For the Birds: Birds and their habitats are threatened

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Migrating Wilson's Warbler
Photo by Christine Southwick
By Christine Southwick

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (which was successfully used to protect and save the endangered Bald Eagle), the Migratory Bird Act, plus the funding for our National Parks and the National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) are all potential casualties of the incoming administration.

Voters of Washington reelected environmental friends — Gov. Inslee, Senator Patty Murray. Partnered with Senator Maria Cantwell, they have been saving wilderness and maintaining wildlife corridors.

This bodes well for Washington state, but funding is already low for Washington State Parks, local NWRs, our three National Parks, and the majority of city parks throughout the state (Shoreline’s Prop 1 will help maintain our parks, but love and care is still needed within our city).

The birds need viable habitat; the world needs climate help; and we are living in this environment.
What can we, as citizens, do?
Support -- Volunteer -- Activate!

Buy Discover Passes —give some to friends at Christmas. At $30 for a year, that pass lets you into our Washington state parks, NWRs, and Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife lands. That money supports these entities. You can buy these online.

When you buy your car tabs, pay the voluntary $5.00 that goes to Washington state parks. I was at the Deception State Park last week, and one popular camping ground and two main restrooms were already closed for the winter due to lack of funding. (Note: you can donate to Washington state parks here or here.)

Support local land conservation groups—Mountains to Sound Greenway is one of several; your local Audubon knows of others…

Federal duck stamp

Buy Federal Duck Stamps (Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps). Ninety-eight cents of every dollar goes to purchase vital birding habitat and/or conservation easements. If you buy them through the American Birding Association (ABA) there are no added fees, and you will be helping increase political influence for birding conservation.
Becoming a member of a habitat-preserving organization keeps you connected and informed; Cornell Lab of Ornithology; local Audubons, National Audubon, the ABA.

The Red-breasted Nuthatch is upside-down
Photo by Christine Southwick

Give your sweat-equity … Each of our fourteen neighborhoods has a neighborhood association. Most associations create work parties in their neighborhood parks. Have a local park you think needs help? Create your own work party. Get rid of ivy and scotch broom, leave controlled areas of Himalayan Blackberry (blackberries provide year-round shelter and foods).

Volunteer at a state park or a National Wildlife Refuge e.g. the visitors’ center at Turnbull National Refuge in Walla Walla is closed due to lack of funding and not enough volunteers.


Do you have strong ideas about local and state government? Will you think about running for office? People can help those that run by organizing outreach. Primaries determine who gets onto final ballots — vote in the primaries. By the time major elections are held, the candidates were determined by a very small number of voters. Our democracy depends on active citizens.

The birds, their habitat and ours, need our help
Protect your environmental passions
Don’t Complain—Act!


Anonymous,  November 21, 2016 at 5:49 PM  

Christine - is it possible to feed birds without attracting rats? I'm happy to feed birds but haven't yet figured out how to not get RATS!!!

DKH November 25, 2016 at 12:54 AM  

Check here for your answer:

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