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.
Colorado’s Chico Basin Ranch, southeast of Colorado Springs, CO, is well known as a home and haven for migratory and resident birds. 2018 marks Bird Conservancy’s 19th consecutive spring season of bird banding at ‘The Chico’ and this year did not disappoint with some exciting species observed.
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.
For more than three decades, the Farm Bill has been an effective tool for wildlife conservation, sustaining essential habitat for more than 100 species. For farmers, ranchers, and forest owners, the bill helps keep working lands productive. The latest State of the Birds report outlines a track record of success and the importance of Farm Bill programs to wildlife, people and the economy.
2017 marks eleven consecutive years of data collection at Soapstone Prairie Natural Area in Northern Colorado. This beautiful and ecologically important landscape is home to a diverse array of plants and animals—including over twenty species of grassland birds—that are uniquely adapted to life where the mountains meet the plains.
The Greater Sandhill Crane is an iconic species of the Yampa Valley in Northwest Colorado. Every spring, they return from wintering grounds in New Mexico and Arizona to nest and raise their young in wetland areas throughout the valley. Join us in September in Steamboat Springs to witness one of the world’s greatest wildlife spectacles for yourself.
Bird Conservancy is finishing up another winter of grassland bird monitoring in Mexico, using radio-telemetry to study survival rates of Baird’s and Grasshopper Sparrows. We follow them to get an inside view into their lives, and sometimes feel a bit like sparrow paparazzi!