most vulnerable and then sought solutions.
Large expanses of Midwest and Canadian prairie wetlands became protected. Hunting seasons and limits were established and rigorously held to. Volunteers sought to re-establish and maintain wild foods that nourish healthy waterfowl.
Seventy eight years later and waterfowl restoration are a success story. Hunting seasons are slightly longer and some waterfowl limits are greater, but the main effort is towards keeping healthy waterfowl populations.
Which is why, when the alarmists are crying that polar bears are starving; bear researchers are noting that geese nests, goslings and adult geese are keeping polar bears fat, on land.
Yes, several waterfowl populations are expanding their territory; both greater and lessor Canadian geese are prime examples that even migratory birds change their migratory patterns with many geese deciding ‘why migrate’? The greater and lessor snow goose is not only feeding polar bears but expanding their territory too.

Reply to  Sandy In Limousin
October 8, 2015 4:24 am

I hear theres a shortage of sparrows?
would you like a few hundred posted over?
Aus is not short of them;-/

Reply to  ozspeaksup
October 8, 2015 5:41 am

Cities like Philadelphia have sparrows by the tens of thousands.

Reply to  ozspeaksup
October 8, 2015 8:14 am

Not so sure that you want English Sparrows that has overrun the US and is legally a pest. They are more aggressive than native species and prefer garbage to looking for insects or wild seed.

Reply to  ozspeaksup
October 8, 2015 8:33 am

I’m sure you know that the sparrows were introduced to eat horse manure. Can’t blame them for preferring other cuisine.

Reply to  ozspeaksup
October 8, 2015 8:39 am

Mmmmm, horse manure…

October 8, 2015 12:01 am

A Bit OT,
For those that haven’t seen it..
This is TRULY UGLY for the AGW scammers..
Sit back and have a good laugh.. avoid coffee on keyboard etc etc

Reply to  AndyG55
October 8, 2015 1:00 am

Since that went into moderation for some reason..
Here’s the direct link

Reply to  AndyG55
October 8, 2015 8:40 am

Thanks for the link! Comments start out with an alarmist parrot, who is soundly thrashed by lots of skeptics setting him straight.
A few years ago that wouldn’t have happened. But now the public is hitting back, and hard. The worm is beginning to turn…

Chris Schoneveld
October 8, 2015 12:07 am

The title of this post (“About those claims of declining bird populations due to ‘climate change’) is in contradiction to what the author intended: “This essay is not about Global Warming, Global Cooling, Carbon oxides, or Climate (changing or not). I am not generally qualified to respond to questions about those subjects and won’t do so.”
I don’t think Kip Hansen chose the title .

Reply to  Chris Schoneveld
October 8, 2015 5:43 am

I do not see a contradiction.
Some people these days blame everything, even weather, on climate change.
As if there was never weather before recently, and things never changed!

Danny Thomas
October 8, 2015 12:23 am
October 8, 2015 12:31 am

Please can some one show me how to get this story out, http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34468821. It truly has to do with restrictions by the “warmists” on the use of fossil fuels that could help these people, a few pieces of coal ( as Britain elderly could use) could help these people and save forests at the same time. Why isn’t “Green Peace” all over this?

October 8, 2015 12:36 am

Just today, I drove through the area in my state that was hit by several major fires recently and has been declared a national disaster area. 20-odd years ago this area was managed by the CDF , who regularly did controlled burns and who also cleared out a majority of dead/dying trees, leaving only a few.
This worked well in providing necessary habitat for the wildlife, while also performing the job that nature will do anyway (fires) , but in a much safer way. Fires are necessary for some of the native flora to germinate, but only idiots will wait for lightning or pot growers to ignite those fires.
Of course the mantra has been the fires were caused by “the drought” and “global warming” but that’s nonsense.
Clearcutting is a different “animal”, at least here on the west coast. It just ruins pretty much everything that surrounds it.

Reply to  msbehavin'
October 8, 2015 5:45 am

Most clearcuts are immediately replanted by those who own the land.
Trees grow back fast…faster now than ever, and by a lot.

Robert Ballard
Reply to  menicholas
October 8, 2015 7:24 am

Straight rows of jack pine or poplar growin’ like a corn field may not look as pleasing as a more diverse forest, but the area of land required for the same volume of production is greatly reduced. I for one do not want to be paying $5/roll of toilet paper.

Reply to  menicholas
October 8, 2015 8:21 am

That’s the problem with clearcuts, any young hardwood or other native tree like persimmon that would be replacement growth is also cut, and those kinds of trees are never replanted. I would suppose that if this were allowed world wide, eventually, most of that kind of timber would become quite rare.

October 8, 2015 12:40 am

Following the theme of the article, I can visualise Conway’s ‘Game of Life’ – with forests increasing and decreasing, moving across the screen/land, with the bird population following it.
With the odd lightning bolt triggered fire to reset the situation from time to time.

October 8, 2015 1:02 am

I do agree with the general theme of the essay. Sensible forest management is a necessity, on both US coasts!

October 8, 2015 1:18 am

Thank goodness Mr. Hansen. At least you state you have an *opinion* about free roaming domestic/feral cats, and you have spared us from another bogus “97% of scientists say” claim.

Reply to  msbehavin'
October 8, 2015 7:33 am

Bobcats have a hard time staying alive here in the bluffland forests at the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers, due to packs of coyotes, and falcon and owl predation ( I find skulls along my creek). Stray house cats and mini-dogs are much easier targets. Very common to see posters on the back road utility poles stating missing pets. There are also a few sightings of cougars.
here is a bobcat skull recently found.

Reply to  Dawtgtomis
October 8, 2015 11:30 am

I gave the last few I’ve found to a county conservation agent who processes them for his collection.

October 8, 2015 1:22 am

This study ignores the millions of birds and bats that are shredded each year by those ugly wind turbines. The Audibon Society some years back listed many endangered species, including Golden Eagles that had been shredded by these clunking dinosaurs. The strobing effect of low angle lilght and the low frequency thrumming also has an effect on birds and other wildlife. Owners of these ridiculous machines refuse entry to interest groups to conduct bird counts, which makes us believe the number of birds killed must be far, far higher than estimated. So in a perverse way they are right – “climate change” is putting many endangered species at risk – through the ignorant application of supposed “sustainable energy”.

