Scarlet Tanager. All photographs by the author.
During late 2017, I began reading about 2018 being the Year of the Bird. The National Geographic Society and its partners urged people to "take a simple but meaningful action each month" to support birds. In response, I started to think about conducting a birding project right here in my home town of Reading, Massachusetts. Having lived and birded here for more than 38 years, I felt that I had a good handle on the birds of Reading. However, I was curious about the trends in our bird populations. I have noted the disappearance of Ruffed Grouse, Ring-necked Pheasant, American Kestrel, and breeding Prairie Warblers. Conversely, I am now seeing birds I never saw when I first started birding in Reading. Red-bellied Woodpecker and Carolina Wren can now be seen almost daily, and sightings of Bald Eagle and Common Raven are now possible.
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