North Carolina Partners in Flight by gvi11002


									                           A Project of NC Partners in Flight

                                                   Edited by

                                                   Mark Johns

                                                 Marshall Brooks

                                                  Laura White

                                                   Emily Page

                                                  David Bailey

       This guide was developed by the NC                         Partners in Flight is a cooperative effort
Partners in Flight Education and Outreach                  to maintain populations of migratory birds in
Working Group using the Partners in Flight                 the Americas.         Its tools are habitat
Citizen’s Guide to Migratory Bird Conservation             conservation, wildlife management, and
as a model and for much written material. All              professional training and education. Partners
word processing for this guide was by Emily                in Flight involves 15 federal government
Page and David Bailey of the Stevens Nature                agencies, over 60 state and provincial
Center at Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve in                agencies, 16 companies representing the forest
Cary, NC. NC Partners in Flight encourages                 products industry, numerous universities and
reproduction of this Citizen’s Guide or any part           over 30 non-governmental conservation
thereof.                                                   organizations.         Professional   biologists,
                                                           educators and policymakers from all these
 Contact Information for NC Partners in Flight:            groups are working together to develop and
 Mark Johns                                                implement land management strategies that
 Partners in Flight Biologist                              will restore and enhance migratory bird
 NC Wildlife Resources Commission                          populations and their habitats.

                                   Table of Contents

Why Care About Birds?                       3         Return the Gift:                         14
                                                      Support NC Partners in Flight
The Solution:                               4
Partners in Flight                                   Write Letters –                           14
 Problems in the Neotropics                 5        Contact Elected Officials
 Problems Along Migration Routes            5         Tips for Writing Elected Officials       15
 Problems in Temperate North America        6         Some Things Not To Do                    15
Guidelines for Management of                7         Tips for Writing Letters to the Editor   15
Migratory Bird Habitat                               Action in Your Backyard                   16
 Guidelines for Backyard Habitat            7         Food                                     16
 Conservation Projects                                Tips for Providing Food for Birds        16
 Guidelines for Conservation of Migratory   8         Suggested Plant Species                  17
 Birds on Grasslands
                                                      Water                                    18
 Guidelines for Conservation of Migratory   8
 Birds in Hardwood and/or Mixed                       Cover                                    18
 Hardwood-Conifer Forested Areas                      Nesting Habitat                          18
 Guidelines for Conservation of Migratory   9        Backyard Problems                         19
 Birds on Farmlands                                   Cats                                     19
 Farmland Structure                         9
                                                      Windows                                  19
 Guidelines for Conservation-Oriented       10
 Land-Use Planning                                    Animal Issues                            19
                                                      Pesticides                               19
How to Take Action From Your Desk           11
                                                     Bird Conservation Field                   20
 National Conservation Organizations        11       Volunteer Opportunities
 Local Conservation Organizations           13        North Carolina Volunteer Opportunities   20
Provide Financial Support                   14       Appendix: Reading Materials               22

Why Care About Birds?                                       Introduction
        Birds are important for many reasons.                       The tools and techniques for bird
From an ecological point of view they are a vital           conservation described in this booklet can be
component of the web of life. For example, they             applied to just about any kind of bird. The impetus
help keep insect numbers in check, serve as food            for this booklet, however, came from the concern
for other predators, and disperse pollen and seed.          about a particular group of birds known as
                                                            “neotropical migrants.” Concern for these birds is
       Birds also occupy an important place in our          so great that an entire conservation program
everyday lives. They hold us enchanted as objects           (Partners in Flight) was initiated in 1990.
of beauty; watching a bird fly can inspire us, in our
minds, to spread our own wings. Birds are also                      What is a neotropical migrant? Quite
important for moral reasons. As humans we are               simply, neotropical migrants are birds that spend
endowed with a conscience that asks us to address           their summers in Canada and the United States and
the needs of species other than our own.                    their winters in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central
                                                            America, and South America (the region known as
        Most ecological processes cannot be altered         the New World tropics, or neotropics). Although,
without serious consequences. All components of             the name “neotropical migrant” sounds exotic,
natural communities exist for some purpose-some             we’re actually talking about common birds. Nearly
may be vital to the community’s survival. Often,            one-third of the birds that breed in North America
however, we do not know what the true function is           are neotropical migrants. These include many
or how important a given component or process               familiar birds such as warblers, tanagers, vireos,
may be. Therefore, the prudent course is to                 thrushes, and orioles.
assume that all components are important and
strive to conserve them all.                                        Why should we be concerned about
                                                            neotropical migrants?     In recent years, some
       How do we do this? It’s actually simple: to          species have declined in numbers. To understand
ensure the future of migratory birds, the human             why, it helps to know a little about the birds’
planning process must provide for their needs. We           complex life cycles. First, migratory birds require
must learn their requirements for suitable habitat          the appropriate summer habitat in temperate North
and then maintain it for them.                              America where they can nest and raise their young.
                                                            Then, during spring and fall, they need stopover
        This North Carolina Partners in Flight              habitats on their migration routes-places that are
Citizen’s Guide to Migratory Bird Conservation can          safe to rest and have adequate food to fuel their
get you started as a partner in this endeavor. It           long-distance flights. Migration routes run for
provides a variety of tips on things that you can do        hundreds or even thousands of miles, often
to make a difference. It also describes the roles of        crossing numerous political boundaries. On the
various agencies and other organizations in the             wintering grounds, they must identify food sources
effort to conserve birds.                                   and compete for food with year-round tropical

                                                                    It’s a complicated scenario that can be
                                                            easily disrupted by human activities. Indeed, some
                                                            species of neotropical migrants have shown
                                                            significant declines. Consider the Breeding Bird
                                                            Survey (BBS), a volunteer bird-counting effort
                                                            conducted by about 2,000 birders each June. In
                                                            eastern North America, where some of the best

information is available, the BBS suggests that 75         in Flight is all about better communication and
percent    of   populations    of    forest-dwelling       cooperation among all those concerned about
neotropical migrant species declined between 1978          migratory bird conservation.
and 1987. More recently, several of these species
                                                                    Already great strides have been made in
increased in number, but some, such as the
                                                           identifying the bird species needing the most help.
Cerulean Warbler, have not recovered. Woodland
                                                           A species prioritization scheme, available from the
birds are not the only species experiencing
                                                           Colorado Bird Observatory, details which species
declines. Grassland birds such as the Grasshopper
                                                           are at greatest risk in every part of North America.
Sparrow, which declined 4.5 percent each year
                                                           This complex scheme takes into account many
between 1966 and 1994, are also in trouble.
                                                           factors, including global abundance, breeding and
                                                           winter distributions, and threats to habitats on
        Further concern arises from the work of
                                                           wintering and breeding grounds.           Identifying
Sidney Gauthreaux, an ornithologist who studies
                                                           species that are most vulnerable shows
bird migration with radar. His research suggests
                                                           conservationists which habitats most need
that the number of birds migrating over the Gulf of
                                                           protection or restoration. North Carolina Partners
Mexico in spring has decreased by half since the
                                                           in Flight has also developed species and habitat
                                                           priority lists for the entire state.
Clearly these problems should concern us all.                      Excellent progress has also been made
                                                           toward developing regional and national migratory
                                                           bird habitat conservation plans. These plans are
The Solution:                                              based on the concept of management at the
Partners in Flight                                         landscape level. In this context, “landscape” refers
                                                           to a large area such as you might see while flying
         Now for the good news. Most species of            in an airplane, an area with a mosaic of habitat
neotropical migrants are still common, and very            patches.     Each of these habitats predictably
few species are endangered or even threatened.             harbors certain bird species, and individual birds of
We are concerned about declining species because           each species use habitat not just within their own
we want to avoid reaching a crisis situation-we            breeding territory, but also in neighboring habitat
want to maintain populations while they are still          patches. So the spatial arrangement of habitat
healthy. We therefore have the opportunity to              patches, as well as the quality of the habitats, is
conserve bird diversity in North America without           important to birds.        There are now Bird
putting an additional strain on our economic and           Conservation Plans for all three physiographic
social institutions.                                       regions of the state.