Reply to  David
October 8, 2015 4:06 am

This is a follow up on a previous article by Kip.
It does not ignore the turbine chompers, but is focused on the bogus alarmist claims that wildlife is unable to ‘adapt’ quickly enough; e.g. polar bears are endangered because of climate change.
Don’t forget that the POTUS has signed one of his dictator letters giving at least one large group of turbine operators an open license to chop and chomp endangered birds and raptors.

Dodgy Geezer
October 8, 2015 1:47 am

…Author’s Comment Policy: This essay is not about Global Warming, Global Cooling, Carbon oxides, or Climate (changing or not). I am not generally qualified to respond to questions about those subjects and won’t do so….
Naturalists, no less than other species of animal, need to adapt and find niches to live in.
The current grant environment is rich in CO2/Climate niches, while many other traditional academic lifestyles are disappearing at an alarming rate. Unless you adapt to including essential current subjects such as CO2 and recycling in your work you will become extinct….

October 8, 2015 2:31 am

In western MD, sections of privately-owned forests are (and have been for a long time) clear-cut. What’s amazing is that the oaks, hickories, tuliptrees, basswoods, red maples, blackgums, etc, all re-sprout from the cut trunks and are 20-30′ tall after a mere 10 yrs.

Reply to  beng135
October 8, 2015 5:49 am

Not so amazing…this is what is called coppicing.
It produces large amounts of straight and uniform lumber, useful for furniture and many other things…like the hardwood rails of a bannister, etc. And many other things, as the wood reaches various sizes.

October 8, 2015 3:28 am

About those cats…
I had a wonderful argument with a cat hater where I pointed out that for small bird species, approximately 90% of them have to die in any given year in order to keep populations within the food limits. Such species are opportunistic. Give them the food and populations explode, followed by die-backs as resource limits are reached. Cats merely hoover up the corpses. Or prey on the ones dying/who would have died/ of starvation anyway.

Reply to  Leo Smith
October 8, 2015 4:09 am

Exactly which birds or species have one year life cycles?
Even morning doves, which are considered the fast food of the skies have a two year life expectancy.

Reply to  ATheoK
October 8, 2015 5:06 am

My windows kill far more birds than my cats do.

Reply to  ATheoK
October 8, 2015 5:54 am

I have never had or seen a bird fly into a window. Seriously?
But it is rather rare for the average cat to catch a bird.
Birds fly, and are not active at night, when cats have their big advantage.
Songbirds can have large clutches of eggs several times a year, unlike larger birds of prey and migratory birds, which breeed slowly in hatchings of ones and twos and do so once a year.

Reply to  ATheoK
October 8, 2015 6:11 am

They’re called “mourning” doves, because of their mournful cry.
And hey YouNicholas: Recently a bird flew into a large window in our house, going full speed. Apparently thought it was an open exit. Killed itself on the spot, probably a broken neck, poor thing. So it does happen.
Also, cat haters never had a cat. I think that applies to at least 97% of them.

Reply to  ATheoK
October 8, 2015 6:34 am

Yes indeed, those are mourning doves. You can hear them all the time here in Florida…they are everywhere.
Except the horde of them that had accumulated, over a few years, near my bird feeders, and all of the dozen or so squirrels, all got eaten last Spring by a huge hawk or owl…I only glimpsed it twice and could not tell which it was…if it was a hawk it was the biggest one I have ever seen. But if it was an owl, it was the only one I never saw perched and waiting, or heard calling.
But it came and cleaned house over a period of a few weeks and then moved on…left nary a squirrel or dove on my place. A few are coming back now that the weather is changing, and when squirrels find some choice unclaimed territory, you hear all about it as they jockey for the prime nests.

Reply to  ATheoK
October 8, 2015 6:42 am

Large glass windows which allow a view through the building to the outside are particular candidates for bird impacts, I’ve seen hawk silhouettes stuck to such to scare other birds away. In my yard near the bird feeder I saw a sharp shinned hawk take out a Mourning dove at a distance of about ten feet, very impressive!

Gary Pearse
Reply to  ATheoK
October 8, 2015 7:17 am

I believe I identified mourning doves in Dominican Republic last winter. I remember them on my farm many years a go doing their weird ballet moves, single wing stretches down to one leg, etc. Kip, one species I disagree about needing clear cut or other cuts is ruffed grouse. These birds are very populous in the spruce/pine forests of northern Canada from west to east. Working on geological surveys and in mining exploration from northern Saskatchewan to northern Quebec, I’ve had many a tasty meal of them, often encountering them in fairly thick coniferous forests (some birch and alder). I know you mentioned forest fires and, of course, these are frequent enough, but most of the grouse I’ve come across are right in the woods. They take off almost at your feet and even collide with the branches as they blast their way through.
Their cousins, prairie chickens, of course like open country. These birds are small but round and meaty, but you have to be able to knock them down at a distance. They spook easily and if you aren’t quiet, they take off at 60-70 yards. In my group of friends, I was the best prairie chicken hunter. I told them my secret but they just laughed at me. I walked with wind in my face and I could smell them – they are a stinky bird, especially a group of them, feeding and defecating. It seems I must have had a particularly good sense of smell. This gave me ~20 yard advantage over my weaker-nosed companions.

Reply to  ATheoK
October 8, 2015 11:16 am

“I have never had or seen a bird fly into a window. Seriously?”
menicholas. It’s my gut feel that it’s the Low-E glass, especially after a cleaning The old double pane windows didn’t get nearly the strikes that the new windows get. When we’re home during the day I hear them constantly thumping. Most are dazed and fly off leaving a dusty outline, but it’s not uncommon to find a few broken necks. We’ve even had a Marsh hawk take a hit last winter. It survived well enough to fly off after 30 minutes.
We have two predominately indoor cats. Neither have front claws and seem to prefer catching chipmunks over birds.

