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Post Number: 1719
Registered: 02-2004

Posted on Friday, September 18, 2015 - 9:34 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Has anyone else noticed the silence in Temagami the last couples of years, or is it just me?
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Post Number: 5
Registered: 08-2005
Posted on Saturday, September 19, 2015 - 8:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Definitely noticed fewer songbirds in the South Arm this year but not previous years. However, we also noted few bats and few dragonflies and suspect it's all because there were few bugs in general this year (except June). I suspect it's just a cycle in nature and when the mosquitos return so will the predators.
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Post Number: 109
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Saturday, September 19, 2015 - 7:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Plenty of songbirds on Ogama Island this summer.
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Post Number: 90
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Sunday, September 20, 2015 - 11:29 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Some random, unscientific observations:

Lots of generic, brown sparrows at the feeder in the North Arm this summer and last, but not the variety of other birds (such as grosbeaks) as in the past.

Very occasional eagle sightings this year and last. That's a change from a few years ago.

No evidence of an active loon nest in Devil Bay this summer, but there were several unusually large rafts of loons out on the main lake at the end of August - one in particular with at least 40 birds.

I always though that sandhill cranes nest much further north than the Temagami area, but for the past two summers, their unique squawking call was heard almost daily in the early morning to the west of the main lake - maybe in Eye lake or in the smaller lakes north of Obabika Inlet.

Some believe that the decline in the bat population has been caused by a serious fungal disease that has affected the population over a wide range.
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Post Number: 7
Registered: 04-2012

Posted on Monday, September 21, 2015 - 1:10 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I've definitely noticed a decline in the songbird population in recent years. Not just in Temagami, but everywhere. When I was a kid, I remember waking up early during the spring and summer, to a symphony of birds perched in the trees around our home. I haven't heard anything close to that in years.
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Post Number: 393
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 1:23 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Many birds in Ontario are in steep decline, especially aerial insect-catchers. Barn Swallows, Bank Swallows, Purple Martins and Chimney Swifts ar all down by 95+% since 1970.
Many songbird species are down more than 40 or 50%.
Most insect-eating species spend the summer here to take advantage of the abundance of insects, which include not only mosquitos but every other kind of insect.
Can ANYONE who spends time in the bush (or farm country, or the big city for that matter) have failed to observe that there are far fewer flying insects and caterpillars nowadays than 20, 30 or 40 years ago!?
While it's obvious that habitat loss, pollution and other factors, not just here but on the birds' wintering grounds and migration routes, are all part of the problem, it seems equally obvious to me that there is a serious problem, in Ontario, with insect populations, and that this is largely behind the decline in insect-eating bird populations.
The decline in insect populations is not as well documented, or easy to research, as the decline in bird populations, because fewer people are concerned about insects than birds.
The most obvious explanation for the decline in insects is pesticides/herbicides. In particular, Glyphosates such as "Roundup" and Neo-nicotinoids (or "Neonics", which are largely to blame for the decline in North American bee populations) are currently being used by farmers, nurseries, foresters, market-gardeners and homeowners with geat abandon...
The Ontario government has a policy of reducing neo-nicotinoid use in the province by 80% by next year, though there is significant push-back by grain farmers (95% of corn grown in the province uses them).
Anyway, anyone who is concerned about bird populations needs to be concerned about insect populations.
Does anyone know about what the forestry industry is doing??? Do they spray, when do they spray, where do they spray and what do they spray?
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Post Number: 110
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 7:01 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Completely unscientific, but at least around my home I have noticed a big increase in predatory birds. Owls, Hawks, etc. even driving my kids to school I noticed a Bald eagle flying overhead as wee crossed over the Little Miami River about 7 miles from downtown Cincinnati. When I am on my back deck enjoying a cocktail after the sun goes down I am serenaded by several owls yelling, "who cooks! Who cooks for youuuu!" And a red tail hawk has taken up residence in one of my trees.
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Post Number: 394
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Sunday, October 18, 2015 - 12:18 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Bird collisions with windows is also a huge problem. Apparently this kills 10% of all songbirds each year, especially during migration. There are plenty of proven ways to decrease that but... who has the time or energy?
Anyhow, the decline in bird numbers is not due to "predatory birds", but to human beings and all the forms of development they create. Basically, the more human beings, the less birds. It's that simple, unfortunately.
There are plenty of things that could be done to mitigate this but it appears that very few people actually give a damn. I've seen that younger people with no memory of the natural world as it existed even 40 years ago don't have a reference point so they care even less.
Older people will remember:
-being in a car at night, driving down the highway in the summer through moths so thick it was like a severe blizzard and you had to slow down or the wipers would clog.
-seeing 1000 Monarch butterflies at a glance.
-billions of forest tent caterpillars blanketing everything for many miles in all directions.
-a huge cloud of grasshoppers, darkening the sky.
I've seen all those things, but not for 25+ years now.
Insects are closer to the bottom of the food chain and therefore obviously impact the viability of insectivores, especially songbirds.
In 1866, a migratory flock of Passenger pigeons, once the most abundant bird species in North America, passed through Southwestern Ontario. It was 1 mile wide, 300 miles long, took 14 hours to pass and must have contained 3.5 billion birds. By 1914 the species was extinct, its habit of nesting in huge flocks being its demise- it was hunted to extinction largely for use as fodder for pigs.
1866 is less than 150 years ago, and look what's left now. In my own lifetime, the decline is horribly apparent. The whole trajectory is going in the wrong direction and it doesn't look good.
So, go ahead and vote on October 19th for whichever party is advocating fewer people and more insects.

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