May 8 is International Migratory Bird Day. Created in 1993, International Migratory Bird Day focuses attention on the remarkable migration of 90 per cent of Canada’s birds back from the southern United States, Mexico and Central America.
Unfortunately, many of those bird populations are in decline. The reasons are varied and sometimes uncertain but mitigated somewhat by ready access to an abundant food supply.
For many of the grassland birds, that food supply means grasshoppers. In agriculture, however, extraordinary numbers of grasshoppers can mean crop damage.
Believing that every insect has its ecological role, Dr. Dan Johnson, University of Lethbridge, wrote a book on how to identify grasshoppers on the Canadian prairies. Grasshopper Identification & Control Methods, conceptualized by the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers and funded by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, helps readers identify pest species of grasshoppers from non-pest species.