Reply to  ATheoK
October 8, 2015 9:06 pm

Thank you. I make that mistake frequently because when the doves start their nesting they’re call is that soft whoo whoo who which they love to start whoing at dawn.
I’ve never claimed to hate cats. I have had several cats, only a few of which I thought were decent pets and fewer of them as intelligent pets.
e.g. the long haired Himalayan. People always thought he was so cute and pettable… The rotten cat loved to climb on my chest in the middle of the night and purr for attention. Only he drooled abundantly when he purred and I would wake up with a sodden goopy mess on my chest from a large cat trying to soften my chest with his claws.
That cat had the bad grace to hiss violently at a very nice cat I owned when I accepted him into my house. A female cat who never forgave him nor allowed him to forget. I gave him to a girlfriend when she left, he left.
One of my brothers who worked on a dairy farm for several years has very little patience for most cats. He generally views them as unwelcome pests. A viewed he gained from fighting cats when trying to hygienically milk cows. Yet he enjoys and takes care of the cats that earned his affection.
To summarize, I despise many cats. There are quite a few who’ve gained my love and affection though. I especially despise people who abandon their pets.
One year when I was visiting my brother, one of his cats was trying to ‘be friends’ with me; so I would find the cat curled up on or around me when I’d wake up.
What was puzzling was that I kept wondering just what was going on with my tea when I’d leave it on a table or somewhere. I’d find myself staring in the cup wondering when I had drank some and how could I forget.
Then I caught the cat drinking my tea. He didn’t lap it up though, he’d surreptitiously dip his paw into the tea and then lick the tea off of his paw. One of my screen background pictures is that cat sneaking my tea. I also stopped drinking anything if I left it somewhere briefly; I know where else cats put their paws.
Birds run into my windows several times a week. Deaths are infrequent with only one or two birds every couple of years.
There are night birds! They actually fly and eat insects at night!.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
October 8, 2015 8:47 am

Keeping a cat permanently and perpetually inside is like having a person in jail, IMO.
Too cruel for this type of animal.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
October 8, 2015 11:51 am

We have a neutered male cat who “owns” the barn. His house is placed on top of the tack room ceiling where only he and some very stupid racoons have been able to access. The racoon family now lives on somebody else’s land and we put his food up at night. The radio playing also help keep the coons out.
He is the happiest cat I’ve ever had and when my cat hatin’ buddies complain about birds and mice in their barns, I just grin and tell them to stop killing snakes, or get a cat.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
October 8, 2015 12:04 pm

Forgot to mention his house and his waterer are heated. He’s going on 9 yrs old. Companion to the horses and gets along somehow with the local red fox, who also pals with my horses, but runs off when I get close.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
October 8, 2015 3:59 pm

“we don’t hesitate a moment to require leases and confinement of domestic, pet dogs, regardless of size,”
Dogs and cats have completely different behavioral patterns. Dogs will aggressively go after people on occasion, poop all over and leave it where it falls, and in general create a nuisance.
When has a cat ever attacked a person? Dog bites man is not even news. But cat bites man would be perhaps more unusual that man bites dog.
Cats bury their poop, eat roaches and other vermin (some eat…most catch and play with, kill by accident), are only aggressive with each other, and then only when unneutered males meet up with a female in hear nearby, mostly…and in general are avoid any person but their owner.
Besides, cats are escape artists. Some communities do not allow 20 foot high fences with a two foot deep skirt, and some properties are very expensive to fence thusly. It would take that to keep many cats in a yard, and some would get out anyway.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
October 9, 2015 2:58 pm

Cats only surface bury their scat. Anyone walking will not see the scat till they’ve stepped in it and dragged it along on their sneaks.
Cats love to use the soft earth and mulch dug by people tending to their flowers and shrubbery. It is not a pleasant discovery to put ones hand down to lean and discover cat poo.
Male cats spray. Yeah, they may squat, but they may also just mark the side of the house or car too. It is their nature and spaying the males does not eliminate spraying, only moderates it.
Twice, I’ve built sandboxes for my kids, bought several hundred pounds of clean sand and discovered that neighborhood cats thought it was a cat box. My wife wouldn’t let me wire the boxes for shock effect when damp.
I’m with Kip. Be responsible and control your cats.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
October 10, 2015 1:13 am

“I’m with Kip. Be responsible and control your cats.”
Otay, if you say so…
I shall give them a stern talking to post haste.
And shake my fist at the other 67% of cat owners that feel as I do.

Reply to  Menicholas
October 10, 2015 9:51 am

“Otay, if you say so…
I shall give them a stern talking to post haste.
And shake my fist at the other 67% of cat owners that feel as I do.”
Odds are good that your toxoplasmic parasite incited you to type that.
You probably can’t help it.
There may be hope for help, though.
Crazy Cat Ladies–sort of like the old stereotype that hatter were mad–well, they were–for a good reason. Just as cat people are crazy–for a good reason.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
October 10, 2015 1:04 pm

I am going to hold my tongue, except to say you have a really detestably mean spirit.
Little Kentklizbe In The Tree is doing well, just in case toy are wondering, putrefying slowly to her final mummified state.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
October 8, 2015 3:39 pm

Well Kip, I politely suggesting not trying to be the boss of the world.

