North American Birds

VOLUME 69 NO3 2016

A Quarterly Journal of Ornithological Record Published by the American Birding Association. The mission of the journal is to provide a complete overview of the changing panorama of our continent’s birdlife.

Issue link: http://nab.aba.org/i/778845

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N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 354 T H E C H A N G I N G S E A S O N S : R E T R O S P E C T birders have a reasonable hope of seeing one off North Carolina in the warmer months, again thanks to old-fashioned hardcore boots-on-the-ground conservation work and clever use of data-loggers to discern their at- sea range (Madeiros et al. 2014). The same could be said of Kirtland's Warbler (Figure 18), whose careful conservation has led to an explosion of records of migrants in re- cent years (Petrucha et al. 2013), and cer- tainly too of California Condor, which made its first known appearance in thousands of years in New Mexico this season (Figure 19). In the pages of this issue, we read cautious optimism for recent increases in some popu- lations of Common Loon, Sandhill Crane, and even Piping Plover. We should keep these victories in mind as we rise to new challenges. For some species, the removal of toxins from the environment has abetted their re- turn to former haunts and perhaps numbers: Brown Pelican and Bald Eagle and Osprey (Figure 20) come to mind, and veteran bird- ers owe it to future generations to continue to communicate how dire the situation was for these birds during the DDT era. It is dif- ficult to convey this information, which is a lived experience, almost like a war, whose emotional impacts cannot be easily con- veyed in words or images. But those who lived through it must try. And we must at the same time celebrate, with whoops of joy, the welcome reappearance of other species, like Common Merganser (Figure 21) to river systems that are cleaner now, as coal burning declines and the Environmental Protection Agency holds polluters' feet to the fire. Epilogue I had planned to close on a high note. The results of the United States election of 8 No- Figure 19. Still quite rare in Illinois, this Kirtland's Warbler at Chicago's Montrose Point delighted scores of birders during its 16-17 (here 17) May 2015 stay. Photograph by Jerry Goldner.

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