Each kind of bird seems to have its own reaction to its environment, so that the character of movement differs widely in the various species, and seldom do any two present the same picture. In fact, bird migration has been described as a phase of geographic distribution wherein there is a more or less regular seasonal shifting of the avian population caused by the same factors that determine the ranges of the sedentary species. If this view is correct, then it must be recognized that the far-reaching works of man in altering the natural condition of the earth’s surface can so change the environment necessary for the well-being of the birds as to bring about changes in their yearly travels.
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The nature and extent of the changes wrought by man on the North American Continent are easily apparent. Forests have been extensively cut away and their places have been taken by second growth or cultivated land, and wide stretches of prairie and plain have been broken up, irrigated, and devoted to agriculture. These great changes are exerting a profound effect upon the native bird populations, and the various species may be either benefited or adversely affected thereby.
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