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WHY Robins and other Birds aren't Singing
11 years ago
| Being Green

This is so sad; showing the reality of growing with chemicals.  There could be many more stories like this to come if we do not change our ways. I will not use any chemicals in my yard even tho I have more dandelions then any one on the block (yes I have been digging them up for years)



A new study indicates that Robins and other birds are still suffering damage from exposure to DDT, despite the fact the pesticide was banned in the United States over three decades ago.

New research shows that the area of the brain affected causes birds with high exposure levels to be unable to sing and protect territory.

Researchers estimate that at least 15 to 20 generations of robins have been affected since the pesticide was first applied.

The study provides further evidence that many of the toxic chemicals and pesticides we use today will continue to impact the environment and public health for generations to come. "Yes, it happened historically, but there are still problems with pesticides," says Andrew Iwaniuk, author of the study. "They have an extremely long half-life and just because we use one today, that doesn't mean it will always be safe."

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11 years ago

It isn't just the pesticides used years ago that are now banned, most of those pesticides, including DDT and Agent Orange, are still made in the States, and shipped to South America and Africa for use.  I have seen them with my own eyes - and many people in those countries die from exposure to them. 

It is all one world, all one ecosystem.  Banning them here, continuing to make them and shipping them there is wrong.

I try so hard to let people know this is happening but its so hard - its like no one wants to acknowledge it.  I will never stop though - the DDT is coming around on the ocean currents and affecting our wildlife and our human populations.

11 years ago

It has never occured to me that this could happen for in my house and street, are a family of Australian magpies who began arriving here more than twenty years ago. They warble all the time. Magpies are territorial and outside our street family they can dive bomb you in spring protecting their young. But ours warble at the front gate and if they see you they yell even more louder heralding the showing off of their new babes and indeed they are. You can get quite close to them and they recognise you. We started off with about two- a pair then little by little they had babies and talked I guess to other Maggies to come and now i would say we have about 40 of them. Sometimes when I would arrive home they would fly up the street in a guard of honour kind of thing as they know where I live and  hang out the front gate esp. if they had new babies. When I was smaller I was terrified of them because i saw what they did to people, but now they have taught me that not all are terrible and people freely walk up and down the street unharmed.

Not good for birds to die but what about the rising incidences of cancer in domestic animals. Now that is very obvious and scary. What are they doing to the pet food? I have lost a few cats to cancer and possibly years ago dogs too. No tests were available then.

I just try extremely hard not to use pesticides or anything poisonous outside. I have a huge extended family of Possums here. Not O possums- Australian Marsupial Possums. I have many trees that feed them and I have bats too which in summer eat my plums and hang upside down in the trees. Now that is a weird sound - a bat flying.OMG its eerie!! But i share my plums with neighbours, and others who knock on my door asking for them, friends and ME and the bats and there is still much left over. I think I have earnt a few halo's


Aussie animals, cancer, robins
11 years ago

This is a sad story, indeed...

Summerannie, I enjoyed reading about the Australian animals...Australian possums, magpies, and  You mentioned about the materials placed in pet food, which cause cancer to animals.  You might want to check out Pet Promise food (  This food is even recommended by Dr. Andrew Weil, M. D. for his pets. 

I believe that foods like Pet Promise are helping others to realize the importance of feeding animals healthy foods.  Maybe this can also help with the robins...maybe they will bring about organic food and seeds for these robins...

11 years ago

Interesting site thanks for sharing. Sadly you can buy it but I live in Australia. I guess there might be an alternative here, I dont know.


11 years ago

Thank you all for your input.....

Yes Wolf, it is about the current pesticides!

Lovely story is sweet to hear of animals inhabiting this earth.

I do appreciate that you are all doing your best not to add to it negatively.

so sad.....
11 years ago

they seem to not be at all concerned
when they come up with some new
products to control "pests".
creatures die, kids get sick and yet
they continue to poison.  sigh.

9 years ago

Every year the topic of weed killers come up during dandelion season.  I will not use it no matter what!!!! And I know that many people are not impressed but I love the robins.

9 years ago

Don't kill the dandelions, eat them.  There is no better feeling under your feet than a patch of clover.  And, nothing keeps a dogs coat cleansed and odor free than a roll in the clover.  We didn't bathe our dog once in 8 years as she constantly rolled in clover when in the yard.  Happy as can be.  I never understood this need to have a completely weed free yard.  Some weeds, such a clover, fix the nitrogen in the soil making things better.  Thankfully, the robins, cardinals, mocking bids and mourning doves all sing here.

9 years ago

Scott, some of my fondest memories are of my husband's grandmother from Italy out in the yard collecting dandelion greens to eat.  Maybe going back to some of the old ways is the best way. 

Now when I see a beautiful green lawn my first thought is of poison, great keep off the grass sign for me. 