October 8, 2015 3:51 am

Interesting topic for me as a ‘bird man’ – some of the comments are old hat – conservation has moved on here in the UK (and I thought also in the USA) such that ‘rewilding’ projects are pioneering new approaches where there is LESS management and intervention. Those NY State forests are second-growth and will over time be subject to fires, wind-throw and disease, which will open them up – and then they need the full ‘guild’ of wild grazers to keep spaces open, including beavers . Rather than, or in addition to, seeking to manipulate the forests natural progression, large areas could be left unmanaged for the sake of wildness itself. The species count may go down, but what is that all about anyway – some index chosen by professionals with their own axe to grind (I am a professional ecologist, by the way!).
You can order ‘Rewilding’ edited Peter Taylor, (Ethos, 2011) from Amazon or get the PDF downloads from the British Association of Nature Conservationists website – in full colour, three files at £2 per file! It will give you the full history of 20 years of British rewilding.
And yes – the conservation groups here (except BANC) have swallowed the AGW story hook line and grant money. The RSPB (protection of birds society) has churned out computer projections of the ‘threat’ and ‘damage’ to birdlife – yet all the data show, so far, no losses, only gains – with new breeding species coming up from the Mediterranean. The Snow Buntings in Scotland are doing fine. However, northern tundra species – ducks and waders, may be showing declines on their breeding and wintering grounds in the Arctic – the data is not really very good.
But everywhere, it is clear, land-use changes agricultural intensification and pesticides, new infrastructure, urbanisation and feral cats are all major factors – far more than climate change. Yet – climate change is always placed right up there – if not the major threat. I read the same guff for the Himalayan region recently – from WWF – that AGW was the prime influence – but I have yet to see any real evidence to back it up. My conclusion – these campaign groups keep saying it because it aids the funding streams. There will be a backlash if and when the temperatures start to fall – as most ecologists who have studied the natural cycles now expect.

Reply to  Peter Taylor
October 9, 2015 4:23 pm

Thank you.
It isn’t quite as barbaric over here as it seems. What America has fostered is wilderness growth for over seventy years.
Forest fires were contained. Ground fires were minimized or forbidden. It was/is considered natural for clear cut forests to regenerate without interference, that taller faster trees would stifle lesser growth as time wore on.
Recently, forest managers are recognizing that while the young to mature forest process sounds natural, it is not the best for wildlife and forest diversity.
As another commenter above pointed out, persimmon trees (diospyros virginiana L., or food of the gods, Virginia, wood from diospyros trees is called ebony), may not be reseeded. It turns out that many of the wildlife food plants are not the quickest to reseed and their original distribution may have been human aided. I have two persimmons in my yard.
Tree farmers in South America perhaps discovered this earlier. When they tried to plant monoculture forests, e.g. mahogany, rosewoods, etc., it quickly became obvious that monoculture forests did not support diverse wildlife.
Worse, while monoculture plantings are a kind of ecological desert, they are also ecological feasts for pests that thrive on the single species.
With experimentation, the tree farmers began to plant mixed forests of specific ratios and they believe they’ve worked out suitable ratios best for wood and wildlife.
About the same time, American forest managers were wondering why new sequoias and other trees were not sprouting new trees. Well, actually, they sort of knew why, but they hadn’t put cause and effect into the ah ha moment.
These forest managers knew that the pine cones released by the trees rarely released their seeds. They also knew that the pine cones would release seeds when burning. It wasn’t till the year after a fire in Sequoia with sequoias sprouting in the burned areas that the forest managers understood that forest fires are required to grow new sequoias.
Therein was/is a new problem. sequoia trees are very resistant to fires, but with nearly a century of dead wood on the ground, fires that might kill sequoia trees is a real possibility. Ditto for many other wooded areas where man prevented fires for so many decades.
I currently live a few miles from Chancellorsville where a battle was fought during our Civil War called “Battle of the Wilderness”.
Wilderness is an apt term. After farmers abandoned their farms because the soil in much of Spotsylvania is very poor for crops. Unworked land quickly grew a riotous mix of trees and brush. The immature forest grows so densely that to bust one’s way through is slow and difficult. Mix in a fair amount of briars, wild blackberries and a particularly dense thorny wild rose bushes then progress through the woods is painful too.
During the battle, wounded soldiers from both sides were trapped in what they called the Wilderness, when a fire (exploding cannonballs) broke out and consumed all.
When this and many other forests get just a little older, much of the underbrush perishes. What with dead branches and trees falling down into the dry undergrowth these forests become firetraps. Any blaze quickly becomes a full scale seriously hot fire, burning not just the dead wood, but killing standing tree cambium layers and sterilizing the upper soil. Regrowth becomes very difficult.
Forests everywhere go through similar processes. What does a country full of firetrap forests do? We’re still working some of that one out.
Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia have many hillsides where the undergrowth is very densely packed head high rhododendron.
Much like birch bark, rhododendron dry wood is extremely flammable and quite hot with gas pockets flaring out as the wood burns. Rhododendrons also retain their dead branches for quite some time making the rhododendron thickets very bad places to be in a forest fire.

October 8, 2015 4:17 am

This is time of the year when migrating birds in the N. Hemisphere are on their way south. It is thought that some species use the Earth’s magnetic field for their navigation. If so, you may find some of them straying a way out of their normal route. Reason for this is that in the last two days the Earth has been hit by series of major or severe geomagnetic storms
Rapid deviation in the declination of degree or two on each side could be critical, so don’t shoot.
You also may notice the strong (800nT) impact on the Z component amounting to 1.4% with disturbance of about 2h;in comparison, just before Japan’s mega quake (11 March 2011) the excursion peaked at 700nT but disturbance lasted about 10h.

Reply to  vukcevic
October 8, 2015 4:33 am

how does this compares to the recent months ?

Reply to  vukcevic
October 8, 2015 6:22 am

Do you have the chart from the period just before and after the megaquake?

Reply to  menicholas
October 8, 2015 9:48 am

Yes, for both Japan and New Zeeland (3 weeks earlier) here
See also http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/10/sol-is-finally-waking-up/#comment-617659

Reply to  menicholas
October 8, 2015 11:32 pm

Larry, I agree with you… there are some areas that have feral cats, but also large areas with few or none.
These studies being referred to assume a feral cat population on the order of magnitude of the number of people in the country.
I think this is clearly ridiculous.

Reply to  vukcevic
October 8, 2015 2:29 pm
Hector Pascal
October 8, 2015 4:26 am

When I were a lad living in the country….(UK 1950s-1960s), in early summer, the dawn chorus of songbirds would wake me at about 5 am. Then, raptors and nest raiders were ruthlessly persecuted.
Now, all birds are protected. Hawks and Jays and Magpies (etc. etc), once a rare sight, are now common. Songbirds, once common are becoming rare.
How many Thrushes, Blackbirds and Sparrows does it take to raise a nest of Sparrowhawks?
Try here: http://www.songbird-survival.org.uk/the_problem.html

Reply to  Hector Pascal
October 8, 2015 6:07 am

Back then a bounty used to be paid for tails of the invasive pest (and nest raider) the grey squirrel.

