Neotropical Migratory Birds

“Of the bird species that regularly breed in North America, 341 are Nearctic-Neotropical migratory birds (commonly known as Neotropical migrants) that breed in the United States and Canada, and winter in Latin America and the Caribbean. Among these Neotropical migrants are many species of plovers, terns, hawks, cranes, warblers, and sparrows.

Of the 341 species, 127 are known to be in decline. Sixty species are in severe decline (population decrease of 45% or more in the past 40 years), of which 29 are songbird species. Scientists still know too little about the status and population trends of one-fifth of all Neotropical migratory birds to be able to say whether or not these species are declining, stable, or doing well. There are many threats to Neotropical migrants, including fragmentation of their breeding, staging, and wintering habitats due to development, land conversion, habitat degradation, and deforestation, collisions with buildings and communication towers, poisoning by toxic chemicals such as pesticides, predation by introduced predators, and global climate change.

While the situation is dire for many species, such as Golden-winged and Cerulean warblers, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Long-billed Curlew, Reddish Egret, and Wood and Bicknell’s thrushes, there are viable conservation actions and programs in place that may help reverse this trend.”

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