9 years ago

I eat dandelions too! See Annie's recipes for dandelion and leek soup, it's lovely!

9 years ago

If I killed the weeds in my yard there wouldn't be anything green! I have that dollar weed, wild strawberries and who knows what (too hot in Texas for dandelions.) I have allergies to many things so would be afraid to eat the greens, but am more afraid of pesticides and herbicides and just let it go.

9 years ago

I like Scott, La L., and Lorraine eat raw and love the wonderful salad in my yard.

9 years ago

Getting eaten by your pet cats probably doesn't help much either.

9 years ago

Oh I have been eating dandelions in many different ways; see the folder in Healthy Cooking....Dandelions for Dinner!

9 years ago

I just saw this and I have a resident robin in my garden. He is totally silent. I have never heard a peep from him. That is so sad!!!

One of the many reasons to eat organic fruit and veg!!

Thanx for the info.

9 years ago

Actually, dandelions are one of my favourite flowers. I know this sounds strange but to me there is nothing prettier than deep green grass with a carpet of yellow dandelions.  The main library here in Winnipeg stopped using chemical control a bit ago.  I remember the first time I crossed through the pathway and noticed all the dandelions.  I went in and made an official positive comment.


I agree that dandelions are very healthy and should be eaten.  However I would like to caution people, (as there are many individuals reading this site) that just picking them at random may not be the healthiest way to do things.  If a person can buy them organically grown, or get them somewhere in a field away from car exhaust and pollution then they make a wonderful tea or salad.


It isn't only the birds and animals suffering from chemical pollution, humans are effected also.


                 for_rachel-tagged.jpg picture by twoeagle

8 years ago

It is spring and the brids have been returning to northern Canada.


I read somewhere recently that there are hardly any birds in the France country side because they eat the birds.  Has anyone else heard this?

DDT still marketed here even though it;s banned...
8 years ago

For those that don't know. Round-Up still stocked on the shelves is clearly labeled... still contains DDT as a listed ingredient. I don't know how it's legal for them but it's sold everywhere. Please read the labels on the gardening supplies you purchase.

8 years ago

Thank you Jamie for that info. Here in Canada, HomeDepot is taking it off the shelves finally!

8 years ago

Lindane is the new DDT and according to some is worse that DDT ever was. There are some restrictions with Lindane but little policing seems to be going on.
Follow this link and see for yourself how many Lindane based products are freely available:-

8 years ago

I see why it's worse, they are using it to coat seeds, so it's in the food supply as well as pest control (bug sprays) and other products. I had not ever heard of Lindane. Thanks for the heads-up Dr M !

8 years ago

The sooner we get it that all of these chemicals are not good for us, the animals, birds or our beautiful earth the better.


On a lighter note. The reason the robins are not singing here in Canada right now is because they have gone south.

7 years ago

I hear so many brids singing in my garden but no Robins.

7 years ago

Last weekend I was at a country house which is out in the middle of no where. Strangely I did not hear a single bird singing. At one point I saw some crows in the field.

How could birds be attracted to the area? Do you know?

attracting birds
7 years ago


I am new to your group but I like the premise. It is great that more people want to live healthy. The birds ... I have a feeder out with all sorts of different seed for different kinds of birds, and also a bath so they can drink and play in the water. I have lots of birds here now. They are so much fun to watch. So sad about the chemicals and the birds. I know that many chemicals we use affect people, too, in a manner that changes DNA. I don't know what it will take to get the poison off the shelves.

7 years ago

Thank you Sara; good advice and obvious. I just saw your reply today. I will see what I can do to help my friend get the brids to his country property. Bird bath and feeder in order.

5 years ago

So many birds singing in my garden.....sparrows for the most part. I don't hear any robins.

I had a robin
5 years ago

that nested in my Birch tree every summer,sometimes successfully producing offspring sometimes disturbed by workmen. haven't been back since the tree was damaged in a winter storm. thanks for sharing

5 years ago

wow!  interesting topic!

4 years ago

'A great silence is spreading over the natural world'

Bernie Krause has spent 40 years recording nature's sounds. But such is the rate of species and habitat loss that his tapes may become our only record of the original diversity of life.


"The birds are silent in the woods.
Just wait: Soon enough
You will be quiet too"
- Robert Hass

When musician and naturalist Bernie Krause drops his microphones into the pristine coral reef waters of Fiji, he picks up a raucous mix of sighs, beats, glissandos, cries, groans, tones, grunts, beats and clicks.


Bernie Krause records life on a coral reef in Fiji Link to this audio


The water pulsates with the sound of creatures vying for acoustic bandwidth. He hears crustaceans, parrot fish, anemones, wrasses, sharks, shrimps, puffers and surgeonfish. Some gnash their teeth, others use their bladders or tails to make sound. Sea anemones grunt and belch. Every creature on the reef makes its own sound.


For the full article and all the audios:


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