For over ten years, private landowners have been granting permission for Bird Conservancy to conduct bird surveys on their land. These partners in conservation enable us to learn about bird populations across the whole landscape, beyond public lands. Equally important are the lasting friendships that often form between our staff and the landowners as they bond over birds, landscapes and the stewardship values we share.
Through a grant from Great Outdoors Colorado, Bird Conservancy of the Rockies is partnering with private landowners in Morgan County, Colorado to eliminate cheatgrass—an extremely invasive weed that outcompetes native vegetation, reduces habitat quality and increases fire hazards.
After several weeks of intensive nest searching and observation, Bird Conservancy of the Rockies has confirmed that Baird’s Sparrows are actively breeding at Soapstone Prairie Natural Area—the first time the species has been documented reproducing in the State of Colorado. This remarkable discovery marks an exciting milestone in an already-eventful 2018 summer field season.
As our population grows, so does the footprint for housing, commercial businesses, and food production. Habitat loss is having a big impact on grassland and prairie birds, and private lands are critical to that story. Bird Conservancy is working with diverse partners, including land developers, to lighten our environmental impact and deploy innovative techniques to conserve iconic birds like the Burrowing Owl.
The grasslands of the Chihuahuan desert provide important overwintering habitat for over 90% of the migratory grassland species in western North America. Recently, our team joined partners and private landowners on a scenic tour through northern Mexico to visit some of Sustainable Grazing Network ranches that are working to conserve and restore grassland habitat for the benefit of people and birds.
After several decades of steep declines, Aplomado Falcon populations are slowly rising again in the Chihuahuan Desert in Mexico, thanks to the efforts of our local partners, ranchers and biologists who are working hard to improve habitat, providing nesting locations, and closely monitor the progress of this threatened species.