What Birds Can Do

April 6, 2016
Indigo Bunting at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Photo Credit: JanetandPhil via BirdShare .

Not only can land trusts help birds, birds can benefit land trusts as well. Birds serve as important indicators of the health of the environment, provide ecosystem services like pollination and insect control, and enrich our lives through recreation and beauty. Through birds, land trusts also can connect to over 47 million bird watchers in the U.S., members of bird conservation organizations, and citizen scientists affiliated with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and others.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology (CLO) Land Trust Initiative seeks to understand, increase, promote and facilitate productive partnerships between land trusts and the bird conservation community. Although several ongoing partnerships demonstrate the synergy of working together (see success stories for Teton Valley Regional Land Trust and the Finger Lakes Land Trust) much of the potential remains unrealized.

As part of the CLO Land Trust Initiative, our intent is to explore mutually beneficial collaborations that result in more land conserved for birds, other wildlife, and people. This website is a key component of our Initiative that aims to provide:

  1. Access to science-based information for strategic conservation plans and prioritization of land and easement acquisitions.
  2. News and tips on bird-focused funding opportunities.
  3. Information about birds on your land to justify protecting areas for bird and habitat conservation, to be used in grants or engaging landowners.
  4. Ideas to cultivate new members and volunteers by connecting with birdwatchers, bird organizations, and bird conservation advocates.
  5. Assistance with monitoring wildlife on properties through citizen science.
  6. Guidance for habitat management on fee-owned lands and resources for landowners holding easements.
  7. Connections with the best science-based bird conservation resources and success stories from other land trusts about how to effectively use them.