Inside Bird Conservation – March 2018

Will This Congress Be Good for Birds? – You Can Help Decide That

 The United States Congress is now considering multiple bills that affect bird conservation. Those bills include the annual appropriations bill and the Farm Bill as well as harmful bills that would undermine essential environmental protections found in the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act.

Now is the time to be calling and writing your Senators and Representative. See below for more details and a series of action alerts that you and other activists can use to send letters to Congress. You can also call via the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 NS leave messages for your elected officials.

Thanks for all your efforts for bird conservation.

Action #1: Boost Bird Conservation Funding and Oppose Harmful Environmental Riders

Action #2: Conserve Birds in the Farm Bill

Action #3: Protect the Migratory Bird Treaty Act

ACTION #1: Support Bird Conservation Funding and Oppose Harmful Environmental Riders

The proposed 2019 federal budget would gut major programs and protections for birds and America’s public lands, and includes harmful policy riders to weaken environmental laws. American Bird Conservancy’s appropriations recommendations are available here. A letter from more than 240 environmental, animal welfare, and conservation organizations to House and Senate leadership calls on Congress to reject riders in 2018 Interior Department and Environmental Protection Agency appropriations legislation that would erode the Endangered Species Act and other safeguards for wildlife.

Please act now! Tell your Senators and Representative to make protecting migratory birds and the conservation programs they depend on a priority and to oppose harmful environmental riders.

ACTION #2: Keep Birds Singing on America’s Farms – and Beyond

For more than three decades, the Farm Bill has been an effective tool for migratory bird conservation, sustaining essential habitat for more than 100 species, from Bobolinks to Bobwhites. Today the Farm Bill needs your support.

While it’s drafting the next Farm Bill, Congress needs to hear the message that adequate funding for Farm Bill bird conservation programs is essential. These programs play a critical role in helping America’s farmers and private land owners conserve grassland and forest birds – which in turn sustain healthy habitats for wildlife and people.

Please take action today. Ask Congress to fund Farm Bill programs that conserve essential habitat for grassland birds and waterfowl.

 ACTION #3: Protect Migratory Birds and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act

 The administration has issued a new legal opinion and Congress is currently considering legislation that could undermine the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) and the protection of migratory birds. The House Energy Bill, H.R. 4239, would make it difficult if not impossible to protect birds from being trapped in oil pits or electrocuted by power lines, and the Interior Department has indicated it will no longer enforce the law under most circumstances.

You can support the birds and tell Congress to oppose drastic changes to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act by accessing this action page:

Read on for more information about the MBTA and about the phenomenon of bird migration:

 A Free Pass to Kill Birds? Migratory Bird Treaty Act Under Threat

Proposed changes to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, one of our nation’s oldest wildlife conservation laws, threaten to undo current safeguards that protect birds from the negative impacts of energy development, including oil and gas drilling and poorly placed wind energy facilities. The result could be millions of dead birds. Read more.

National Geographic Year of the Bird – Bird Migration Interactive Maps

Glass Collisions News

Alert: Federal Bird Safe Buildings Act

Did you know that collisions with glass claim the lives of hundreds of millions of birds in the United States each year? In a matter of seconds, birds that have successfully flown thousands of miles during migration can die from a collision with a pane of glass. Luckily, we have the bird-friendly design strategies and technology needed to make a difference now.

Please urge your U.S. Senators and Representative to support the Federal Bird-Safe Buildings Act, which would help prevent the deaths of hundreds of millions of birds by including bird-safe building materials and design features across federal buildings.

