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Up To Date

Band & Choir Pandemic Adjustments | Kansas' Disappearing Birds

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Keith Evans
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KCUR 89.3
Bird watchers in Kansas have for years reported a steady decrease in bird populations

Choir and band teachers make adjustments for students during the pandemic, and bird populations are dropping in Kansas, Missouri and the rest of the country.

Segment 1, beginning at 3:56: Middle and high school fine arts programs are grappling with coronavirus risk and safety.

Social distancing, mask protocols, and programming changes are all being implemented to accommodate the safety of band and choir students this fall. “There is a certain amount of responsibility you have regardless of what the climate is," choir director Brian Hartman said.

Segment 2, beginning at 33:58: The U.S. has lost 3 billion birds since the 1970s. Kansas has seen the decline of key species.

Birders and farmers have for years reported seeing fewer and fewer birds, but what's to blame for the decrease? Climate change, wind turbines and outdoor cats all play a part. Longtime bird watcher Chuck Otte said Kansas' state bird, the western meadowlark, isn't migrating to new places — "they're just disappearing."

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
The Kansas City region has long been a place where different ways of life collide. I tell the stories of people living and working where race, culture and ethnicity intersect. I examine racial equity and disparity, highlight the area's ethnic groups and communities of color, and invite all of Kansas City to explore meaningful ways to bond with and embrace cultures different from their own. Email me at luke@kcur.org.
Chris Young is an Assistant Producer for KCUR’s Up To Date. Contact him at chrisy@kcur.org.