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January 2, 2020

Three Billion Birds Lost: The Disappearance of North American Birds and What We Can Do About It

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Santa Barbara Audubon Society, and UCSB Arts & Lectures Thematic Learning Initiative have partnered to bring Dr. Kenneth Rosenberg, lead author of a landmark study on bird populations in North America, to the Museum’s Fleischmann Auditorium on Wednesday, January 29 from 7:30–9:30 PM for a free public presentation.

A seminal study recently published in the journal Science documents the staggering loss of 1 in 4 North American birds since 1970. Dr. Rosenberg will discuss the analysis that led to this sobering conclusion, what the loss of common birds signals about the health of our environment, and what we can do to reverse these trends and restore bird populations.

In a recent interview with Science, Dr. Rosenberg shared, "We want this to be the real wake-up call…I am not saying we can stop the decline of every bird species, but I am weirdly hopeful."

Dr. Rosenberg is an Applied Conservation Scientist at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, with a joint partnership appointment at American Bird Conservancy. He has been at Cornell University for 26 years, after receiving a Ph.D. in zoology from Louisiana State University, studying foraging specialization in Amazonian birds, a M.S. from Arizona State University, and a B.S. from Cornell University. Ken’s current research focuses on the conservation status and health of bird populations and filling crucial knowledge gaps that impede full annual-cycle conservation of migratory birds—especially the stopover behavior of migratory birds in the Neotropics. Ken has been a long-time leader in Partners in Flight and is on the U.S. Committee of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative, where he leads NABCI’s production of U.S. and North American State of the Birds Reports. He is also a Fellow at Cornell’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. Ken is a lifelong birder and is dedicated to promoting amateur contributions to ornithology and conservation through eBird and other citizen science programs.

About the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

Powered by Science. Inspired by Nature. Founded in 1916, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History inspires a thirst for discovery and a passion for the natural world. The Museum seeks to connect people to nature for the betterment of both, and prides itself on being naturally different. For more information, visit

About Santa Barbara Audubon Society

Santa Barbara Audubon Society (SBAS) was founded in 1963 when the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History’s Bird Study Group became a chapter of the National Audubon Society. Now, with 1100 members and as one of National Audubon’s nearly 500 local chapters, Santa Barbara Audubon Society protects area birdlife and habitat and connects people with birds through education, conservation, and science.

For more information about our programs, activities, and conservation work as well as ways to become involved in SBAS, please visit

About UCSB Arts & Lectures Thematic Learning Initiative (TLI)

The UCSB Arts & Lectures Thematic Learning Initiative (TLI) extends the conversation from the stage into the community, inspiring lifelong learning opportunities that initiate change and empowerment. Join A&L and other knowledge seekers like you who want to learn more, know more and do more to improve ourselves and the world around us. Connect with others at intimate salon-style discussions, film screenings and added special public events. Receive online educational resources, sign up for book giveaways and more! All TLI activities and events are free.

Get Involved! Visit or email to get updates and more information.

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