Be Bird-friendly

Keep Cats Indoors | Recycle | Avoid Chemicals | Buy Shade-grown Coffee | Prevent Window Collisions

1. Cat-eating-preyPlease, please keep your cats indoors. Outdoor house cats and feral cats kill many millions of birds each year. Download any of the following files for more information:

The Great Outdoors is NO Place for Cats
-“Managed” Cat Colonies: The Wrong Solution to a Tragic Problem-An Evaluation of Feral Cat Management Options Using a Decision Analysis Network
-Impacts of Free-ranging Domestic Cats (Felis Catus) on Birds in the US

Not enough evidence for you? Here is even more reading material…
http://www.chicagowilderness.org/members/cats_wildlife_bibliography.php

2. albatross with plasticRecycle. We know, you’ve heard it a thousand times. But when you think of throwing something “away”, remember, there is no “away”. It goes somewhere, and you may not like where it ends up. Besides being unsightly, trash often ends up badly for birds and other wildlife. Don’t assume that all your trash gets neatly tucked away. See http://www.plasticoceans.net/. For a good summary of the problems inherent in plastic bag waste and additional resource links, check out www.reusethisbag.com.

3. shadegrown-coffeeBuy shade-grown coffee. There is a worldwide effort to educate and support coffee growers who grow their crop organically and underneath the canopy of the tropical forest instead of clear-cutting. We are doing all we can in North America to conserve habitat for migratory birds, but it will all be for naught if we don’t do all within our power to conserve habitat on their wintering grounds. The Smithsonian’s Migratory Bird Center provides more information and lists of sources from which you can purchase.

4. sprayingLessen your use (and consumption) of chemicals. Pesticides, herbicides, and other household and agricultural chemicals are not only bad for birds, they’re bad for you. There are many actions that you can do to help reduce the harmful effects of pesticides to birds, humans, and other animals: Do not use pesticides unless there is no safe alternative, plant native plant landscapes to use less water and avoid pesticides, do not feed birds contaminated seed, research and try safe alternative pest control methods, and buy organically grown products. 

5. Prevent window collisions. Each year, more than 100 million North American birds die from flying into windows on homes and buildings. Glass is transparent and reflective and, therefore, the birds either do not see the glass or they see trees and plants reflected in it. The good news is that window strikes can be easily prevented by hanging strips of material, such as ribbons, string, or yarn, on the outside of windows to alert birds about the glass. You can also simply place stickers on the window! You can either make window decals or buy them. MRBO can provide your first set for free!! In addition, you can purchase your own at windowalert.com. You can even make your own creative window decals!