Ruth Park Bird Study

Ruth Park Woods - Bird Study

We observe and document bird species in Ruth Park Woods. Our goal is to provide evidence of the presence of specific bird species and, based on the presence of these bird species, an understanding of the relative health of the Ruth Park Woods ecosystem and its value to the birds that we find there. Equally instructive is the absence of birds that should be there but are not due to some missing component habitat.

Urbanization and loss of habitat have caused the decline of many birds that were once abundant in our region, including many of the 37 species of warblers that migrate through the St. Louis area every spring and fall. Once habitat has been lost or severely modified, more adaptable or aggressive species, such as the non-native European Starling, become dominant. Population growth of more adaptable species further limits the habitat available for less adaptable species, such as song bird species. A one-year study was conducted between May 1, 1997 and April 30, 1998. Additional data based on sporadic observations is available for the period of May 1, 1998 to present. To date, about 100 species have been noted in this woods. Observational data is available at Birds In Ruth Park Woods.

Photo: Red-winged Blackbirds