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.

Monday, January 11, 2016

100 year anniversary of Migratory Bird Treaty Act

Snowy Egret photo from Wikimedia Commons

1890's plume-covered hat
photo from Wikimedia Commons
This year marks the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). The statute makes it unlawful without a waiver to pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill or sell birds listed as "migratory birds".

The most obvious success story of the MBTA is the Snowy Egret, which almost became extinct before early conservationists like the Audubon Society, along with the federal government, stepped in to stop the over-hunting for their delicate feathers for fashions. Since then the act has been expanded to include a wide variety of birds that live in or migrate through the United States, Canada, Mexico, and beyond.

“Migratory birds connect people with nature and add beauty, sound and color to our world,” said Karen Cleveland, MI-DNR biologist. “They provide countless opportunities for enjoyment and inspiration for birders, artists, engineers, inventors, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts, and they have cultural and spiritual importance.”

Birds also provide environmental benefits, including pollination and seed dispersal. Migratory birds are good indicators of environmental health, because they are so visible and relatively easy to study, and studying birds can offer a picture of what is going on in the world. They play a key role in the U.S. economy by offering recreational opportunities that create jobs and generate billions of dollars in revenue. Birds also provide many ecological services, including insect and rodent control, cutting costs for farmers and landowners.

To learn more about the Migratory Bird Treaty centennial, visit www.fws.gov/birds/MBTreaty100.
Related Articles:
- Attracting Michigan Songbirds http://goo.gl/H42e6s
- What seeds wild birds eat http://goo.gl/Un35yR
- What to do if you have soggy seed in your bird feeder http://goo.gl/kfTpi
- How to Prevent Window Strikes during Migration http://goo.gl/KZRzKb

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