October 8, 2015 4:28 am

we just had dept of sparks n parks set supposedly controlled burns in Vic on a hot windy spell
2 homes at least gone plus sheds probably stock and a shitload of wildlife
allowing in bush grazing and some clearing for open areas to help stop fires getting so large n jumping piddling 12ft firebreaks might be smart?
greentards reckon their ways best.

October 8, 2015 4:47 am

I live in a well treed urban area. My buddy lives in a forest by a lake. I was always curious about why there seemed to be many more birds in the my back yard than out in the forest. Now I know. Thanks Kip.

Reply to  commieBob
October 9, 2015 4:37 pm

Your buddy could install a purple martin house.
Martins rarely land on the ground, they love mosquitos and insects and they prefer to live near water.

Half tide rock
October 8, 2015 4:57 am

So the first uS energy crisis was when densely inhabited areas began to run out of wood to heat houses and buildings. Like ice land and Europe the search for woo denuded the countryside.Whale oil became scarce too. Substituting coal for wood took some of the pressure off wood as a source of heat and forests could recover. 1 chord per year per acre. There was a transition from coal to oil for heating after WWII. Now 87% of homes in Maine are heated with fossil fuel. The forests are recovering. The same percentage of homes in Canada are heated with Hydro. the result is the same no pressure to cut for heat and the forest returns. Now farmers fight back the forest to keep their fields open where before that effort was directly useful and any-twig collected ment warmth. Just thinkin’

October 8, 2015 5:13 am

Declining birds populations are more the sad outcome of these many silly windmills than the purported climate change.

John Endicott
Reply to  Jack
October 8, 2015 5:49 am

Indeed, that is the real bird population/Climate Change link – man’s misguided attempts at combatting an over-hyped “problem” via putting up numerous bird choppers across the country side.

Gerry, England
October 8, 2015 5:57 am

I think it is reasonable to say that the vast majority of the landscape of the UK is the result of man. If left to its own devices, most areas would be forest or swamp, scrub up to the snowline and that’s it. Man’s farming activities has produced a varied landscape with a huge variety of species. Chalk downland is preserved by grazing and removal of any bushes that escape them for example. Coppicing of woods for various uses creates a turnover of the habitat. Reed beds were preserved by cutting for thatching etc, this stopped them from choking with vegetation and gradually evolving into land. The greens policies would destroy lots of this.

Ric Haldane
October 8, 2015 6:03 am

Native Americans used fire to improve hunting habitat long before Europeans arrived. A good example is the Eastern Grouse. Grouse habitat relies on succession. I have not seen a Grouse in the Pinelands in New Jersey in perhaps 30 years. Everything is overgrown. I found an area in north central Pennsylvania that had been clear cut some years ago. I carried a hand gun for the Grouse that lived in the new growth on my way to the mature areas where the turkey would feed. Even at that time, I considered the area rare as it had the best of two habitats.

October 8, 2015 6:13 am

You post represents multiple decades of the vilification of cattle owners, shepherds, and loggers. These hard working folks put a roof over our heads, meat on the table, and clothes on our backs while continuing nature’s desire to renew and rebuild flora and fauna in a continuing cycle of life. I was born from these hard working folks and will forever announce and defend their contributions to the health of planet Earth.

Reply to  Pamela Gray
October 8, 2015 6:15 am

Finger typo. Your, not you. Or it could be an early morning not enough coffee brain fart.

Reply to  Pamela Gray
October 8, 2015 8:10 am

In my case, spilled beverages cause sticky keys.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
October 8, 2015 4:18 pm

I felt slightly vilified Kip.
But I forgive you.
My take on it is we will have to agree to disagree…i would not presume to imply that my opinion should dictate your personal choices.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
October 8, 2015 11:10 pm

I can take the heat of the kitchen without getting upset about it. Just offering my view, and I accept yours.
I try to save my insults for the general case, and mostly for warmistas.
And that mostly because I think they are liars, not just because I disagree with them.
I do not think disagreeing is reason enough to insult someone.
As to vilification, you did make it rather plain that you think people who let cats outside and are not locked somehow into a yard, are responsible for billions of bird and mammal deaths, and are unfit to be pet owners…unless you meant only me.

Ric Haldane
Reply to  Pamela Gray
October 8, 2015 3:05 pm

Pam, perhaps I should send you some Kenya AA so you can read my post again with a buzz. I have not vilified any person or group. Many think that old growth is best for all wild animals. I believe that you hunt and know better. Suppression of all wild fires have sure worked well out for the west hasn’t it? New growth attracts game animals, no matter whether forest or field. Armchair conservationist are no different than the warmest. Montana has a program that pays farmers to increase bird habitat. The bad news is that the fund is running low on funds and some land will return back to intensive farming resulting in some loss of great bird habitat. When I was much younger I lived in Princeton and went to the high school there. The farm boys from Princeton Junction went to the same school. We had wild pheasants. That area is now all $700-900,000 houses with taxes $18-20,000 per year. I also duck hunted the Mill Pond that Orson Wells described in “War of the Worlds”. What few farms are left have few hedge rows. Your chances of finding a diamond are greater than find a wild pheasant. This is not to say conditions were ever close the the Yakima Valley. I have nothing but admiration and respect for the people you think I vilify. The people in those areas today are the backbone of this country and still possess common sense with the possible exception of most of California, and parts of Oregon and Washington. The engineer in me makes me accept change even if I don’t like it. Change is reality. After all, when things stop changing, it means you are dead. I’m sure you could guess my thoughts on the Climate Change Industry. You do have to hand it to them. Now they have a real Pope.

Ric Haldane
Reply to  Ric Haldane
October 8, 2015 3:10 pm

Pam, my bad. I thought your post was directed to me. Sorry.

Reply to  Ric Haldane
October 8, 2015 4:21 pm

The more things change, the more they stay the same.
‘Twas ever thus.

