Wild bird population needs monitoring

Imagine driving down a country road, sticking your head out the window and not being able to detect the voice of a Western meadowlark.

While we can’t say that already happens in the Minot area, drive a back road in other parts of the state and you’ll be amazed at the number of meadowlarks you’ll hear.

Other species, too, are down in numbers – at least in town and around backyard feeders. Again, that is general observation. But it is also backed up by what area birders are saying, and some of them are quite knowledgeable in what species call Minot home year-round or pass through on migration, and how their numbers compare with years gone by.

Perhaps it’s time we start listening to the birds, and the birders.

This is not a cry for action like is crowed by climate change zealots. Overreaction seldom helps. Still, there must be something we can all – that we can each – do to prevent further decreases in bird numbers.

Are we losing too much habitat in our rural areas, “developing” too many parks in our cities? Do we need more strict enforcement of pet leash laws? Do we need to consider putting features in our new green spaces to benefit wildlife?

Maybe, maybe not to all of the above.

Clearly, though, it is time to start paying more attention to what is taking place right outside our home and office windows. Then we can decide for ourselves whether to be alarmed or not.