The Breeding Bird Atlas 1 was conducted between 1974 and 1979. The state was broken into 1055 blocks and volunteer bird watchers canvassed each block noting ever observed specie and any incident of breeding behavior. As of 2011 the BBA2 is being completed, the same 1055 blocks have been re-canvassed for a minimum of 20 hours each by a growing volunteer corps of bird watchers. The collected data is being compiled by the USGS on a searchable, public website and the results are fascinating and often alarming.
Significant trends can be seen in both increase and decline of particular species and one species in particular has come forward as a signal of habitat loss. The American Kestrel and its reliance on open farm fields and pastures has been decimated by the decline of local agriculture and the invasive spread of suburban sprawl.
was correct in predicting of this “possible decline” and the small, misnamed
sparrow hawk stands may now be symbol of a changing landscape and quiet loss
happening beneath our very nose. Nancy
My original motivation for searching
’s name on the internet was to see
if any kind of foundation or land conservation had been made in Nancy ’s
honor. It turns out this search was not in vein. Nancy