Out walking a few days ago in a wooded area near our residence, I was pulled out of my reverie by a loud bird-call. I looked around, and at the top of a tree I noticed a cardinal, because of his gender entitled to splendid ecclesiastical robes, giving full-throated vent to his song.

This awakened me to the fact that over recent decades birds and bird songs, a regular pleasant experience of my youth, had gradually faded away as air quality diminished and billions of birds perished.

Where have the birds gone? I fondly remember grassy expanses where three or four robins were busily hunting for worms and warbling away. They left. But now robins and their friends have become more numerous.

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