Bird Conservation: Helping North America's Birds

Bird Conservation: Helping North America's Birds

Perky-Pet® is dedicated to educating the world on why birds matter and how we can help them. We took a look at the annual State of the Birds report and used the information there to create this infographic. Our hope is that this information can bring new light into why we love birds, why they matter and how you can help in bird conservation efforts.

Bird Concerns

Many human activities can create trouble for birds. These activities are rarely meant to specifically target birds, but rather they are side result of some other activity, such as pest control efforts or clearing forests for human habitation.

  • Non-native predators are a huge problem – domestic cats in the mainland U.S. and mongooses and snakes in island and sub-tropical habitats.
  • Overfishing in one area can trigger a species decline. How? If a species uses that area as a migratory stopover, individuals can starve to death.
  • Humans disrupt the natural forest fire cycle through their fire suppression efforts, which can actually negatively affect some species.
  • Climate change affects birds in many ways. The North American Boreal Forest is a sub-arctic breeding ground in Alaska and Canada for many migratory birds. As it warms up, birds are forced into smaller and smaller breeding areas.
  • Hawaii has had more bird extinctions since being settled by humans than any other area.

Your Place in Bird Conservation

Learn more about bird feeding, and help promote our next generation of bird lovers. Visit us on Facebook to tell us about your efforts to encourage bird conservation. Also, be sure to subscribe to our e-newsletter for updates on our efforts, information on great discounts and links to stories about the wild birds we all love!

 

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Helping North America's Birds

Birds are all around us. In fact, they are probably the most commonly seen wild animals by humans. That makes bird life the perfect indicator of the quality of our environment. According to The State of The Birds, an annual report from a variety of educational and conservation institutions, wild birds of all kinds are in serious decline. Despite these losses, there are many opportunities to help the birds you enjoy by assisting with conservation efforts. Learn all about the birds of North America, the threats they face and what we can do to help!

Why Birds Matter

  • Birds Are Pollinators
  • Birds Eat Bugs
  • Birds Help People Connect with Nature
  • Birds Disperse Seeds
  • Birds Recycle Material
  • Birds Are Symbols
  • Birds Are the Voice of Nature
  • Birds Inspire Us

How Humans Help Birds

  • We Study Bird Biology
  • We Track Birds
  • We Monitor Bird Illnesses
  • We Feed Birds
  • We Serve as Surrogate Parents
  • We Preserve Bird Environments
  • We Learn Bird Behaviors
  • We Provide Nesting Opportunities

Bird Conservation: Birds in Trouble

The State of The Birds report identified several species as those in the greatest jeopardy. At the same time, it also highlighted a few bird conservation success stories.

  • Le Conte’s Thrasher – Habitat: Aridlands 46% Decline Since 1968 Threats: Residential and energy development, invasions of non-native grasses, tree and shrub
  • Cerulean Warbler – Habitat: Eastern Forests 32% Decline Since 1968 Threats: Urban development, suburban development, non-native insect pests, non-native diseases
  • Oak Titmouse – Habitat: Western Forests 20% Decline Since 1968 Threats: Urban development, suburban development, non-native insect pests, non-native diseases, fire suppression efforts
  • Eastern Meadowlark – Habitat: Grasslands 40% Decline Since 1968 Threats: Pasture land loss, suburban sprawl, conversion to large-scale agriculture, overgrazing
  • Snowy Plover – Habitat: Coastal 28% Increase Since 1968 Successes: Creation of 160 coastal national wildlife refuges. Threats: Increased use of habitat for recreation, rising sea levels, wetland loss, oil spills and pollution
  • Ruddy Turnstone – Habitat: Migratory Shore 50% Decline Since 1974 Threats: Destruction of stopover habitats, species over-concentration in threatened geographic areas, loss of wetlands, overfishing
  • Purple Gallinule – Habitat: Wetlands 40% Increase Since 1968 Successes: Clean Water Act, Farm Bill conservation provisions, federally protected wetlands, local management areas. Threats: Loss of wetlands, pollution
  • `Akiapōlā`au – Habitat: Island Major Decline Since 1968 Threats: Habitat restriction, non-native predators, non-native plants, non-native diseases, lack of food, overgrazing
  • Aleutian Tern – Habitat: Ocean Major Decline Since 1968 Threats: Overfishing, offshore energy development, oil spills and pollution, plastic debris in ocean.

Bird Threats

Environmental Changes

  • Forest Clearing
  • Filling in Wetlands
  • Dredging Rivers
  • Mowing Wild Fields
  • Cutting Down Trees
  • Habitat Division by Roads
  • Habitat Division by Development
  • Diverting Water
  • Natural Diseases

Animals Many animals introduced into an environment can create stress on the animals that have already naturally adapted to it. These species can begin preying on the original inhabitants, eat their food or alter the environment in such a way as it becomes uninhabitable. These animals are often considered introduced predator threats to native birds.

  • Dog
  • Cat
  • Rat
  • Mongoose
  • Ferret
  • Lizard
  • Snake

Pollution Pollution can have an adverse effect on native birds, often poisoning their food supplies, injuring their prey animals or interfering with their way of life in some other way. The pollution most problematic to birds are:

  • Household Chemicals
  • Industrial Chemicals
  • Agricultural Chemicals
  • Plastics
  • Oil Spills

Physical Collision Threats A number of physical, man-made objects can pose dangers to birds. Most of these threats are evident when birds are in flight, but some are when they are on the ground or in the water.

  • Power Lines
  • Dammed Rivers
  • Windows
  • Automobiles
  • Communication Towers
  • Wind Turbines

How You Can Help with Bird Conservation

The State of The Birds report recommends a number of options to help the bird conservation efforts nationally and in your area.

  • Support Bird Friendly Legislation – Bird conservation societies often alert the public on legislation that can affect bird populations. In particular, watch for changes to the Farm Bill, the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act. Contact your legislators to tell them you support conservation efforts.
  • Support Habitat Protection Efforts – Monitor local planning commissions and zoning boards for efforts to develop habitats used by birds and other wildlife. Alert conservation societies on these proposals and fight to keep the habitats undisturbed.
  • Know the Endangered Species in Your Area – Learn what bird and wildlife species are already considered endangered in your area and engage in efforts to assist them.
  • Engage in Citizen Science – Participate in events, studies and surveys that help further the science of ornithology. These efforts include the Christmas Bird Count, maintaining eBird sighting logs, the North American Breeding Bird survey, Project FeederWatch and many more.
  • Create Bird Friendly Environments –  Build or rebuild habitats that birds can use. This can be on a small scale in your own yard, at a medium scale in a municipal park or on a large scale at a waterway or a major tract of land.