       Recognizing that conserving neotropical                     Because      landscape-level     management
migratory birds is too big of a problem for any one        crosses political and economic boundaries, the
agency, organization, state, or even country, the          plans call for public, private, and intergovernmental
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation launched a           cooperation. Partners in Flight is a model of
new program in 1990 called Partners in Flight. This        partnerships for conservation. Participants in North
massive program is not an organization. It has no          Carolina include federal agencies, state agencies,
single address or employees.        Rather, it is a        local government agencies, the forest products
cooperative effort among numerous state and                industry, private conservation groups, and
federal government agencies, non-governmental              universities. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources
conservation organizations, and private industry.          Commission has coordinated and provided funding
The goal of Partners in Flight is to improve our           for the Partners in Flight program in North Carolina
understanding of neotropical migrants, identify            since 1993.
species most at risk, and develop and carry out
cooperative plans to protect their habitat. Partners

        There is one more important partner: YOU.            organizations in North America
As someone concerned about birds and their                   and some neotropical countries
habitat, you can make a big difference. This                 to expand educational efforts,
booklet details how you can become involved in               develop conservation stra-
Partners in Flight because every activity described          tegies and conduct research
can lead toward improved migratory bird                      relating to birds and their
conservation.                                                habitats.

Problems in the Neotropics                                   Problems Along Migration Routes
        In parts of the neotropics, forests are                      During migration, birds use an astonishing
rapidly being converted to cropland and open                 array of habitats, from boreal coniferous forests
grazing by slash-and-burn agricultural techniques.           and     temperate-zone deciduous forests          to
Sun Coffee plantations are also rapidly expanding.           grasslands, scrublands, and tropical rainforest. All
Such forest destruction obviously creates problems           these habitats must support the birds’ needs for
for migrant birds that depend on forests for winter          food and protection from weather and predators.
habitat. Another problem is geographical. The                Clearly, the presence of suitable habitat along
landmass inhabited by migrants in winter is much             migratory routes is crucial to the birds’ ability to
smaller than the vast breeding area-all of North             survive and reproduce successfully each year. The
America. This means that wintering areas are                 longer a bird must search for a satisfactory
often packed with many more birds as are found in            stopover area, the less time and energy it has to
the same area on the breeding grounds.                       complete migration, set up and defend a territory,
Therefore, the destruction of just a small amount            and raise young.
of tropical habitat can have a huge effect on some
bird populations. Species restricted to a small                     During spring and fall, neotropical migrants
wintering range, such as the Cerulean Warbler, are           funnel through small areas where they rest and
at the greatest risk. And areas with the greatest            feed before beginning nonstop flights over land or
concentrations of migrants – Mexico, Central                 water. Many species make 20, 40, and even 80-
America, the Greater Antilles, and portions of the           hour nonstop flights over water, so coastal habitats
Andean mountain range in South America – also                are particularly important stopover zones.
have some of the highest rates of deforestation.             Unfortunately, these areas are disappearing under
                                                             a sea of development. Other prime stopover sites,
        Neotropical    migrants    wintering   near          such as those along river and stream corridors, are
cropland are also threatened by pesticides and               being destroyed or altered as well.
other chemicals used in agriculture because the
toxins concentrate in the birds’ fat reserves or kill                The     Partners    in   Flight   “Migration
them outright.        Some pesticides, including             Monitoring” project was initiated in 1996 in the
chlorinated hydrocarbons such as DDT, have been              Southeast to begin to accumulate data on
outlawed for use in the United States but are still          migrants. Information on numbers of birds passing
being used legally in Latin American and Caribbean           through specific areas, species using specific areas,
countries. In some cases, U.S. companies are                 timing of migration by specific species and
supplying these pesticides.                                  locations of concentrations of migrants can be
                                                             easily and quickly collected by qualified birders.
       Little funding exists for study of migratory          Routes can be run anywhere about once a week for
or resident birds in the neotropics. Partnerships            between 1-4 hours during the spring and/or fall
between North American partners and neotropical              count periods. The NC Partners in Flight biologist
countries is vital for bird conservation efforts. Such       can give you information on how you can
partnerships exist between several states and                participate in this program.

Problems in Temperate North                                          At the time of European settlement, Brown-
                                                             headed Cowbirds lived in the Great Plains of North
America                                                      America. In the past 150 years, however, as forest
                                                             has been cleared for agriculture, cowbirds have
        Migrant birds face many threats on their             expanded their range eastward dramatically. The
breeding grounds. Only 250 years ago, the forests            number of cowbirds has skyrocketed, and so has
of North America provided ideal habitat for many             the number of bird species they are known to
migrants. By 1920 much of the landscape had                  parasitize-now over 220. In central Illinois, where
been deforested. In recent decades, many of the              very little forest remains, cowbirds parasitize 75
forests cut in the 19th and early 20th centuries have        percent of the nests of some species of migratory
regrown or been replanted, especially in the                 birds, such as the Wood Thrush. Cowbirds are
mountains of North Carolina. But problems for                throughout NC, except the higher elevations of the
many forest-dwelling birds remain.                           forested mountains.
         Why? Much of the forest that does remain                    As in the East, habitat degradation is a key
is fragmented, or parceled into small blocks by              factor in the declines of some western species. For
urbanization, agriculture, and other human                   example, disruption of riparian habitat along
activities. This is especially a problem in the              waterways by cattle grazing and agriculture has
Piedmont of North Carolina. Unlike large forest              enabled cowbirds to take advantage of several
tracts, small, scattered woodlands present                   species of migrants that nest in these areas. In
numerous edges, with boundaries created by                   addition, as much as 95 percent of the riparian
roads, fields, housing developments, and possible            habitat has been lost in many western states.
clearcuts.    These edges can allow open-land                Riparian habitat is of great value for North Carolina
predators such as jays and crows, which feed on              neotropical migrants like Prothonotary Warbler.
songbirds and their nestlings, to intrude into the
forest. Urbanization has also allowed increases in
                                                                     Declines of grassland species, such as
predators that live and thrive around humans, such
                                                             Grasshopper and Lark Sparrows, are also cause for
as raccoons, opossums, and cats.
                                                             concern. According to Breeding Bird Survey data,
                                                             grassland bird species are showing steeper and
        Habitat fragmentation is a problem for               more consistent declines over the past 25 years
neotropical migrants because of their nesting                than other birds. While these trends are not
habits. Most neotropical migrants build open, cup-           entirely understood, biologists suspect that loss of
shaped nests that are relatively easy for predators          quality habitat and mowing during the breeding
to spot. They also tend to lay only a few eggs each          season in hayfields are factors in the declines. In
year. Some nest on or near the ground, making                many states grassland habitat has nearly vanished.
them susceptible to predation.                               In others, grasslands have become fragmented, a
                                                             process analogous to forest fragmentation, so bird
        Edge habitat and open-cup nests also cause           species that require large areas of this habitat are
birds to be susceptible to cowbird parasitism.               unable to nest successfully. The growing body of
Unlike most other birds, Brown-headed Cowbirds                                   scientific research will shed
do not build their own nests. They lay their eggs in                             more light on grassland birds
the nest of other birds, sometimes destroying the                                and their population changes in
eggs of the host. And even if the host eggs are not                              the years to come.
destroyed, the cowbird eggs generally hatch first
and the large, aggressive cowbird young crowd out
the host young, killing them directly, or killing them
indirectly by eating all of the food brought by the

