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Archive for December, 2012

White-Throated Sparrow

A White-Throated Sparrow enjoys a bath. Water is an important component of bird habitat. Photo by David Disher.

Do you think that New Year’s resolutions are for the birds?  Well, these are – for helping birds, that is.  Adopting one or more of these ideas will help birds and the planet.

  • Join your local Audubon society.  Learn about birds and have fun.  Forsyth Audubon.
Tennessee Warbler

Native plants like Pokeberry provide vital fuel for migrating birds like this Tennessee Warbler. Photo by David Disher.

  • Drink bird-friendly coffee.  It tastes great, provides vital habitat for migrating and wintering birds in Central and South America, and improves livelihoods for farm families.  The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center has developed the “Bird Friendly” certification.   The Cornell Lab of Ornithology explains “Bird Friendly” and other coffee certifications.  Our local Whole Foods store now carries bird-friendly coffee or buy it online from Birds & Beans.
  • Follow the American Birding Association’s Code of Ethics when birding.
  • Shop at Goodwill.  The clothing you purchase has an environmental impact.  Conventional cotton crops use nearly 25% of the world’s insecticides.  Learn more about the problems with cotton from the Rodale Institute’s Chemical cotton and see Conventional Cotton Statistics.  In addition to birds being directly killed by pesticides, insects are needed by birds.  96% of land birds require insect food for their young.  No bugs, no baby birds.  You can help by shopping at thrift stores and garage sales or buying clothing made with organic cotton.
  • Remove dead animals from roadways.  This idea is from Laura Erickson in “101 Ways to Help Birds.”    Crows, vultures, hawks, and other scavengers are frequently killed while eating roadkill or preying on the small mammals that roadkill attracts.  You can help by pulling over and flinging dead animals as far from the road as possible.  Be careful to do this only where it is safe and legal to pull off the road.  Carry a shovel, gloves, and hand sanitizer in your car to be prepared.
  • Use eBird.  Scientists use the data in eBird to answer questions about bird distribution, abundance, migration, conservation priorities, and more.  eBird stores your personal bird lists and is fun, too!
  • Buy a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, commonly known as the Duck Stamp.  Ninety-eight cents out of every dollar generated by the sales of Federal Duck Stamps goes directly to purchase or lease wetland habitat for protection in the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Thanks to David Disher for the photos in this post.

Please comment to share your ideas.  What are you doing for the birds this year?

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