The images discussed here and others at: http://stephenfieldingimages.slickpic.com comprise an anecdotal collection. This means I simply when to various locations, many around Rochester, and photographed any bird that “agreed” to pose for a shot. I also went looking for specific birds in locations where they are more likely to be found. As a result, this collection does not represent all the birds living in any one area, so I cannot scientifically conclude that the environment is doing fine if most of the birds have a stable or increasing population, or that the environment is degrading if the populations are declining.
Nonetheless, as this collection continues to grow, it might be reasonable to suspect that the environment is doing well if most of the bird populations are stable or increasing, or degrading if the bird populations are declining.
The population information included with the photographs are estimates–not complete counts–provided by Partners in Flight (http://www.partnersinflight.org), Birdlife International (http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/search), and the National Audubon Society (http://birds.audubon.org/species-by-program/waterbirds). They also provide population changes over the past 30 or 40 years. These sites were recommended by the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology (http://www.birds.cornell.edu).