                                                                      As you go about your migratory bird
Guidelines for Management                                     conservation projects-whether in your own
of Migratory Bird Habitat                                     backyard or in a wider community-review these
                                                              principles from time to time. They should help
        To survive, birds need the correct type of            keep your project on track.
habitat. Exactly what type and how much depends
on each species’ food preferences, foraging                   Guidelines for Backyard Habitat
strategies, and nest site requirements. Some kinds            Conservation Projects
of birds do fine in suburban and even urban areas.
However, species whose habitat requirements are               1. Grow and/or plant native plants that provide
specific-in particular, birds that require large tracts          fruit or seeds. Avoid non-native species. Non-
of woodland, shrub-scrub or grassland-are having                 natives are usually more expensive to maintain
more difficulty.      For example, the Swainson’s                anyway.
Warbler, requires about 25 acres of habitat per
breeding pair. And a single pair usually will not
                                                              2. Woodlots with fallen limbs and leaves, dead
nest unless other pairs inhabit the area, too.
                                                                 plant material, and other woodland debris
Maintaining a viable population of these birds
                                                                 harbor the insects that migratory birds thrive
requires a forested tract of perhaps 5,000 acres or
                                                                 on. Leave as much dead plant material as
                                                                 possible on the land (without endangering your
       For    species     with    specific  habitat
requirements, we must maintain suitable habitat in
                                                              3. Seek alternatives to chemical pesticides or
the face of human activity. And the challenge is
                                                                 herbicides whenever possible. Consider using
heightened by the fact that unlike humans, birds do
                                                                 biological controls for unwanted insects and
not pay attention to land ownership. Because their
habitats cross legal boundaries, habitat protection
plans must too.
                                                              4. Reduce the risk of bird predation by keeping
                                                                 pet cats indoors. Refrain from putting out table
         Is maintaining habitat for migratory birds a
                                                                 scraps, which attract predators such as
realistic goal for the 21st century? Absolutely!
                                                                 raccoons and foxes.
Many amateur birders, conservationists, agency
personnel, and private landowners support
conservation of bird populations and their habitats           5. Invite neighboring landowners to join in your
BEFORE species reach critically low levels when                  backyard effort. Plan cooperatively!
intervention becomes expensive and controversial.
This is what Partners in Flight is all about-keeping
common birds common. Maintaining habitat can
and does occur on the local, state, regional,
national, and even international levels.

        To be successful, habitat maintenance
should follow several guiding principles that can be
applied to the conservation of breeding range,
wintering grounds, and migratory corridors. All
land managers, public and private, large and small,
should find these principles helpful in guiding their
thinking about how to enhance habitat.

Guidelines for Conservation of                               Guidelines for Conservation of
Migratory Birds on Grasslands                                Migratory Birds in Hardwood
                                                             and/or Mixed Hardwood-Conifer
                  1.      Avoid          fragmenting
                  existing grassland tracts. The
                                                             Forested Areas
                  larger the grassland the greater           1. Avoid fragmenting forested areas on a large
                  the number of area-sensitive                  scale.
                  species, such as Grasshopper
                  Sparrow, will be able to nest              2. Maintain a well-developed understory whenever
                  successfully in the area.                     possible, including woody and herbaceous
                                                                vegetation, to provide resources to a diverse
2. When restoring grasslands, minimize the                      set of woodland bird species and other wildlife.
   amount of edge habitat by designing roughly               3. Minimize the amount of edge habitat by
   circular or square plots. Such programs should               managing generally circular- or square-shaped
   use native grasses and local seed sources.                   forests.
   Establishment of native warm-season grasses
   should be a major goal. Determining the                   4. If timber harvests occur, keep the harvest units
   species that should occur at a given site may                circular or square shaped and avoid cutting
   require research or consultation with certified              during the breeding season. Group harvest
   wildlife biologists.                                         units close together if more than one occurs at
                                                                a time. This allows quality habitat for area-
3. To benefit area-sensitive birds, plots should be             sensitive early successional birds within the
   no smaller than 125 acres, and preferably 250                forested landscape.
   acres or more. The larger the better. Fifty
                                                             5. Protect or restore forests along streams, wide
   acres or less will benefit birds that are the least
                                                                stream bottoms and ravines. Consider leaving
   sensitive to area size (such as Dickcissel, Red-
                                                                buffers of at least 100 feet along permanent
   winged Blackbird, or Eastern Meadowlark).
                                                                larger streams and even larger buffers (200
                                                                feet as a minimum) along rivers if timber
4. If plots smaller than 50 acres are the only                  harvests occur. The larger the buffer the better.
   option, they should be as numerous as possible
   and no farther apart than one mile.                       6. Remove non-native plant species whenever
                                                                possible. If planting, use native species.
5. Monitor grass height.    Eliminate excessive
                                                             7. Leave large diameter snags (standing dead
   woody vegetation that grows higher than the
                                                                trees), as much woody debris as possible
   native grasses.
                                                                without creating fire hazards and consider
                                                                leaving “green trees” (future snags) if timber
6. Grasslands evolved with regular burning. Learn
                                                                harvests will occur.
   about prescribed burns and evaluate the
   possibility of instituting this practice by               8. If you have pine production areas on your
   consulting with certified wildlife biologists and            property consult a certified wildlife biologist and
   foresters.                                                   forester to help plan management activities that
                                                                benefit birds and other wildlife.         Consider
7. Avoid mowing during the breeding season of                   longleaf pine restoration and the appropriate
   April-July, or at least stagger mowing in                    management whenever possible within the
   different plots over the breeding season.                    range of this species.

Guidelines for Conservation of                             Farmland Structure
Migratory Birds on Farmlands
                                                           1. Preserve uncultivated areas and allow them to
1.   After harvest, leave crop residue on the soil            develop into a variety of vegetative types.
     surface. “No-till” farming benefits feeding or           Areas between crop fields are helpful to
     migratory birds. This residue supports insects           migratory birds. Also, they can help reduce soil
     that are crucial to the diets of migrants and            erosion. Even vegetated ditch banks can be
     provides cover during inclement weather.                 valuable for wildlife.

2. Use biological (or non-toxic) controls on pests         2. Use farmland in a wide variety of ways.
   whenever      possible.       Integrated     pest
   management systems that achieve this end                3. Maintain vegetated strips within cultivated
   include establishing permanent vegetative cover            fields or field borders adjacent to fields to
   on steep hillsides, reducing the frequency and             provide nesting and feeding areas for some
   intensity of tillage, and rotating crops over              birds.
   several years. These techniques reduce the
   need for chemical pesticides and fertilizers and        4. Preserve wetlands by buffering them with wide
   help ensure that only the target pest insects are          zones of natural vegetation.

3. Postpone spring/early summer mowing (avoid
   April-July if possible), avoid mowing at night,
   and make intervals between mowings as long
   as possible to give birds the best chance for
   successful nesting.

4. Use inorganic fertilizers sparingly; base use on
   accurate soil requirements. Consult soil and
   water conservation professionals.

