Milroy BBS Results

BBS Logo

Official Logo of the BBS

This post will take the same format as the one I did last week on the Shelbyville BBS Results. I’ll take a look at the first four years the Milroy BBS was run (1966-1969) and compare the numbers to the last four years the survey was completed (2010-2013). From that look I’ll make some unscientific conclusions on species gain or loss.

Following are species from the Milroy BBS that had either large increases or decreases between the two-time periods. For those of you not familiar with this part of the world, the Milroy BBS route is through typical Midwest agriculture area.

031Milroy BBS

The basic habitat of both the Shelbyville and Milroy BBS routes – rural agriculture land. There are a few pockets of woods on each one.

Milroy BBS Decreases

  1. NORTHERN BOBWHITE
  2. NORTHERN FLICKER
  3. GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER
  4. FIELD SPARROW
  5. VESPER SPARROW
  6. GRASSHOPPER SPARROW
  7. EASTERN MEADOWLARK

Milroy BBS Increases

  1. KILLDEER
  2. MOURNING DOVE
  3. BARN SWALLOW
  4. AMERICAN ROBIN
  5. EUROPEAN STARLING
  6. CHIPPING SPARROW
  7. INDIGO BUNTING
  8. COMMON GRACKLE
  9. BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD
  10. HOUSE FINCH

As with the Shelbyville BBS none of the decreases were to be unexpected. Especially the grassland species.  I’m guessing the loss of cattle farming and the subsequent loss of pasture and grass fields lead to the decreases. What was unexpected was the number has dropped to ZERO on the Great Crested Flycatcher, Vesper Sparrow, and Grasshopper Sparrow. And only an average of one per year on the Northern Flicker. I’m guessing the loss of hedgerows has led to the flycatcher and woodpecker demise.

On the increase side it’s basically the same species as the ones which increased on the Shelbyville BBS.  The real surprise was the increase of Killdeer, Chipping Sparrows, and House Finches from almost ZERO to being rather common. The other species had good numbers back in the 1960’s and have just increased by factors of 2-4.

If you’re interested the complete results of the Milroy BBS they’re at the following USGS webpage.

In one of the next posts I’ll make observations concerning the two BBS routes.

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