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Changes in habitat is another good point to make although I don't believe that is what is going on in this area and the birds I mentioned. Also good to point out about the overall numbers. Kind of hard to believe sometimes that species like Dickcissels and Eastern Meadowlarks are declining overall when you get in an area where seem to be singing everywhere! 
    
  Steve Kinder

Mike Brady <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
  I think changes in habitat probably has more to do with recent bird 
expansions than change of temps.Alteration of habitat would definitely have a quicker 
effect on bird range expansion
Another key factor is that many of the birds that seem to be expanding 
their range are shrub/field type birds like certain tyrant 
flycatchers,buntings, etc.These are birds that dont necessarily require "pristine"habitat to set 
up shop.Kingbirds flourish in city areas.Some of the best spots to see a 
painted bunting in the south are near farm houses.
These type of habitats have become common throughout the south and midwest 
over the last 10 years.Lots and lots of farmers selling off their farmland to 
developers who then let it sit for a while is one great example.
The birds that inhabit successional habitats are by nature more prone to 
wander around and look for new suitable habitats since grassland/shrub habitat 
is only suitable for alot of these birds for a relative short time before 
woodland or a shopping center takes over.
The ironic thing is that even though many birds may be expanding their 
range the overall numbers of alot of the expanding species are declining
-Mike Brady


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