Losing the Soundtrack of Summer

The Audubon Society reports that spreading suburbs and industrialized agriculture are contributing to a precipitous decline in meadow birds like the Northern Bobwhite and Eastern Meadowlark.

"The song of the eastern meadowlark used to be the soundtrack of summer" said Scott Weidensaul, a naturalist and author to the New York Times. "Now it's a rare thing. The landscape is changing. Farming is much more industrialized. Development is sprawling across these valleys."

Twenty common birds have lost more than half their populations in 40 years. The population of the bobwhite, a rotund robin-size bird that lives in meadows from the mid-Atlantic to the Plains, has dropped more than 80 percent, to 5.5 million from more than 31 million. Causes are a combination of climate change and development along lakes and rivers. ::New York Times

Tags: Birds