October 8, 2015 6:40 am

As a bird “liker” (I wouldn’t say I love them, but I do enjoy having them around), I’ve got to share my bird population story.
Two years ago, my wife and I moved to a new area of the country. We bought a house with a large, poorly looked after yard. Due to various utility and drainage easements (we live adjacent to a retention pond), a couple thousand square feet of property were outside of the existing fence, and the area outside the fence looked like it hadn’t been mowed in several years (there was various small woody plants and other weeds up to 6 ft tall). We moved right before winter, and enjoyed watching all the birds, especially the blue jays and cardinals that would regularly visit us. The following summer, we put a lot of work into cleaning up the yard to make it look nice, including the area outside the fence.
As winter #2 in the new house progressed, my wife commented on how many fewer birds there were than the previous winter. It wasn’t until a few weeks after her comment that I finally realized why: I had destroyed the area they had been using for food and shelter. We now have a back yard feeder, and as long as we keep the squirrels away, the bird population is as high as ever.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Jimmy
October 8, 2015 7:28 am

I understand as my story is just the opposite. Living in SW Florida if is difficult to have a nice lawn without a sprinkler system and constant care. I do not have a sprinkler system and got tired of fighting nature. I tore out all the grass and replaced the entire property with native plants and flowers and cypress mulch. No more wasted water, no more constant care with chemicals to control weeds and bugs. Life is much easier now and less expensive. An unexpected benefit is now I have lots of birds, butterflies, snakes (the good ones, Southern Racers) and even rabbits that visit daily. So as the article acknowledges, not all change is bad, some is very beneficial and natural processes if left alone will usually tend to take care of themselves for the good of nature.

October 8, 2015 7:41 am

More years ago than I’d like to admit I was a Boy Scout. We went on 2 week camping trip to Maine. Hiking through a gorgeous forest, we suddenly came across a clear cut area. It was filled with Blackberry bushes at least 3 yards tall. They would have been taller but they were bent over from the weight of all the berries. Scattered throughout were bears harvesting the abundance. They weren’t the least bit interested in us.
Our guide explained that, in Maine, they sold logging plots about 500 yards wide and about 20 miles long so that the logging companies were cutting fire breaks into the forest. Sounds like a “win-win” to me.

October 8, 2015 7:52 am

Here’s a bird that fears no predator, The mythical Piasa Bird
Wonder what that would do to a windmill…

Reply to  Dawtgtomis
October 8, 2015 8:02 am

(painted by my good friend, Dave Stevens ‘The Rice Painter’.)
His work is amazing.

October 8, 2015 8:26 am

What is really quite striking from the numbers included here is the scale of re-forestation in New York – something which has been mirrored all over North America. By the end of the 19th century, the Eastern part of the northern US was almost all pasture/agriculture and now it has mostly returned to forest (as the mid-west took up the reigns of food production). 19m hectares in NY alone – that is a lot of CO2 fixation….
And now there are “conservation” efforts to make sure some of the forests are clear cut regularly in order to “maintain” certain species population. But prior to the influx of European settlers, the entire area would have been old-growth (beavers alone can’t clear enough land to make a difference) so these very species we are trying to encourage are actually only there because of human intervention! If this kind of change were only just being done now, the “conservationists” would be up in arms that we are removing the habitat of species that need old growth forests and allowing in the influx of “invasive species” which do better in disturbed habitats.
This just goes to show how ephemeral our human short-term ideas of lanscape really are. In the UK, conservation efforts are focussed on preserving pasture-land habitats – which again never existed until the old-growth oak forests were cut down in the 16/17/18 centuries. Just who gets to decide what the “right” habitat is which should be conserved?

Reply to  Rob
October 9, 2015 5:19 pm

The East coast Native Americans did clear trees in places. Their movable villages would be moved occasionally and the old area allowed to refresh itself. They also moved their villages to and from summer/winter areas.
Native Americans cleared areas for gardens often planting the ‘three sisters’; corn, beans and squash.
So while large tracts of land were maintained old forest, there were many clearings, meadows and brushy areas too. Native Americans often used fires to control forest and clear growth areas.
In the Midwest, Native Americans burned the grass to keep trees from turning the grasslands into forest. While this was just an expansion of already existing natural processes it was also used to capture food, rabbits and birds for the winter.
Eastern American forests were primarily, (up to three fourths), American chestnut trees with the remaining trees being a mix of mostly hardwoods, oak, cherry, maple and hickory.
When the Europeans arrived, the primary wildlife for dinner were turkeys and squirrels. The term ‘barking a squirrel’ became synonymous with accurate shooting, but came from the practice of shooting the branch just under the squirrel and stunning the squirrel.
Shooting a squirrel with a 36 to 76 caliber rifle is decidedly overkill and destroys meat. Plus a squirrel killed while clutching a tree often will not fall making a hungry hunter hungrier while climbing to fetch their squirrel. But a stunned squirrel does not clutch the bark and falls from the tree. Barking a squirrel provided more and better quality meat.
Deer were not uncommon, but they were not as common as today. Deer survive in a mature forest, but they thrive in mixed forest.
There was also an eastern cousin, believed, of the bison, called the woods bison.
Remember, many of the immigrating Europeans nearly starved while getting used to the differences.
As Kip pointed out, farms were the first reason for clearing of forest. As such, much less desirable land stayed forested so that lumberjacks were still working Eastern woods into the 1930s.
During WWII, Eastern mountain forests provided red spruce for planes. Rumor has it that the ‘Spruce Goose’ utilized quite a lot of red spruce in Howard Hughes’s plane.
Many areas in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine stayed forested till after WWII and helped support the housing boom after the soldiers returned.

Reply to  ATheoK
October 10, 2015 3:08 am

Having grown up in PA, I can tell you that the state is know to have (As of when i last lived there, about 15 years ago) a huge problem in that there are few young forests. There is no logging there, not in my lifetime, which is since 1961.
I have read accounts that confirm what was alluded to in this article…that after the civil war, PA was clear cut from East to West during reconstruction. The woodsmen that worked at the front of the Union army as they pursued their foes through the south became incredibly efficient at clearing out a path wide enough for the army to pass, used the cut wood to build corduroy roads and bridges for the following army and the equipment they brought along with them. They cleared this path as fast as the army could march. These same people, returning home after the war, are the ones employed to cut the trees. I grew up in one of the homes built during these years…a house built in 1876 in Center City Philadelphia…and I can tell you it was a lot of very nice wood used.
Anyway, the accounts of the clear cutting are well documented, so there was almost no virgin old growth forest left after that in Pennsylvania.

