Conservation Column: Marbled Murrelet News & Bird-Friendly Tips

We are pleased to share the news that the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife voted to uplist the Marbled Murrelet from threatened to endangered status under the state Endangered Species Act. It is our hope that this results in state plans and actions that will make a difference for this iconic bird. Given that their habitat is threatened on land and at sea, we must take every available measure to prevent these birds from going extinct on our watch. 

Fall migration is coming. Please remember to protect birds as they share Oregon’s skies. Use downward facing and shielded lights outside and only when needed for security. Close the curtains-blinds-shades. Install bird protection devices on your windows. Birds don’t see glass and up to one billion birds collide into our windows every year. For good resources on preventing bird collisions, see: birdfriendlyyards.net/protectbirds/ and abcbirds.org/glass-collisions/stop-birds-hitting-windows/

As we transition our gardens into fall, remember to leave it messy. Birds use leaf litter, dead snags and branches. They eat seed from old flowers. They seek cover in stalks and grasses. Take advantage of the season to plant native flowers and shrubs. Nature will keep them watered throughout our rainy season and the flowers, seeds, and fruits will be available to birds next spring and summer. Avoid the use of pesticides including herbicides, rodenticides, or insecticides, all of which directly or indirectly impact birds.

Thinking about what else you can do to help our feathered friends? Here are just a few: Drink shade-grown coffee and eat a more plant-based diet. For the health of cats and wildlife, keep cats safe indoors. (See: abcbirds.org/catio-solutions-cats/) Reduce your use of plastics. Reduce food waste. Support sustainable agriculture. Recognize that although we should all do our part, it will take meaningful policy and corporate changes to make significant progress. For some climate solutions, see: drawdown.org/solutions Educate yourself and your community of friends and family. Communicate with lawmakers and support businesses that are environmentally friendly. There is much work to be done and change isn’t easy but watch a bird soaring in the sky or flitting in a bush, and you’ll know it’s worth it.