Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Boreal Forest - Helping Our Songbirds

It is soon time to see some of our familiar bird visitors that come south from the boreal forest where they were birthed.

More than 80 percent of the global population of Dark-eyed Juncos (see photo to left) is estimated to breed in this forested area. What would our winter birdwatching be without the busy chatter and delight of Juncos? Their pink bill and slate coloring make them a favorite of my winter-time window-watching delights.

The boreal forest shelters more than 300 bird species and 50 percent of the total populations of nearly 100 bird species. It produces an astounding 3–5 billion birds each year, one billion of which spend the winter in the United States.

Many of our most familiar birds are abundant because more than 70 percent of the boreal forest is still ecologically intact. But, the very place that produces so many of the birds we love is being destroyed to feed the American appetite for cheap energy, paper, and other wood products. Approximately 80 percent of Canada's forest product exports go to the United States. Almost two thirds of the wood cut in Canada's boreal forest is used to make paper, including catalogs, junk mail, magazines, and newspapers.

Read the entire article and please take the time to find out what you can do to help. Stop catalogs you don't want to receive, stop junk mail, be more efficient with resources. Make a difference by doing "something" to help the birds we enjoy so much in our backyards.

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