Like many people of my generation, my environmental consciousness was formed in part by Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, the 1960's classic that examined the effects of pesticides on bird populations, and while I know that many songbirds are in trouble, let me report that Spring 2012 is anything but silent here in Parkersburg. Sitting on the screened porch as the last light fades, I can hear a robin's evening serenade, the trills of at least one wren, and the twittering of various sparrows. finches, grackles, and whatevers. While resting between bouts of mowing this afternoon, I was actually startled by the volume of birdsong emanating from the rhododendron a few feet away. I never did identify the Little Brown Bird making the racket (except that it was definitely NOT a house sparrow--wrong markings), but being made to jump by the loudness of a creature weighing only a couple of ounces did at least verify that the worst of Carson's fears did not come to pass.
We may not have all of our birds, but at least some of the kids are alright.