5. Do not mow fencerows and other uncultivated
   areas or spray them with pesticides. Try to
   carry out field operations in these areas only
   before or after nesting season.

6. Leave feathered edges of shrubs or herbs along
   borders where fields meet woodlands.

7. Leave vegetated buffers between fields of at
   least 25 feet, but control woody plants as
   needed. Allow some vegetation to establish
   along ditchbanks.

              Guidelines for Conservation-Oriented Land-Use Planning
1. Don’t overlook small habitat patches – even               5. When building along a known flight path,
   small plots of trees, shrubs, or grasses are used            consider the orientation of the structure. If
   by migrating birds, and maintenance of these                 possible, places houses so that large windows
   areas should be encouraged.                                  do not sit perpendicular to the flight path (in
                                                                most places, north and south).         Elevated
2. Development should take into account the                     telephone lines and towers can also cause
   needs of migratory birds during construction                 problems along flight paths.
   and destroy as little natural habitat as possible.
   (Not only is this helpful for birds, it often             6. Community plans should include tracts of forest
   increases the value of homes.)                               habitat.  Cluster housing, that is localizing
                                                                homes within large tracts of land, can
3. Avoid placing structures on ridge tops. Birds                sometimes help in achieving this goal.
   tend to follow ridges during migration.
   Structures built along these routes pose serious          7. Tell your local elected officials about your
   threats – every year, millions of birds are killed           concerns relating to conservation of wildlife
   when they strike windows, power lines, and                   habitat. Keep informed about zoning laws and
   towers.                                                      planning/growth issues in your community.
                                                                Your voice and educated opinions can make a
4. Avoid placing structures within or adjacent to               difference.
   wetlands. Wetlands are particularly important
   to migrating birds because of the abundance of
   food and cover.

                                                             American Bird Conservancy (ABC)
How to Take Action From
                                                             1250 24th Street NW
Your Desk                                                    Suite 400
                                                             Washington, DC 20037
Educate Yourself                                             (202) 778-9666
                                                             (202) 778-9778 (fax)
Citizens can influence local, regional and national          E-mail: ABC@ABCBIRDS.ORG
policy to conserve migratory and resident birds in
many ways, but the first important step is to                ABC is heavily involved in bird conservation efforts
educate yourself. The more you know about birds,             throughout the Americas.         They publish the
their habitats and the various things that can affect        quarterly magazine of Partners in Flight: Bird
both, the better you will be able to make positive           Conservation. Through it, you can keep up with
changes. In order to make changes good for birds,            current bird conservation issues and get up-to-date
you must be well informed with correct facts to              information on Partners in Flight activities
help you make your decisions, as well as spread              throughout the Americas.
information to others. Read as much current
information as you can and join conservation                 Cape May Bird Observatory (CMBO)
organizations. You will receive publications that            PO Box 3
keep you informed of current environmental issues            Cape May Point NJ 08212
and explain how you can influence pending                    (609) 884-2436
legislation on pertinent conservation issues.                Website:

National Conservation Organizations                          For two centuries, CMBO has been a favored
                                                             location for observing birds.    CMBO conducts
American Birding Association (ABA)                           research on songbirds, raptors, shorebirds,
PO Box 6599                                                  seabirds and butterflies.. They offer field trips,
Colorado Springs, CO 80934                                   birding lessons and internships.
(800) 850-2473
Website:                             Cornell Lab of Ornithology (CLO)
                                                             159 Sapsucker Woods Road
The goals of ABA are to promote recreational                 Ithaca, NY 14850
birding, contribute to the development of bird               (607) 254-2473 or (800) 843-2473
identification and population studies and help foster        Website:
public appreciation of birds and their role in the
environment.        ABA strongly supports and                CLO is an international center for the study,
encourages efforts to conserve and protect wild              appreciation and conservation of birds. The lab
birds and their habitats. Membership includes                supplies up-to-date ornithological information to
several educational publications: Birding magazine,          scientists, conservationists and the media.      It
Winging It newsletter, and the Directory of                  specializes in citizen science programs enlisting
Volunteer Opportunities for Birders.                         large numbers of volunteers to collect data about
                                                             birds. The lab’s Library of Nature Sounds contains
                                                             the world’s largest collection of natural sounds
                                                             including more than 5,000 bird species.
                                                             Membership includes several publications: Living
                                                             Bird magazine and Birdscope newsletter.

Defenders of Wildlife (DOW)                                 Manomet Observatory for Conservation
                                                            Sciences (MO)
1101 Fourteenth Street NW
Suite 1400                                                  PO Box 1770
Washington, DC 20005                                        Manomet, MA 02345
(202) 682-9400 ext.220                                      (508) 224-6521
Website:                          Website:
DOW promotes conservation through its National              To improve the conservation of natural resources,
Watchable Wildlife Program, a continent-wide                MO collaborates with government agencies,
system of wildlife viewing areas. DOW has also              conservation     organizations,  colleges,      and
been a leader in curbing imports of wild-caught             universities on research and conservation projects
birds for the pet trade. Other programs strive to           across the Western Hemisphere.        Publications:
preserve, enhance and protect biodiversity of               Conservation Sciences Quarterly magazine.
natural systems. Publications include Defenders
magazine and Wildlife Advocate newspaper.                   National Audubon Society (NAS)
                                                            700 Broadway
Gulf Coast Bird Observatory (GCBO)
                                                            New York, NY 10003-9501
103 West Highway 332                                        (212) 979-3000
Lake Jackson, TX 77566                                      Website:
(409) 480-0999
                                                            NAS uses science, policy research, lobbying,
                                                            litigation, citizen science programs and education
GCBO is involved in bird conservation throughout            as tools for conserving and restoring natural
the Gulf Coast region, one of the key migration             ecosystems and for focusing on birds and other
stopover sites for many neotropical migratory birds.        wildlife. Publications: Audubon magazine, Audubon
One of their main objectives is to increase                 Activist newsletter, National Audubon Society Field
awareness of the conservation issues surrounding            Notes.
birds and their habitats in the Gulf of Mexico
region. GCBO is also the site of the Partners in            National Wildlife Federation (NWF)
Flight “migration monitoring” program’s database.
                                                            1400 Sixteenth Street NW
Membership includes Gulf Crossings newsletter.
                                                            Washington, DC 20036-2266
                                                            (800) 822-9919
Long Point Bird Observatory (LPBO)
                                                            (202) 797-6655 (Legislative Hotline)
PO Box 160                                                  Website:
                                                            NWF aims to educate, inspire and assist individuals
(519) 586-3531
                                                            and groups to conserve wildlife and other natural
                                                            resources. The Backyard Habitat Program teaches
LPBO advances and encourages the understanding,             people how to make backyards more hospitable to
appreciation and conservation of wild birds and             birds and other wildlife, and also offers citizens the
their habitats through studies using volunteers,            chance to certify their backyards for wildlife.
members and staff. LPBO operates one of the                 Publications: EnviroAction newsletter, National
longest-running migration-monitoring stations in            Wildlife and International Wildlife magazines,
North America.     Publications: Long Point Bird            Conservation Directory, Backyard Habitat Program.
Observatory Newsletter.

