SOS Save Our Songbirds campaign launched



SOS Save Our Songbirds campaign launched

This news story comes from our friends at the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Bird Conservation Partnership, and it focuses on a Wisconsin-based songbird conservation initiative. While the details are particular to the Badger State, we’re sharing it because songbirds are in trouble around the world and the following advice will help birds everywhere. — the editor

The beautiful songs and plumage of birds are welcome signs of spring, yet many people are noticing that their feeders — and nearby fields and forests — have been growing silent as a 30% loss in North American birds hits home in Wisconsin.

To help reverse that loss, the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Bird Conservation Partnership announced the start of an action campaign, SOS Save Our Songbirds, to spur more people to take three actions at home that help birds.

“Our songbirds are in crisis, in Wisconsin and everywhere,” says NRF Executive Director David Clutter. “The pleasure we get from seeing and hearing them will be lost if we don’t act now. The other mental health, economic, and environmental benefits that we get from birds will go away, too.”

The SOS Save Our Songbirds campaign calls for Wisconsinites to take one or more actions at home and provides resources to make it easier.

The three actions are:

  • Add plants that are good for birds
  • Reduce window threats by addressing one problem window for birds
  • Buy coffee grown in bird-friendly ways to protect their winter habitats.

Information on why these actions are important and basic recommendations on how to apply them at home are available on the Help Birds at Home section of the SOS website.

SOS Save Our Songbirds campaign launched
Baltimore Oriole. Photo by Ryan Brady

Karen Etter Hale, chair of the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Partnership, says SOS Save Our Songbirds empowers people to have a positive impact on the birds they love.

“We’re asking everyone to try making one or more of these small changes at home,” she says. “It all adds up. And if you’re already taking these actions, thank you!

“We ask, too, if you will please share what you’re doing with your neighbors, family, and friends so they can do good things for birds, too.”




Reversing losses by providing more, safer habitat

In North America, songbird families like native sparrows, warblers, blackbirds, and finches suffered the biggest losses according to a 2019 research study that found 3 billion birds, or 30%, of the continent’s bird populations, had disappeared since 1970. Wisconsin is experiencing similar trends, with grassland birds like Bobolinks and Western and Eastern Meadowlarks, and northern forest birds like Evening Grosbeaks, Connecticut Warblers, and Canada Jays, suffering some of the largest declines.

Scientists widely regard habitat loss as the biggest driver of bird loss. SOS Save Our Songbirds urges people to add habitat and make it safer by addressing problem windows near the habitat and bird baths. Studies have shown that up to 1 billion birds die annually after colliding with windows in U.S. buildings, nearly half home windows.

By buying bird-friendly coffee, Wisconsinites help protect the migration stopover and winter grounds of many Wisconsin birds. Forests in coffee-growing regions of Central and South America are being cleared to grow more coffee but some growers maintain a diversity of trees good for birds.

People who subscribe to SOS Save Our Songbirds electronic updates will also receive seasonal discount offers to help them take the three actions, according to Lisa Gaumnitz, who is coordinating the SOS Save Our Songbirds campaign.

Read more

Creating a sanctuary for birds

The true cost of coffee: How your morning cup of joe can help save birds

15 products that prevent window strikes

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