Many migratory bird species are in trouble. Here is American Bird Conservancy's list of ten easy things
you can do to help birds as they return this spring.

Keep Your Cat Indoors

This is best for your cat as well as for the birds, as indoor cats live an average of three to seven times longer. Cats are responsible for an estimated 2.4 billion bird deaths each year. In the spring, young birds or nestlings often end up on the ground, attracting the fatal attention of a nearby cat. Ground nesting species that are especially vulnerable include Killdeer and Wood Thrush, but all baby birds—from ducks to warblers—will be on the ground for a critical period of time.

Prevent Birds from Hitting Your Windows

As many as one billion birds die each year after colliding with glass in buildings. You can reduce this problem at your home by applying a variety of window treatments. For example, ABC BirdTape is a proven solution that is inexpensive and long-lasting. (See a short video here.) Birds most prone to fatal collisions at home windows or glass doors include Ruby-throated Hummingbird and Wood Thrush.

Eliminate Pesticides
from Your Yard


Even those pesticides that are not directly toxic to birds can pollute waterways and reduce insects that birds rely on for food. For rodent control, seal cracks, remove food sources, and use snap and electric traps rather than rodenticides, which can poison raptors such as hawks and owls as well as young children. And be sure not to garden with neonicotinoid-coated seeds, or neonics, which are lethal to songbirds as well as to bees and other invertebrates. Learn more here.

Buy Organic Food and
Drink Bird Friendly Coffee

 

Going organic helps to reduce pesticide use on farms and increases the market for produce grown without the use of pesticides, which can be toxic to birds and other animals, and will help to reduce the use of these hazardous chemicals in the U.S. and overseas. Shade coffee farms (like Gaia Estates in Nicaragua) have been shown to provide far superior habitat for birds, including Wood Thrush, than coffee grown in open sun. Buying coffee that is certified Bird Friendly is one of the easiest ways to help migratory birds, and Birds & Beans is a superior choice.

Create backyard habitat using native plants

When you garden with plants that evolved in your local habitat, you supply native insects and their larvae with food, which in turn are an irreplaceable food source provided by birds to their nestlings. Yards both large and small can benefit birds and other wildlife. Create a diverse landscape by planting native grasses, flowers, and shrubs that attract birds. You will be rewarded by their beauty and song, and will have fewer insect pests as a result. Read more here.

Reduce Your
Carbon Footprint


While all forms of energy use impact birds, small individual actions can add up and make a difference. Use a hand-pushed or electric lawnmower, carpool, and use low-energy bulbs and Energy Star appliances. Less energy used means less habitat destroyed for energy production.

Donate Old
Bird-watching Equipment


Binoculars or spotting scopes will be appreciated by local bird watching groups—they can get them to schools or biologists in other countries who may not have the resources they need. More people studying birds means more voices for bird conservation!

Keep Bird Feeders and
Bird Baths Clean

If you feed the birds, make sure you aren’t accidentally allowing the spread of disease. Disinfect feeders and bird baths, and change water regularly or use a drip system to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.

Support Bird-Friendly Legislation

U.S. policy makers and others frequently make decisions that affect birds. For example, nearly one-quarter of all Whooping Cranes—a critically endangered species—are killed by illegal shooting. You can encourage authorities to take action on this and other important issues.

Join Two Bird
Conservation Groups...

 

...a local one and American Bird Conservancy. Your support will provide needed dollars for bird conservation, enabling you to help achieve more than is possible through individual efforts. Membership also enables you to become more informed and involved in the issues you’re concerned about.