The Institute for Bird Populations (IBP)                      Conservation Trust for
                                                              North Carolina (CTNC)
PO Box 1346
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956                                 PO Box 33333
(415) 663-2052                                                Raleigh, NC 27636
website:                                      (919) 828-4199
                                                              (919) 828-4508 (fax)
IBP created and coordinates the MAPS (Monitoring
Avian Productivity and Survivorship) program, the
world’s largest landbird demographic monitoring
effort (500+ stations). IBP offers training courses           CTNC has as a mission trying to enrich and
in bird banding throughout the continent for both             preserve the natural and cultural heritage of NC by
beginners and advanced banders.                               helping communities, land trusts, landowners and
                                                              public agencies conserve and protect lands
The Nature Conservancy (TNC)                                  important for their natural, scenic, historic and
                                                              recreational values.      Publications: Conserve
1815 North Lynn Street
                                                              Carolina newsletter.
Arlington, VA 22209
(703) 841-5300
                                                              NC Museum of Natural Sciences (NCMNS)
                                                              11 W. Jones Street
TNC is committed to preserving biological diversity
                                                              Raleigh, NC 27601-1029
by protecting natural lands and the life they harbor.
                                                              (919) 733-7450
TNC cooperates with educational institutions and
public and private conservation agencies and works
with states through “natural heritage programs” to            NCMNS was founded in 1879 and has a facility of
identify ecologically significant natural areas.              200,000 square feet opened in late 1999. It is a
Publications: Nature Conservancy magazine.                    center for natural sciences outreach for teachers
                                                              and students across the state, providing space for
Local Conservation Organizations                              primary research in natural sciences and houses
                                                              zoological collections of the state of North Carolina.
Carolina Bird Club (CBC)                                      Staff members provide statewide leadership in
                                                              environmental studies and offer educational
PO Box 29555                                                  services to citizens in all 100 counties, as well as
Raleigh, NC 27626                                             conduct      region-wide      and      internationally.
Website:                      Publications: various newsletters and publications
CBC is the ornithological society of North and South          available for members plus publications for sale to
Carolina, with its headquarters in Raleigh, NC. It is         public.
a nonprofit corporation founded in 1937 with
membership open to anyone interested in birds,
natural history and conservation. There are winter,
spring and fall meetings with guided field trips,
informative programs and business sessions.
Publications: CBC newsletter, The Chat quarterly
ornithological journal with field notes and scientific

                                                              conservation.       Your financial assistance to
                                                              organizations listed in the publication supports their
                                                              ability to publish information about bird
                                                              conservation issues, to initiate and conduct
North Carolina Audubon (NCA)                                  valuable research projects and to offer governing
                                                              officials and organizations the information they
410 Airport Road                                              need to make decisions about land-use planning
Chapel Hill, NC 27514                                         and practices.
(919) 929-3899
Website:                                    Many state natural resource agencies need
                                                              financial support. Traditionally these agencies have
NCA is the state presence of the National Audubon
                                                              received funding primarily for managing game
Society. The Audubon Council of NC represents all
                                                              species.    Recently the North Carolina Wildlife
current Audubon chapters in the state and
                                                              Resources Commission (NCWRC) started funding
sponsors the annual state conference while
                                                              the Partners in Flight Program in the state, but
working with the state office to further bird
                                                              more funding is needed to support additional
conservation in North Carolina. By joining the
                                                              research, conservation and educational work. The
National Audubon Society members can receive
                                                              Partners in Flight coordinator works in the Non-
benefits from their local chapter. State office
                                                              game and Endangered Wildlife Program of the
publications: Audubon newsletter.
                                                              NCWRC. To help support the Partners in Flight
                                                              program in North Carolina:
North Carolina Nature Conservancy (NCNC)
4011 University Drive                                         Return the Gift:
Suite 201                                                     Support NC Partners in Flight
Durham, NC 27707
(919) 403-8558                                                        The Nongame and Endangered Wildlife
Website:          Program is dedicated to conserving native wildlife
          states/northcarolina/                               of North Carolina. Please lend your support to this
NCNC is the state chapter of The Nature                       effort through a tax-deductible contribution to:
Conservancy offering educational trips throughout             NC Wildlife Resources Commission
the state to ecologically important sites and
                                                              Division of Wildlife Management
numerous volunteer opportunities.
                                                              1722 Mail Service Center
North Carolina Wildlife Federation (NCWF)
                                                              Raleigh, NC 27699-1722

PO Box 10626                                                  Check should be made out to:
Raleigh, NC 27605                                             Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund
(919) 833-1923
Website:                                 Write Letters –
NCWF is the state chapter of the National Wildlife            Contact Elected Officials
Federation dedicated to the conservation of the
state’s natural resources-soil, air, water, forest and                Once you have learned about issues that
wildlife. Publications: Friend of Wildlife newsletter.        affect migratory birds and have identified some
                                                              that interest you, you can start making a difference
                                                              by writing letters to the editors of local newspapers
Provide Financial Support                                     and to local, state, and federal officials. You can
      Making donations is crucial to conservation             also multiply your efforts by establishing letter-
groups or agencies actively working on bird                   writing (or e-mailing) networks and telephone trees
                                                              among your friends.

Tips for Writing Elected Officials                                 Give your reasons for taking a stand
        Writing to elected officials, including the                Be broad-minded and show an awareness of
president, is one of the simplest and most effective                how the proposed legislation will affect the
ways to influence public policy on behalf of the                    environment, community and people’s health
environment or pertinent conservation issues.                       and jobs
During the typical two-year term of a
congressperson, the House clerk will record your                   Be constructive and offer an alternative if you
representative’s vote on more than 250 issues. In                   believe the bill takes the wrong approach
a real sense, these will be your votes too.                        Ask for specific action, such as co-sponsoring a
        Writing letters is not difficult. Here are tips             specific bill or support an amendment
to help you write effective letters to public officials:           Share expert knowledge with your elected
   Make sure you are contacting the correct                        officials
    person by consulting some of the groups                        Use a personal or business letterhead whenever
    mentioned earlier in this publication, contacting               possible. Include a complete return address on
    local conservation activists or asking for                      the letter and envelope. Sign your name over a
    assistance at the reference desk of public                      typed or printed signature
                                                                   Say “well-done” or “good job” when deserved.
   Address letters properly to ensure they get to
    the right person (similar format will work for
                                                                Some Things Not To Do
    state and local officials also)
                                                                   Don’t make threats or promises
The White House                                                    Don’t berate your representative
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW                                          Don’t pretend to wield vast political influence
Washington, DC 20500
                                                                   Don’t write on every issue that comes up
The Honorable
US House of Representatives                                     Tips for Writing Letters to the Editor
Washington, DC 20510
                                                                        The letters-to-the-editor section of your
The Honorable                                                   local newspaper presents an ideal forum for getting
US Senate                                                       your message to its readers. More people read the
Washington, DC 20515                                            letters-to-the-editor section than any other part of
                                                                the paper (except comics and classified ads). Here
   Identify the bill or issue. Give the bill number if         are some guidelines:
    possible or describe it by a popular title
                                                                   Keep your letter short and to the point (250
   Make the letter timely by writing while time still              words maximum)
    exists for officials to take action
                                                                   Writing on behalf of an organization gives your
   Focus on your own delegation at whatever level                  letter more weight
    of public office you address
                                                                   Avoid long, rambling sentences and big words
   Be brief and keep your letter concise. Stick to
    one issue                                                      Type the letter and double-space it

   Write your own views; a personal letter means                  Limit the number of points you make and stay
    more than a form letter or a signature on a                     on the same subject
    petition                                                       Be as factual as you can without being dull

