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Bird Conservancy of the Rockies Information:
BLOGGING FOR BIRDS
Harsh Realities for Wintering Grassland Birds
In winter, many of North America’s grassland birds inhabit remote and unpopulated areas within the Chihuahuan Desert of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. For this reason, much of the nonbreeding period of grassland birds remains a mystery to bird researchers and conservationists. Unfortunately, many grassland species are steeply declining and the lack of knowledge on these species and their habitats during the nonbreeding season can pose significant challenges for conservation. Until we identify and understand the struggles and needs of nonbreeding grassland birds, population declines are likely to continue. It is therefore imperative that we continue to pursue discoveries that advance our ability to conserve grassland birds.
Simple Actions: Bird-Friendly Coffee
Decisions we make every day can help birds. Over half of the people who live in the U.S. drink coffee, but few understand the environmental impacts of growing it. Many of our favorite migratory bird species— including warblers, tanagers, ovenbirds and thrushes—spend their winters in coffee-growing landscapes in the tropics. Understanding sustainable coffee growing practices helps us become better consumers and make choices that benefit birds, the habitats they rely on, and coffee producers!
Wasps vs. Knapweeds: Biotic Control of Invasive Species
Knapweed is a common pest on disturbed land, and as a perennial plant that can reproduce both by seed and creeping roots, it is a very successful invader. This sort of creeping perennial is very difficult to get rid of even with more active control methods, like herbicides. Biotic control is an alternative strategy that may increase effective weed suppression. Gall wasps lay their eggs inside the knapweed, forming stem galls on young knapweed plants, which slow the plant’s growth, diverting nutrients from flowers and seeds. Using gall wasps as biotic control, we aim to reduce the spread of knapweed and give native species a better opportunity to compete. Restoring disturbed land is a long-term endeavor, but it has to start somewhere, and gall wasps are just one piece of the puzzle in restoring Eastern Colorado rangelands.
Making Memories and Creating Conservationists
In a world filled with uncertainty, jam-packed schedules and unrealistic expectations, we and our children deserve a place where we can find solace and peace. For many of us, that place is in nature. Unfortunately, many of today’s children don’t have access to safe, natural spaces. At Bird Conservancy, we want to change that by offering a variety of opportunities where families can connect with each other and the outdoors. One way we do this is through our Family and Homeschool Programs. Each month, families come together at our Environmental Learning Center (ELC) at Barr Lake State Park to learn, play and spend quality time together. One month we may go birding by canoe; the next, we may learn all about raptors or create nature art. No matter the topic, curiosity and smiles abound!
Bird Conservancy of the Rockies is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.