About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Friday, September 20, 2019

What you can do to help bring birds back

Nearly 3 Billion Birds Gone Since 1970

The first-ever comprehensive assessment of net population changes in the U.S. and Canada reveals across-the-board declines that scientists call “staggering.” All told, the North American bird population is down by 2.9 billion breeding adults, with devastating losses among birds in every biome. Forests alone have lost 1 billion birds. Grassland bird populations collectively have declined by 53%, or another 720 million birds. https://youtu.be/akdeOr3dp0M
 

14 Ways to Help Birds

Baltimore Oriole by Marianne Ofenloch/Macaulay Library.
1. Feed Wild Birds - Food is a life or death challenge to birds. In the winter food can be scarce or hard to find. In the summer the birds spend a lot of time defending their territories and feeding babies. In both cases having a known source of food can save the life of a chickadee during a winter snowstorm or a baby bird during a summer drought.
2. Clean Your Bird Feeders - Dirty feeders can spread disease. Disinfect and clean out old seed from feeders frequently and put fresh water in your bird bath.
3. Prevent Bird Collisions - Collisions are one of the most frequent causes of bird deaths. Put up window decals or window feeders to alert birds to glass.
4. Restore Natural Habitat - Birds need a place to live and many bird habitats are disappearing. Create a refuge in your yard. Native plants provide food, nest sites, and cover for birds.
5. Add a Bird House: People provide bird houses or “nest boxes” because in nature most of these birds use tree hollows or old woodpeckers’ nests. But today we are quick to remove dead and decaying trees with holes because they could become dangerous and fall in storms. So we help Mother Nature by providing alternate homes.
6. Protect Birds From Pets - Unleashed dogs and cats can harm. Keeping your cat indoors and your dog leashed to save millions of birds each year.
7. Use Cloth Grocery Bags and Reusable Bottles - Birds that mistakenly eat plastic trash can become ill or even die. Make sure to recycle plastic bags and bottles.
8. Recycle - Anything you recycle reduces litter and saves resources. Get creative!
9. Slow Down When Driving - Cars kill millions of birds each year. Driving slowly gives you more time to respond if there is an animal in the road and gives the animal plenty of time to get out of the way.
10. Buy Bird Friendly Products - You can help preserve bird habitat in Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean by buying shade-grown coffee and chocolate. Shade coffee farms, which imitate native forests, have many more bird species than sun coffee farms.
11. Teach Others About Birds - Talk to your friends about birds and start a club in your community to teach people about the challenges birds face. The more people know, the more they can do to help.
12. Be a Citizen Scientist - Many projects need helpers to gather data on birds and their habitat. Contact your local Nature Center, library or conservation organization to volunteer.
13. Reduce Energy Use - Riding your bike or walking reduces your carbon footprint and prevents pollution of bird habitats. Switching off the lights in your house not only shrinks your energy bill, but can also help prevent birds from colliding with your windows.
14. Avoid Chemicals - Birds may accidentally eat pesticide and herbicide pellets or prey that have been poisoned. This can kill a bird or have toxic effects on their own health and that of their growing embryos, including deformation or suppressed immune systems.
Related Articles:
Why do birds matter? https:/why-birds-matter
Why is the Dove a Symbol of Peace? http://t.co/Br4EnlB
Colorful Bird Splats Contain Secrets http://bit.ly/rIFQ2w
The Bald Eagle is the National Symbol of the USA: http://bit.ly/tCORyh
Why do geese fly in a V formation? http://t.co/OmIn8Nw
War Pigeon Remembered http://t.co/5yiXSNS
Santayana's Law of Repetitive Consequences: Loss of the Passenger Pigeon http://bit.ly/sUPlXj

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