Wondrous denizens of the natural world, birds are also barometers of ecological health. The staggering losses in avian populations in North America is thus ominous. In the United States and Canada, nearly one-third of the wild bird population has disappeared since 1970, a decline of 2.9 billion individuals. The loss has been even greater for some of the most common species, with more than two-thirds declines in Eastern meadowlarks and grasshopper sparrows. Driving this are phenomena like habitat loss, especially from suburban sprawl, and overuse of pesticides. Not all birds have seen the same fate, however. Notably, populations of duck and geese have actually grown since 1970 because, faced dwindling numbers fifty years ago, governments passed laws to protect wetlands and put science at the forefront of conservation policy. Now, we must act again, this time with unprecedented comprehensiveness and urgency.