Birds disappearing across North America

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DOTHAN, AL. (WTVY) -- It's an astounding number... three billion.

FILE - This April 14, 2019 file photo shows a western meadowlark in the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Commerce City, Colo. According to a study released on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, North America’s skies are lonelier and quieter as nearly 3 billion fewer wild birds soar in the air than in 1970. Some of the most common and recognizable birds are taking the biggest hits, even though they are not near disappearing yet. The population of eastern meadowlarks has shriveled by more than three-quarters with the western meadowlark nearly as hard hit. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

That's how many birds across North America have disappeared since 1970.

It's been happening across the US and Canada.

The Western Meadowlark, the official bird of six U.S. States, is growing rarer.

Grassland species have been hardest hit, probably because of pesticides used to kill the insects which many birds eat.

"Anytime you get rid of one bird, you're also affecting another food source. Birds also help move plant seeds from one tree to another. So they're obviously very important to an ecosystem," said Landmark Park Education Director Tabitha Shumaker.

The most common birds that have vanished include warblers, thrushes, swallows and even common birds, such as sparrows and blackbirds.