   Localize your letter-explain how the issue will          Food
    affect your area
                                                                     The types of foods that migratory birds
   Accentuate the positive-if you criticize, propose
                                                             require vary according to the seasonal energy
    alternatives or solutions to the problem
                                                             demands of migration, raising young and molting.
                                                             Most migrants begin to arrive in North America just
Your letter stands the best chance of being printed
                                                             as the first generation of spring caterpillars begins
when it responds to something recently printed in a
                                                             to feed on newly unfurled tree leaves. This tiny
certain publication. You can use the reference to
                                                             insect larva is full of protein and water and become
the first item as a springboard for stating your
                                                             a major food source for migrating and breeding
case. Ask for action if appropriate and get elected
                                                             birds. Soft fruits, like berries and drupes, are an
officials’ attention by putting their names in the
                                                             important source of carbohydrates and fats for
                                                             migratory birds. Migrants rely on this “soft mast”
                                                             most heavily in late summer and early fall. Some
Action in Your Backyard                                      of these fruits even persist on certain shrubs into
                                                             the winter for other birds.
        Almost three-quarters of the land in the
United States are controlled by private landowners.          Tips for Providing Food for Birds
The future of migratory bird populations depends
on their actions. While most private landowners do                  Provide fruiting plants throughout the spring,
not have large tracts of undisturbed forest, many                    summer and fall by choosing plants that flower
have small groves of trees or shrubs in their                        and fruit at different times. Provide a variety of
backyard. These areas can be important to the                        structures and types of trees, shrubs and
survival of migratory birds, especially in urbanized                 herbaceous plants.
areas, which usually lack the minimal habitat that
birds require for migratory stopovers to rest and                   Reduce the amount of lawn on your property
refuel.                                                              by replacing it with plants good for wildlife.
                                                                     Lawns are of limited value for wildlife and are
        With considerate landscaping, foraging                       large consumers of water, fertilizers, pesticides
habitat for migratory birds can be created in even                   and herbicides; try to reduce or eliminate your
small backyards. Following are some ideas for                        use of these chemicals.
providing backyard habitat for migratory (and
                                                                    Grow only native plants (North Carolina) if at all
residents at all times of the year) birds. Exactly
                                                                       possible since they are best adapted for local
what you do will depend on
                                                                       soils and climates and require less fertilizer,
the size of your property, your
                                                                       water and pest control. Obtain native plants
budget       and       personal
                                                                       through local nurseries and plant catalogs.
preferences.    Keep in mind
that the widest variety of                                            Plant trees and shrubs that attract an array
natural elements will attract                                          of insects. Native insects do not usually
and provide resources for the                                          damage plants to the degree of imported
greatest number and variety of                                         pests such as Japanese beetles. Also, insects
birds and other wildlife. To                                           are important food sources for birds.
attract and provide for all the
needs of birds you must                                               Design clusters of plantings, layering your
provide food, water, cover,                                            yard to also allow for maximum viewing
and nesting opportunities                                              enjoyment
free from backyard dangers.

   Take into account light and moisture amounts            Other trees with wildlife value: (produces seed,
    required by each plant species, the size it gets        flowers or fruits that birds eat)
    at maturity and how long it takes to produce               Liquidambar styraciflua    sweetgum
    flowers or fruits when planning your backyard.             Liriodendron tulipifera    tulip tree
                                                               Platanus occidentalis      sycamore
   Finally, before doing anything, make a plan                Betula nigra               river birch
    for your yard that focuses on what your yard               Ulmus alata                winged elm
    needs and what your desired results are in                 Ostrya virginiana          hop hornbeam
    terms of species of birds and other wildlife you           Carpinus caroliniana       ironwood
    want to attract. Design a budget!                          Salix spp.                 willow
                                                               Fraxinus spp.              ash
Suggested Plant Species:
                                                            Vines for attracting hummingbirds: (food sources)
(If these already exist on your property leave to              Campsis radicans           trumpet creeper
provide food/cover/nesting opportunities for                   Bignonia capreolata        crossvine
wildlife.) If buying plants, check to make sure they           Gelsemium sempervirens     yellow jessamine
are native to your area of NC.                                 Lonicera sempervirens      coral honeysuckle
                                                               Ipomoea spp.               morning glory
Plants: (for hard mast, like acorns or hickory nuts)
                                                            Other plants for attracting hummingbirds: (food
Oaks:                                                       sources)
    Quercus nigra                 water oak                    Monarda spp.               bee balm
    Quercus phellos               willow oak                   Asclepias tuberosa         butterfly weed
    Quercus alba                  white oak                    Lobelia cardinalis         cardinal flower
                                                               Aquilegia canadensis       columbine
Hickories:                                                     Impatiens spp.             jewelweed
                                                               Dicentra spectabilis       bleeding heart
    Carya glabra                  pignut hickory               Penstemon spp.             penstemon
    Carya ovata                   shagbark hickory             Phlox spp.                 phlox
    Juglans nigra                 black walnut                 Aesculus pavia             red buckeye
                                                               Rhododendron nudiflorum    wild azalea, pinxter
Plants: (for soft mast, like berries, drupes, etc.)                                       flower (+ other species)
                                                               Crataegus spp.             hawthorn
    Ilex spp.                     hollies
    Morus rubra                   red mulberry
    Juniperus virginiana          red cedar
    Lindera benzoin               spicebush
    Cornus florida                flowering dogwood
    Diospyros virginiana          persimmon
    Viburnum spp.                 viburnums
    Sassafras albidum             sassafras
    Vaccinium spp.                blueberries
    Prunus serotina               black cherry
    Vitis spp.                    grapes
    Gaylussacia spp.              huckleberries
    Nyssa sylvatica               blackgum
    Celtis laevigata              sugar berry
    Myrica cerifera               wax myrtle
    Magnolia spp.                 magnolias
    Aralia spinosa                hercules club
    Rubus spp.                    blackberries
    Parthenocissus quinquefolia   Virginia creeper

Water                                                       Nesting Habitat
    Water is often even more important for birds                    Finding adequate habitat to raise young is
than food.     They need to drink and bathe;                becoming increasingly difficult for all birds in
therefore, the water needs to be clean. If you do           urban/suburban areas. Migratory birds vary greatly
not have a constant supply of water nearby or on            in the type of habitat needed for nesting. Most of
your property, you need to provide it.                      the species that seem to be declining require large
   Commercial birdbaths are available in numerous          tracts of forest, shrub-scrub or grassland to
    styles, or you can make one by placing a                successfully breed. Still, backyard habitat remains
    shallow (less than 2 inches deep) dish filled           important and some migratory birds may nest in or
    with water on a stump or pedestal in a sturdy           near appropriately managed backyards. Certainly
    location. Provide a ground water source for             the needs of many familiar songbirds can be met
    birds that do not like to perch and keep the            like: American Robin, Northern Cardinal, Eastern
    birdbaths clean. Provide a few rocks in the             Towhee, Brown Thrasher, American Goldfinch and
    birdbaths to give access to smaller birds. Keep         Eastern Bluebird.
    water clean.
                                                                    One of the most valuable contributions a
   Create a small pool using fiberglass shells             private landowner can make is the protection and
    (found in garden supply stores) or digging and          management of larger trees. Trees are a major
    lining the hole with plastic liners. Provide            source of insect prey for all birds and can provide
    native aquatic plants in potted containers and          nesting opportunities for cup-nesting birds and
    rocks along the edges for access.                       even for cavity nesters.       Older trees tend to
   Birds like running water.           Inexpensive         develop natural cavities that birds and other wildlife
    circulation systems with pumps can be set up to         can use and dead limbs can be used by
    attract birds.     Consider a water mister.             woodpeckers and other cavity excavators to create
    Migrating birds, in particular, need water and          “ready made homes.” If possible leave standing
    species not typically seen in backyards can be          dead trees (snags), as they are havens for many
    attracted by water sources.                             cavity-nesting species of birds. You can augment
                                                            natural cavities by providing bird boxes for use by
   If you have the space and are willing to invest         species such as Carolina Chickadee, Tufted
    more money, consider hiring professionals to                                 Titmouse, Eastern Bluebird and
    add a pond to your property. Plan a budget!                                  nuthatches.      Always mount
                                                                                 boxes on a pole and with a
Cover                                                                            predator guard to prevent
                                                                                 losing eggs or young to rat
       Birds need shelter to escape predators such
                                                                                 snakes, raccoons and other
as hawks, foxes and cats, as well as to survive
                                                                                 climbing predators.       Many
harsh weather. Cover near feeders is a good idea
                                                                                 backyard wildlife books provide
to provide fast escape cover. Brushpiles can also
                                                                                 the proper dimensions and
be established in edges of the property, depending
                                                                                 locations for bird boxes for
on aesthetic preferences of the landowner and local
                                                                                 various bird species.
health and/or appearance ordinances. Shrubs and
evergreen trees can be planted to provide cover,
nesting opportunities, food, as well as windbreaks.
Dispersing cover throughout the property is better
than allocating it all in one spot in your backyard.
Use plants native to your region in your
landscaping. Good examples include: red cedar,
wax myrtle and American holly.

