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Band & Choir Pandemic Adjustments | Kansas' Disappearing Birds

Keith Evans
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, 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. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
As culture editor, I oversee KCUR’s coverage of race, culture, the arts, food and sports. I work with reporters to make sure our stories reflect the fullest view of the place we call home, so listeners and readers feel primed to explore the places, projects and people who make up a vibrant Kansas City. Email me at luke@kcur.org.
Chris Young is an Assistant Producer for KCUR’s Up To Date. Contact him at chrisy@kcur.org.