The Nature Conservancy's Migratory Bird Program works to protect critical habitat that birds need for nesting, raising their young, spending their winters and resting during migration. Everyone can help to assist in smart bird conservation. Here are a few things you can do right now and every day to help protect birds.
Around the Home
- Put up a bird house (with proper ventilation) in your yard. More than two dozen different bird species including the purple martin, house wren, and eastern bluebird will nest in bird houses. As more and more habitat disappears every year, birds have fewer places to nest each spring.
- Put a bird bath in your yard to provide a year-round clean drinking and bathing water source for birds. Use a heater in winter where appropriate.
- Erect bird feeders and nectar feeders in proper distances from windows or places where birds can't be ambushed by predators. Use appropriate seed and other foods.
- Limit the use of lawn chemicals and pesticides in your garden, which are harmful not only to birds, but to a variety of wildlife and to household pets.
- If you have a problem with birds striking your windows, use paint or opaque/translucent tape to create a pattern on the outside of the window glass (with vertical stripes spaced 4 inches or less and horizontal stripes 2 inches or less) or put lightweight netting or screen several inches in front of the window.
- Plant native fruit and berry-bearing bushes and trees on your property. Also, maintain ground vegetation and shrubs adjacent to water.
- At night, turn off the lights or close the blinds of your high-rise offices or apartment buildings, and spread the word to your co-workers. Thousands of migratory songbirds, which are attracted by lights, are killed each year by colliding with lighted buildings at night.
Out and About
- When hiking, biking, going to the beach, or camping, stay on the trails and respect restricted sections of sensitive natural areas, especially during nesting season. Also, keep dogs on leashes.
- Purchase shade-grown “bird-friendly” coffee. Shade-grown coffee plantations support tremendously higher numbers of bird species than full sun (deforested) coffee plantations. Forested, shade-grown coffee plantations also benefit other wildlife and the people who live there.
- Learn to identify the common birds of your neighborhood, and teach local young people the value of birds and other wildlife.
- Cooperate with your local nature preserve or park to improve wildlife habitat.
- Get involved in local and backyard bird monitoring projects and clubs.