                                                             image. Something as simple as post-it notes can
Backyard Problems                                            do the same thing for a short-term solution and
       When you invite birds and other wildlife into         cost much less.
your yard, you have a responsibility to protect them
from hazards associated with the human                       Animal Issues
                                                             In fragmented suburban neighborhoods many
                                                             animals besides the non-native house cat can
Cats                                                         cause problems. All feeders should be mounted to
There have been numerous studies to show that                prevent or at least discourage access by squirrels
cats (both feral and free-ranging) kill songbirds and        or raccoons. In the long run, a feeder mounted
other wildlife.       Some research                                         correctly with a baffle underneath
suggests a high percentage of rural                                         will save you money on seed.
cats’ diets are birds. The safest                                           Squirrel-proof feeders are sold, but
(and healthiest) place for a cat to                                         most usually work because of how
be if you are trying to make your                                           they are placed in the yard more
backyard into an oasis for wildlife is                                      than how well the guard works. It is
indoors. Many people believe that a                                         a must to have properly sized and
collar bell will alert birds to danger                                      mounted predator guards under bird
from cats, but research shows that                                          boxes to prevent predator access to
cats usually sit and wait for their                                         eggs, young and even adult birds.
prey or stalk very slowly. By the                                           The biggest nest box predator in the
time a bell rings, it is too late.                                          south seems to be rat snakes, with
Research has also shown that                                                problems also coming from squirrels
declawing a cat does not prevent it                                         and raccoons.      Help discourage
                                                               Darryl Wheye
from killing wildlife.       For more                                       raccoons and opossums from
information check out the American Bird                      hanging around in your yards by not leaving pet
Conservancy’s Cats Indoors! Program at:                      food in your yard after dark, and secure garbage or call (202) 778-9619.                     cans. Take in feeders if bears begin to tear them
                                                             up to get at seed or suet.
Project Feeder Watch, run by the Cornell                     Pesticides
Laboratory of Ornithology, has collected data
                                                             Millions of birds die each year from direct contact
suggesting millions of birds die each year in
                                                             with landscape and agriculture chemicals (from
collisions with windows. If birds are colliding with
                                                             eating pesticide granules or being sprayed) or
your windows, break up the reflective qualities of
                                                             indirect contact (eating poisoned prey). In your
the glass by rubbing soap over the outside surface
                                                             yard, reduce your dependence on chemical
to create a dull appearance. Other options include
                                                             fertilizers and pesticides by cultivating native plants
installing screens, or hanging streamers or other
                                                             and reducing lawn area.          Non-species specific
objects on the window to break up the outline.
                                                             pesticides often kill many natural insect predators
Mounting plastic garden protection netting on a
                                                             of insects as well as harm other natural predators
frame installed about one foot from the glass
                                                             like toads and birds. Use leaf and compost mulch
surface allows birds to hit the screen and bounce
                                                             to add nutrients to the soil and save water. Refer
off unharmed. Bird of prey silhouettes do not seem
                                                             to information sources on natural organic
to work unless a number of them are used
together. Actually they work because the pattern
of images breaks up the reflection on the glass, not
because the birds are scared by the hawk/falcon

Bird Conservation Field                                       North Carolina
                                                              Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteer Opportunities
                                                              Breeding Bird Survey
The history of ornithology is replete with many
great contributions of amateurs and volunteers.               Data from the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS),
For evidence, look through any bird field guide and           compiled since 1966, were among the first to
check out the range maps. In many cases, these                validate the concerns of many birders and
were compiled from thousands of bird sightings                ornithologists that some migratory bird populations
made by bird watchers and reported in bird club               were declining. These data gave birth to Partners
newsletters or local bird journals.                           in Flight.

A direct way to become involved in migratory bird             The Breeding Bird Survey now covers more than
conservation is being active in programs designed             50,000 miles of secondary roads and involves
to monitor bird populations. Efforts to protect               nearly 2,000 volunteers across North America.
migrant and resident bird populations and their               Starting before dawn on one day during the
habitats must be based on up-to-date data.                    breeding season, observers stop every half mile
Accurate data can help detect trends in bird                  along a 24.5 mile route to count for three minutes
populations and be critical to identifying the factors        all birds heard and seen within a quarter-mile
affecting populations in both temperate and                   radius. BBS sample sizes have been sufficient to
tropical habitats.                                            analyze population trends for about 377 species.

Many bird clubs, state ornithological societies,              The BBS is coordinated at the state level in North
National Audubon chapters and concerned                       Carolina by an employee of the North Carolina
individuals conduct vital monitoring activities that          Wildlife Resources Commission. Participants must
produce valuable information.         Volunteers can          be able to identify ALL birds of their region of the
assist with or conduct bird banding, state atlasing,          state by sight and sound. As a participant the
summer, spring and winter bird counts, and other              national BBS lab will send you a start-up packet
programs.       Volunteers should choose one                  containing directions, route maps, bird lists for your
appropriate to their level of skill and time available        region, the BBS annual report of the previous year,
to work.                                                      and the Breeding Bird Survey newsletter. In North
                                                              Carolina contact:
An excellent guide to find volunteer projects in is
“The Directory of Volunteer Opportunities for                 Mark Johns
Birders” put out each year by the American Birding            NC Wildlife Resources Commission
Association.                                                  NC Coordinator
                                                              Partners in Flight
American Birding Association                                  PO Box 564
PO Box 6599                                                   Cary, NC 27512
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80934.                             (919) 852-5124

Call at (800) 850-2473 for information on how to
get a copy of this guide.

