Thursday April 4, 2013

WILLISTON (AP) -- Some bird species that depended on open farmland have seen their populations drop over the last three decades while the land has grown up into forests, but during that time some other bird species have become more common than they were, according to the new book, the "Second Atlas of Breeding Birds of Vermont."

Some of the birds that have almost disappeared include the American Kestral and the bobolink, which depended on open farmland, while wild turkeys and ospreys have become more common, the book said.

The book was produced by the Norwich based Center for Eco-studies and the Department of Fish and Wildlife and is described as the most complete assessment of birds ever assembled for Vermont.

The book took 10 years to produce with input from 350 volunteers who spent 30,000 hours working on the project, Gov. Peter Shumlin said Wednesday during a news conference at the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library in Williston.

"Now we have a book to celebrate the dedication," Shumlin said. "The Breeding Bird Atlas is based firmly on science, but it’s a book for everyone."

The book includes 208 photographs, 415 maps, 591 tables and 215 graphs.

"We cannot know the nature of Vermont, the health of the woodlands, wetlands and other wild places, without knowing the status of our birds," said Rosalind Renfrew, a biologist with the Center who edited the book.