CHASKA, Minn. — University of Minnesota's Landscape Arboretum in Chaska is one of better places to spot dozens of bird species.
"It's a great place because of mostly native plants," said director of operations Alan Branhagen.
He's what you would call an expert bird watcher.
"Really enrich your life if you pay attention to them," said Branhagen.
Now there's concerns about a decline in certain populations and what could happen years from now.
"I can vouch for that since I've been watching since the late 60's," said Branhagen.
A recent report says North America has lost 3 billion birds since 1970. It cites habitat loss as a major contributor.
Here in Minnesota, DNR officials like Kristin Hall are seeing the signs locally.
"A lot of our Grasslands Birds that rely on insects, Royal species is where we see the decline," said Hall.
Another recent report our from the National Audobon Society is particularly alarming to Minnesota. It shows 55 bird species could disappear by 2080
without action on climate change.
That includes the state bird, the Common Loon. Researchers say the bird could shift north to Canada.
"These are wake up calls so yeah we should pay attention," said Hall.
"Everyone can make a difference and we can reverse this," said Branhagen.
Here's what you can do to make a difference:
- Put window decals on windows to stop bird strikes
- Plant native plants in your yard
- Reduce the use of plastics and don't release balloons
- Reduce and eliminate pesticides