October 8, 2015 8:47 am

Big Tree People Parks with almost no wildlife. That’s what the environmentalists want.

Alan McIntire
October 8, 2015 8:57 am

“However, a homogenized environment is not what wildlife needs. It needs all kinds of habitat niches – including clearcut and burned over areas, beaver-dam created meadows as well as mown hay fields and highway roadsides and fence line hedges.”
I recently read an article stating that comparing city, suburbs, and country, the largest variety of birds is in the suburbs. That ties in with your remarks- both city and country are more homogeneous than suburbs, with varying amounts of trees, shurbs, gardens, etc in each lot.

October 8, 2015 9:52 am

Thanks for `broaching this subject.
Interestingly, this issue–bird population data–overlaps with another issue of great import: Data manipulation.
The Audobon Society sponsors one of the oldest “citizen science” projects: the Christmas Bird Count. Every year, within two weeks of Christmas, citizen scientists hit the field and collect data–counting and recording every bird they see in their designated area.
” The National Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is an early-winter survey of birds. Although counts occur in Central and South America, most CBCs occur in North America. The sample area for a count is a circle that is 15 miles in diameter, and varying numbers of volunteers count all birds they see in the circle during a single day, which is within 2 weeks of 25 December. (Butcher 1990)
“Although this analysis only considers the interval 1959 – 1988, the CBC was begun in 1900. The number of circles and participants has changed dramatically since the early years. Butcher (1990) notes that 1,508 circles were surveyed in 1986-1987. Unfortunately, the number of birds counted is a function of effort, and analysis of change over time must incorporate some effort adjustment (Butcher and McCulloch 1990). In this analysis, we standardized the counts to birds/100 party hours, but we acknowledge that more research is needed into methods of adjusting counts…”
So, just like North American temperature observations, there is a solid data base of bird count observations, going back to 1900.
Note the careful attention to data quality: http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/introcbc.html
Even with the clear issues with data quality (differences each year in: number of people in observation team, timing, day, weather, etc) there are apparently no massive “homogenization” or meddling with the raw data.
It is all available online.
They did create a solution to the data issues: they created a new data point: Number of birds per party hours. This provides a metric that takes into account some of the variables.
But the raw data is there for posterity. At least, as of now. It generally tells the story of rising bird populations.

Reply to  kentclizbe
October 10, 2015 1:17 am

So the cats are strengthening the herd, might we conclude, by culling out the weak, stupid, old, sick, unfit, and slow/slow-witted?

October 8, 2015 1:35 pm

We have known that bird populations respond to landscape level habitat change for decades. How does that change the conclusion that climate change will cause major changes to bird distribution and abundance?

Reply to  Kip Hansen
October 10, 2015 4:09 am

Whether Dutch Elm disease, Chestnut blight, or hurricanes like Hugo, examples abound of the fact that nature is not efficient, and does not preserve the status quo. These trees should always be harvested, and that in a responsible manner, not just left as if they are outdoor furniture.
Leaving these forests in the mature state that concludes the natural succession, from grass lands, to shrubs and pine, to mixed deciduous, and then mature hardwood climax forest is, as the article rightly points out, a wrongheaded and myopic view of proper stewardship of the environment.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
October 10, 2015 4:17 am

I wonder what would have happened if the green movement would have been around twenty thousand years ago, when the two mile high continental glaciers began to melt, and the climate changed in a way that allowed every single creatures and living thing in the northern half of North American to even exist?
I am sure they would have decried the habitat loss of whatever few creatures scraped out a meager living on the slopes of the massive wastelands of the ice sheets.
Would they have insisted policies be put in place to futilely try and prevent North America from becoming ice sheet free?
The only constant is change.

October 8, 2015 1:39 pm

Climate Change = more Wind Mills = more Bird Mortality = Declining Bird Populations. Circular analysis, anybody?

Reply to  Kip Hansen
October 8, 2015 7:48 pm

I agree. Bird mortality from wind mills is dwarfed by the effects of windows, power lines and associated power poles, roads and vehicles (almost 100 golden eagles were observed killed along highways near Rock Springs, WY in one winter). Some large raptors with limited distributions that coincide with wind energy farms and low reproductive rate may be negatively affected but the impact on most bird populations will be negligible. I will take limited mortality from wind farms over potentially massive changes due to climate change in a second.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
October 9, 2015 9:24 pm

Well, sure, Luke–but the assertion that we’ll see “massive changes due to climate change” is a pie-in-the-sky guess, nothing more, nothing less. Do you have anything besides skewed computer models to support your supposition?

Reply to  Kip Hansen
October 10, 2015 3:35 am

“I will take limited mortality from wind farms over potentially massive changes due to climate change in a second.”
Oh, you will, will you?
Well, I will not take it…I will fight it!
While we still have these birds left to save.
Your BS regarding power lines and roads is pure nonsense and misdirection, almost entirely non-factual.
The evidence for large numbers of birds killed by power lines is far thinner than the exaggerated claims for cats causing massive harm. The problem of a bird’s outstretched wings shorting out the terminal of the separate conductors has been long ago resolved. Small nesting songbirds cause an occasional substation short every now and then, but even these issues are more often caused by squirrels. It rarely happens, as attested by the reliability of our power supply.
Luke, your attitude is the problem.
These bird choppers, if the plans of the greens continue to be put in place, will create an impassable gauntlet for large birds. As it is, the areas in which they exist are a death trap from which few large birds can escape. And when you look at the amount of power thus produced, compared to what is required to achieve the carbon free plans for power generations, it is obvious that a hundred times more of these will need to be erected. It will do little good, and massive harm, even if one were to concede that CO2 is in the slightest way dangerous.
Birds passing them do not even have to be hit by the blades of the windmills…the pressure wave can kill them, or suck them in, once they get within a certain distance.
It is likely that these will cause the absolute extinction of whole classes of birds if they remain and in fact become more widespread.
And by the way, what climate change are you referring to? Please be specific.
What evidence do you have, what can you show, that provides even one tiny speck of evidence that a trace gas will cause even one bird to die due to atmospheric effects?
I challenge you to provide such evidence. Considering your brutal and shameless disregard for the lives of these innocent and majestic creatures, which preceded us by tens of millions of years in their claim to the airspace now occupied by your birdchoppers, you must have strong evidence indeed.
Unless yours is a position borne out of sheer ignorance, and disregard for facts, and indifference to the rules evidence based science and reason.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
October 10, 2015 10:15 am

