Florida is currently at its peak of Spring bird migration! On their journeys to areas with more food and nesting resources, these birds can experience quite a few hazards. Some of these include increased exposure to predators, lack of food supplies, poor weather, or even the physical stress from the trip itself. Read on to learn more about how to help protect migratory birds passing through Florida, like the Cape May Warbler pictured here!
Turn off the lights.
Birds traveling at night can be attracted to or disoriented by the lights and collide with buildings or other structures. Keep bright and non-essential household lights off from dusk until dawn to limit these distractions and prevent possible injury.
Make windows obvious.
Every year, millions of birds die from hitting clear or reflective glass. Almost half of these instances are with home windows. Luckily, there are many ways to prevent this from happening: paint a window warning using tempera, use removable stickers or decals, or apply colorful/ patterned films.
Protect birds from cats.
Cats are natural predators and will instinctively hunt and kill birds. Even well-fed cats engage in these behaviors! Keep cats indoors, in an enclosure, or on a leash when outside to protect migratory birds and year-round residents alike.
Create a backyard habitat.
Many spring migrant birds eat insects, spiders, and worms that rely on native plants. Birds also use these plants for cover and shelter. Create a bird’s paradise in your backyard: plant native grasses, flowers, and shrubs, embrace bugs, and decrease pesticide use. Even pesticides that are not directly toxic to birds can harm them in other ways, such as by polluting waterways and harming the insects they eat.
Support bird-friendly laws.
Individual actions are helpful, but birds also need advocates on their behalf during larger-scale interventions and legislation. Support the laws (locally and nationally) created to protect migratory birds.
- Learning resources:
- Audubon’s policy efforts to protect migratory birds
- EPA’s migratory bird initiatives
- The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918
- Get involved and take action:
- Join a bird conservation group.
- Speak at city planning meetings.
- Write letters/emails to your elected representatives.