Maryland Legislature Considers Bird-Friendly Building Design

Maryland legislators are poised to make all new state buildings in Maryland safer for birds. A bipartisan group of sponsors have introduced bills in the Maryland House (HB 986) and Senate (SB 1009) calling for new state buildings to incorporate bird-safe building … Read More>>

 Reducing bird-window collisions at a government facility: Pilot project to test Feather Friendly® bird-window collision reduction product

From Partners in Flight: After witnessing bird window collisions at offices of the Pacific Wildlife Research Centre in Delta, British Columbia, staff with the Canadian Wildlife Service were interested in collecting standardized data to better understand the extent of the issue. Following recommended protocols for collision monitoring, staff performed surveys a minimum of 3 times weekly over 2 years, as well as testing for scavenger efficiency/carcass persistence. We detected 53 bird-window collisions within this time frame. 18 of these collisions were incidental reports from staff and 35 were detected during standardized surveys.  Species affected included Varied Thrush, Hermit Thrush, American Robin, Barred Owl, Barn Swallow, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Dark-eyed Junco, Song Sparrow, and Fox Sparrow.  As a result of this monitoring, the Canadian Wildlife Service retrofitted the entire building with the Feather Friendly® bird-collision deterrent product in 2017.

You can bird-proof your home to prevent window deaths  USA • Feb 25 • 9:30 am

“This Year’s superbowl stadium is an avian death trap.” Popular Science story.

“‘Delightful’ Experiments Reveal What Birds See in Their Mind’s Eye.” National Geographic Year of the Bird story.

“Bird-Friendly Bill Introduced in Senate.” U.S. Glass magazine on the Federal Bird-Safe Buildings Act.

Bird Conservation News Briefs

POWER Coalition Opposes Lighthouse Wind Project  

American Bird Conservancy is proud to be a part of the POWER coalition: Protecting Ontario’s Waterfront, Environment and Resources (POWER) with Save Ontario Shores and other groups. We’re united in our opposition to the Lighthouse Wind project, slated to bring up to 70 500-plus-foot-tall turbines within miles of the lakeshore – a critical area for migrating raptors. “We are in favor of renewable energy, but the Lighthouse Wind project does not meet our standards” because of its proximity to the lakeshore, said Shawn Graff, American Bird Conservancy’s Vice President for the Great Lakes Region.

“Surviving the Wild”: This video on Facebook tells the stories of three wildlife rehabilitators who advocate for keeping cats indoors and features Grant Sizemore, Director of ABC’s Cats Indoors program.

Birds of the Sage Brush: an account of birds that benefit from our work for Greater Sage-Grouse.

Set With Care, Fire Creates Habitat for Many Declining Bird Species

Fire can be destructive. But when used carefully in conservation, it can be a lifesaver for many declining species.… Read more >>

Video: Hummingbirds Defy Description

Hummingbirds are some of the most colorful, vibrant birds in the Americas. But many hummingbird species need our help. Watch this video gallery and consider supporting ABC’s mission to protect the hemisphere’s rarest birds.…Read more >>

Nebraska Bald Eagle Nest Numbers Pass 200 in 2017

In 2017, a record 209 active bald eagle nests were estimated in Nebraska by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. The total exceeds 2016’s record of 162 active nests, and represents a notable 56 percent increase from the previous year. The large number of nests now present in the state was the impetus for the Commission to adjust its survey methods in 2017 in order to reduce its resource commitment and improve efficiency. (Birding Wire)

Aliens Invade Seabirds Island Strongholds

Today, even the islands and remote headlands where seabirds breed bear the evidence of human activity. Many are overrun by non-native predators, leading to a startling statistic: Nearly 80 percent of the highest-risk seabirds in the Americas have plummeted in population and are now of serious conservation concern, according to IUCN data analyzed by ABC staff. These species include Newell’s Shearwater, Hawaiian Petrel, and Townsend’s Shearwater.

Marbled Murrelet to Benefit from Greater Protection in Oregon

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission has voted 4-2 to uplist the Marbled Murrelet from threatened to endangered under Oregon’s Endangered Species Act. The state is now required to draft survival guidelines and a management plan to ensure this rare seabird survives and thrives in Oregon. The petition to uplist the Murrelet was initiated in 2016 by Cascadia Wildlands, Oregon Wild, Coast Range Forest Watch, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Audubon Society of Portland, and the Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club. American Bird Conservancy commented in support.

Inside Bird Conservation is produced by American Bird Conservancy. Past editions and other issue updates are available on the Bird Conservation Alliance website. Please forward to interested conservationists. To subscribe, please send a message to

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