Monitoring Avian Productivity and                              Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology Citizen
Survivorship                                                   Science Opportunities
The Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship             Various projects sponsored by the Cornell Lab of
(MAPS) project is an effort to coordinate banding              Ornithology investigate aspects of breeding or
programs across the continent to learn more about              feeding migratory and resident birds. Projects
nesting success and survival of small land birds.              include:
This program started in 1989 and is run by the
                                                                   Project Feeder Watch – observers count the
Institute for Bird Populations. For information on
                                                               kinds and numbers of birds at feeders between
MAPS stations in North Carolina contact:
                                                               November and April one or two days every 2
                                                               weeks. Information is recorded on computerized
The Institute for Bird Populations                             forms and sent to the lab to be analyzed.
PO Box 1346,
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956.                                     Cornell Nest Box Network – monitor nest boxes
Call (415) 663-2052 for more information or visit:             and report results. Learn important information to
Website:                               help native cavity nesting birds.
                                                                   Birds in Forested Landscapes – collect critical
Migration Monitoring                                           information on forest species in North Carolina.
This project takes advantage of those experienced              Free research hat, instructions and tape or CD of
birders already in the field during spring and fall            forest bird vocalizations included.
watching birds and provides a standardized method
for collecting quantitative information with regards           NC Partners in Flight Hummingbird
to bird migration. The goal of the project is to               Survey
obtain data on first landfall in spring, area dispersal        This simple survey is an attempt to gain
for migrants, identify species-specific migration              information on the breeding biology of
pathways, density comparisons at multiple sites                hummingbirds in urban, suburban and rural
and between years, identification of “hot-spots”               settings. To participate, contact Mark Johns.
and their motility between years and habitats used
for stopover and for corridors between coastal and
                                                               NC Backyard Bird Survey
interior breeding sites. Volunteers bird the same
route once per week during spring and fall                     This survey attempts to add to the information
migrations for no more than 4 hours.               For         contained in the NC Breeding Bird Atlas by
information contact Mark Johns.                                documenting bird use of neighborhoods.      To
                                                               participate, contact Mark Johns.

                                                               NC Audubon Chapter Bird Counts
                                                               Counts are held during spring and winter by some
                                                               local Audubon chapters. Contact the NC State
                                                               Audubon Office for information on local chapters at
                                                               (919) 929-3899.

North American Migration Count                               An Audubon Handbook: Eastern Birds
Started in 1992, this project allows birders the             A Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names
chance to enjoy a day’s birding during spring                 by James Jobling
migration and collect information that will help             The Audubon Society Master Guide to Birding
reveal the status of bird migration. There is no fee.        (set of 3)
                                                             Peterson Field Guides: Advanced Birding
NAMC Coordinator
PO Box 71                                                    The Birders Handbook
North Beach, MD, 20714                                       by Ehrlich, Dobkin and Wheye
Website:                        Peterson Field Guides: Birds’ Nests
International Migratory Bird Day                             Guide to Owl Watching in North America
                                                             by Heintzelman
Volunteer at or help organize an IMBD event to
help create awareness about migratory birds. This            Peterson Field Guides: Hawks
event is celebrated throughout North Carolina and            American Warblers
abroad the 2nd weekend each May. This is one of              by Morse
the signature educational efforts sponsored by
Partners in Flight. For information on IMBD in               Neotropical Migratory Birds: Natural History,
North Carolina, contact Mark Johns.                          Distribution and Population Change
                                                             by DeGraaf and Rappole
Appendix:                                                    Where Have All the Birds Gone?
                                                             by Terborgh
Reading Materials
                                                             The Ecology of Migrant Birds: A Neotropical
Field Guides: for help in bird identification                Perspective
                                                             by Rappole
   Peterson Field Guides: Eastern Birds
                                                             Neotropical Birds: Ecology and Conservation
   Audubon Field Guide to North American Birds:
                                                             by Stotz, Fitzpatrick, Parker and Moskovitis
   Eastern Region
                                                             Ecology and Management of Neotropical
   Golden Guide: Eastern Birds
                                                             Migratory Birds: A Synthesis and Review of
   Stokes Field Guide to Birds: Eastern Region               Critical Issues
   National Geographic: Birds of North America               edited by Martin and Finch

   Sibley Guide to Birds                                     Ecology and Conservation of Neotropical
                                                             Migrant Land Birds
   Birds of North America                                    edited by Hagan and Johnston
Other Useful References                                      The Birder’s Bug Book
                                                             by Waldbauer
   All the Birds of North America: American Bird
   Conservancy Field Guide                                   Catesby’s Birds of Colonial America
   by Jack L. Griggs                                         edited by Feduccia
   Birds of the Carolinas
    by Potter, Parnell and Tuelings
   Lives of North American Birds
   by Kenn Kaufman
   Peterson Field Guides: Warblers

             Suggested Reading for Improving Your Backyard for Birds

General                                             Bird feeding
Landscaping for Wildlife                            National Audubon Society:           North    American
by Carol Henderson 1987                             Birdfeeder Handbook
(~$10.00)                                           by Robert Burton 1992
The Backyard Naturalist
by Craig Tufts 1988                                 A Complete Guide to Bird feeding
(~$7.00)                                            by John Dennis 1994
Songbirds in Your Garden                            Feeding and Sheltering Backyard Birds
by JK Terres 1994                                   by M. Vriends 1990
The Wildlife Gardener                               Bird boxes/nests
by John Dennis 1985                                 30 Birds That Will Nest in Birdhouses
How to Attract Birds (Ortho books)                  by Layton 1977
by M. Mckinley 1983                                 A Field Guide to the Nests, Eggs, and Nestlings of
Trees, Shrubs and Vines for Attracting Birds        North American Birds
by R. DeGraff and G. Wit 1979                       by Colin Harrison 1984

Growing and Propagating Wildflowers                 Peterson Field Guides: Bird Nests
by Harry Phillips 1985                              1975
The Natural History of Wild Shrubs and Vines
by Stokes 1989                                      Enjoy Hummingbirds More
(~$13.00)                                           Bird Watcher’s Digest Press
Growing and Propagating Showy Native Woody
Plants                                              The Hummingbird Book, The Complete Guide to
by Richard Bir 1992                                 Attracting, Identifying and Enjoying Hummingbirds
(~$19.00)                                           by D. and L. Stokes
Backyard Composting
 by Harmonious Technologies 1992                    Hummingbirds Up Close
call (800) 247-6553                                 (National Audubon Society Video)
Hosting the Birds
by J. Mahnken 1989                                  Hummingbirds of North         America:      Attracting,
(~$21.00)                                           Feeding and Photography
                                                    by True
Natural Landscaping:                                (~$25.00)
Designing with Native Plant Communities
                                                    How to Attract Hummingbirds
by Diekelmann 1982
                                                    (Ortho Books)

                      Other Information on Birds and Bird Conservation
Carolina Bird Club                                        American Bird Conservancy
(The Birding Club of North and South Carolina)            (202) 778-9666
Website:                  E-mail:
Office of Migratory Bird Management
US Fish & Wildlife Service                                Wild Birds Unlimited
(For migratory songbird conservation information)         (Backyard Bird Equipment)
E-mail:                                      Website:
                                                          Chimney Swift Information
Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology                         Website:
(For citizen science volunteer opportunities like:                  chimneyswift/chimneyswift-index.htm
Project Feeder Watch, Cornell Nest Box Network,           North America Chimney Swift Nest Site Research
Birds in Forested landscapes)                             Project
E-mail:                          Website:
                                                          Hummer/Bird Study Group Inc.
National Audubon Society                                  (Information on hummingbirds)
Website:                          E-mail:
Audubon “Bird Links”                                      Website:
Website:                Purple Martin Conservation Association (PMCA)
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (Bird               (Information on Purple martins)
conservation)                                             E-mail:
Website:                             Website:
NC Partners in Flight Home Page
Partners in Flight Home Page
Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center
Counter Culture Coffee (Bird friendly coffee)
(888) 238-JAVA


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