A study in Nature Sustainability is the first large scale study of the impact of neonicotinoid pesticides on bird biodiversity in the United States. The study showed that the increase in neonic use between 2008 and 2014 led to a 4% decrease of grassland bird biodiversity and a 3% decrease in insectivorous bird biodiversity every year. This is expected to increase to 12% and 5% annually as the effects compound. Other bird species were affected too, but to a lesser extent.
Neonics are the most widely used pesticides, used on over 160 million acres of genetically modified crops, and even on many native plants grown for sale to homeowners. They target neuro receptors involved in neurologic development. Studies have shown exposure may lead to an increased risk of autism. These pesticides are not good for birds, bees, or us. And they stay in plants and soil for a long time, so buy plants that have not been treated with neonicotinoids.
I pledge to take care of my yard without synthetic pesticides, weedkillers and fertilizers except on rare occasions to resolve an infestation or to improve habitat for native plants and wildlife. I also pledge not to throw pharmaceuticals or chemicals down my drains or toilets.