Written by Jennifer Lazewski, Executive Director, Wisconsin Society of Ornithology
The 130 participants at March’s Bringing Birds Back Conference left Oshkosh invigorated to help protect Wisconsin’s birds and ready to act.
Gathering after learning that three billion birds were lost in the last 50 years, bird conservationists came out more hopeful after two days of listening, discussing, and connecting.
Bird City Wisconsin joined with the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology and Wisconsin Bird Conservation Partnership to sponsor this conference, during which SOS Save Our Songbirds (sponsored by the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin) launched its new campaign to influence birders and non-birders to support bird conservation efforts.
The following common phrases and themes emerged over the two days:
- Bird conservation needs local champions to succeed -- be one!
- Enlist every ally you and your network can find, including more than just birders and conservationists.
- Take a few small actions to start in any area where you are not already contributing: make one window in your house more bird-friendly, drink shade-grown coffee, plant a few more native plants (especially trees and shrubs).
- Find ways to move to earlier decision-making points for use of land, design of buildings.
- Build it and the birds will come to a space with more native plants and no pesticides.
The conference took place March 24-25 on the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh campus. Mike Parr, president of the American Bird Conservancy, opened the conference with a wider view of what it means to support bird conservation with examples from Ecuador. Bryan Lenz, Bird City Americas director and glass collision program manager at ABC, closed the convention with great information about threats to birds and making windows more bird friendly.