Don’t forget that large numbers of mosquito-eating bats are getting bumped off as well. So we might see an increase in malaria caused by a counter-productive response to an imagined threat of “climate change.”

Reply to  Kip Hansen
October 11, 2015 9:24 pm

Menicholas don’t waste all of our time! Estimates of bird mortality from wind mills is more than three orders of magnitude lower than EACH of the following sources: buildings, powerlines, cats, automobiles, and pesticides. There are many scientific studies that have looked at this one citation is below. Peter Marra is a coauthor on a recent paper in Frontiers in Ecology (behind a pay wall) that shows the same thing (link below the Erickson paper).

John F. Hultquist
October 8, 2015 3:10 pm

My family is from the hills of northwestern Pennsylvania. After my grandparents left the farm a new owner planted fields of pines meant for Christmas Trees. Another place I know well, about 15 miles away, got the same treatment. Maybe half the pines were harvested but many remain, now inter-grown with local species. In the late 40s and 50s many large Chestnut trees were still standing, home for squirrels – Hickory nuts were their food source by then.
Prior to my time, so before the 1940s, there were 2 things (not counting farming) locally that contributed to the cutting of trees. One was leather production (tanning of hides) and the other was providing logs for uses (flat-bottom boats on the Ohio) to the westward migration. Local men would cut trees and with the spring run-off float the trees to Pittsburgh, sell the logs, then walk home – about 80 miles. From my area, the last run of logs was in May, 1915. (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~pacpiney/index_files/pineydam.htm)
Use the following to search “images”: ~ flat boats migration ohio river ~
Other parts of the eastern forests were cut at other times and for various reasons. Search the link below for the “Great Clearcut” (1890-1930).

October 8, 2015 3:35 pm

So manmade micro environments benefit some species.
What about the big raptors?
Here in North America I sense they are under assault.
Govt sanctioned blind eye by regulators of wind industry.
Just got back from a road trip through Alberta, Saskatchewan, North & South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana, Out on the plains and in the Windfarm free hills we saw lots of Hawks, Owls and a handful of Eagles, came back through Pincher Creek Alberta not even a raven from Waterton Lakes to Fort Macleod.
Now it may have been the time of day, but I was paying attention as this was curiosity of mine.
Now in Cody Wyoming we attended a talk on Raptors at the Museum, great presentation.
I asked the spokesman if these very smart birds could learn to avoid wind turbine sails.
He said possibly but due to the forward and down orientation of a raptors eyes they may never learn what hit them at 200 miles per hour.
Who is gathering this kind of information?
With the environmental organizations mostly done over to the Cult of Calamitous Climate, and openly worshipping these whirling replacements of the Christian crucifix, who is gathering accurate data?

Reply to  john robertson
October 8, 2015 4:15 pm

There are people keeping an eye on birds being chopped up by wind turbines:

Reply to  john robertson
October 8, 2015 4:16 pm
Barbara Skolaut
October 8, 2015 7:17 pm

Bird populations are declining? When’s the decline in bird poop on my car and deck going to decline?

Reply to  Barbara Skolaut
October 8, 2015 8:12 pm


Larry Wirth
October 8, 2015 10:25 pm

I have a Siberian Huskie that kills (and eats) birds at every opportunity. She’s much more successful than any cat I’ve ever known. No ambush, just quick. And I’m not talking about quail or roadrunners that are present here: those she doesn’t have any hoping of catching. Why, I’m not sure- seems the quail would be easy, the roadrunners impossible.
The quail have a dozen or so offspring every Spring and we watch their coveys decline over the weeks following their hatching, but most seen to fall victim to coyote predation. My dear domesticated dog seems to have little interest in them, though she will eat the hindmost if given the opportunity.
Our neighborhood (SW of Tucson in the open desert) has no feral cats, or domesticated ones left outdoors (says everything about their ability as free-range predators), but plenty of coyotes and wild pig-like critters called javelins. They and the dogs don’t give much of a damn about each other; neither seem to want to get into fights over anything. Yeah, the dogs bark and the pigs cower, but not once has that escalated into a fight of any kind.
The sweet (properly fed) Huskie also killed and partially ate a local skunk with no remorse. Conclusion: we as humans are in no position to judge the inclinations of our earthly co-inhabitants because we are totally incapable of discerning their motives about anything at all.

Reply to  Larry Wirth
October 8, 2015 11:33 pm

Larry, I agree with you… there are some areas that have feral cats, but also large areas with few or none.
These studies being referred to assume a feral cat population on the order of magnitude of the number of people in the country.
I think this is clearly ridiculous.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
October 9, 2015 6:40 am

Careful: “The studies are NOT about feral cats — they are about free-roaming domestic house-kitties…”
Yes, the studies are about ALL cats–feral and domestic.
“Cats kill billions of birds and mammals each year and are the number one cause of death of both, according to the US Fish & Wildlife Service and Nature Communications. While one pet cat may kill one to 34 birds a year, a feral cat will kill as many as 46 birds a year. Over the years, it is known that cats have brought about the extinction of 33 bird species including New Zealand’s Stephens Island Wren.”
Most people are unaware of the massive number of feral cats, and the human support systems that exacerbate the problem.
There are huge organizations and numbers of individuals who provide health and legal support to these feral cat populations.
That is not to minimize domestic cats, and their impact on birds. But feral cats are a huge, and growing problem.