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Home Birds & People Conservation

Although birds are more popular than ever with the public, their wild lives are far from easy.  Birds face daily threats from habitat loss, poisons, collisions with cars and glass windows, and cats on the loose, just to name a few. 

So what can you do to help?  Here are some ways to get involved:

Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon Zoom
(Courtesy NEBRASKAland Magazine/NGPC)

Community Service Activities

1.  School Bird Festivals:  Work with your parents, teachers, and community organizations to plan and hold a “Celebrate Birds” day where you’ll prepare and present educational activities.

You can also create public service announcements about the importance of migratory birds, write press releases to promote the festival, help with fundraising, write letters to sponsors, publish a festival program brochure, make festival

decorations, produce posters and t-shirts promoting bird conservation, and stage musical, dance, or dramatic performances.

2.  Nesting Boxes:  Determine which types of birds use nesting boxes in your area. Research the necessary size and shape of the box for local species, find the best location for mounting the box, monitor the use of the box, and assess what kind of maintenance the box needs throughout the year.

3.  Bird Counts:  Take part in bird surveys and document which birds use schoolyards, parks, and nature centers near you. Gather and submit information to your local conservation organizations such as Audubon or your state’s park authority.

4.  Habitat Projects:  Help improve schoolyard or neighborhood park habitat to benefit birds.  Research which bird species live in your region and determine which ones have the greatest conservation needs.  Find out the habitat needs for various species, and decide how to best provide food, water, and shelter for these birds.

At-Home Activities

1.  Prevent bird collisions with your glass windows. 

Watch to see which window seems to get hit over and over.
Reduce the window reflection.  Put a screen or a shade cloth over the window.  If you have blinds, turn them so they are slightly closed. This will reduce reflection.
Place a hawk silhouette in the window.  Most smaller birds will avoid being around hawks.
Tack up a temporary cover during breeding season when birds "attack" their own reflection to protect territory.
Place a sun ornament, crystal or other object in your window. The hanging ornament will let birds know this is a space they can't fly through.


What do you do if you find a stunned bird that just hit a window? In many cases, the bird is just knocked silly and will be flying again within an hour.  You just need to help it avoid predators.  You can do that by staying near the bird until it recovers.

If it’s absolutely necessary, you can move the bird to a safer location, but be very careful.  With gloved hands, carefully pick up the bird and place it in a safe area away from cats and other dangers. In cool weather, place the bird in a well-ventilated box in a warm area to recover. Handle the bird as little as possible.

2.  KEEP YOUR CAT INDOORS and run a neighborhood campaign to encourage your neighbors to do the same. Estimates show that outdoor pet cats kill 4 million song birds a day in the United States alone! (www.wbu.com/chipperwoods/photos/threats.htm)

3.  Put up feeders, houses, and baths for your neighborhood birds.  Water is particularly important. In the wintertime, use a heater in the bird bath to keep the water from freezing.  Birds love a moving fountain! Just make sure not to run any chemicals through the fountain.

4.  Volunteer your time at a Raptor Rescue, Nature Center, or Humane Society. Often, pet birds are abandoned at animal shelters. Birds are very social creatures--they‘ll appreciate your time and attention!

 

 


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