Sunday , May 16 2021

They are colleagues and quarrels … and they are back!

They are back! Well, in some places, anyway.

Evening biscuits are more like commanders in appearance and when they hit you at the eating station, you notice them. Greedy and scandalous, a herd of these birds can provide fun watching as they fight for space and can catch most sunflower seeds.

This is a species that bird watchers call "winter irrigation" because in some years these brightly colored birds are absent and in the rest of the year you can go to the brink of bankruptcy to buy sunflower seeds for them. And when the evening graves appear, their cousins ​​are often their cousins, the pine canopy, and the smaller finches scattered.

In the mid-1960s, our first poultry feed in Orlia attracted these birds along with a couple of blue dwarfs and chicks. I was 10 years old and when I saw these brightly colored birds on the other side of the kitchen window, I was hooked up for bird watching.

For many years thereafter, the arrival of the evening mines, which became the highlight of the winter, was coming.

However, within 30 years, these birds began to become scarce, with some winters lacking a single tapestry everywhere in southern Ontario. What about this? This had to become an example of scientific curiosity for many people, and the answer to the decay was disturbing.

But first, a little against the bird of bright yellow plumage.

Evening cookies are originally Western birds, with the Colorado River Basin being their main base. At the beginning of 1800 there were records of these birds, which are in high numbers, residing in the barley and pines of this region. For unknown reasons, they began expanding their reach to the east.

According to Birds from Simou County a book compiled by OD Devitt, the first local record of the evening grotesque was in Bari on May 24, 1886. By 1890 they became general observation, this year being marked as "the winter of the great invasion of the southern part of Ontario and New England states. "

One factor believed to be behind this arrival is the simultaneous introduction of a new tree species from the Red River valley, a maple maniot.

In fact, there are two types of trees, the evening balsam is closely related, a maple mannequin for delivery of winter seeds and black spruce from North Ontario for a summer nesting area. And here is part of the response of the variable population of this bird.

From 1940 to 1970, the insect, called spruce worm, spread to northern Ontario, and these insect-rich insects feed on many evening jars.

Since the early 1980s, the forest industry has launched a broad spray program to control these tree insects and work too well. Not only was the spruce worm destroyed, so did all other forest insects. No food for grapes does not mean that very few young birds have survived.

When the population of 1968 was compared to the population in 2015, there was a 97% reduction! Together with the loss of food, there have been several diseases aimed at fine, and the spread of Salmonella, the West Nile and the violet eye of the eye have affected the weakened birds.

Still, a small population of evening jars that are kept up, and as the spruce worm recovers within its 40-year cycle, there are now enough birds to remark once again in our winter feeding birds.

However, in August of 2018 (August … August … warm weather, sunshine … opi, I departed) The Department of Natural Resources and Forestry in Ontario added the evening grosh to its famous species at risk , including it as Special Concern because of the very low population.

Because the effect of climate change is on, one of the tree species that shows that it can not keep its current state is spruce. If the spruce trees die or displace the growing range, the insects that feed on them will be affected and the birds that eat the insects will be affected and the variety of birds that survive in Ontario will be affected. So maybe you do not have to buy so many seeds. Hmm … this is not a good thing.

If you are lucky this winter to see evening jars, or pine birch, think of the bigger picture. These birds are literally the "canaries in the coal mine"; if they have to struggle to survive, perhaps our destiny is not too far away.

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