Bird-Friendly Communities: Something for Every Chapter
Audubon Mid-Atlantic
Chapter Chatter Newsletter March 2021
Cedar Waxwing
Bird-Friendly is Chapter-Friendly
Spring is finally here and Bird-Friendly Communities (BFC) offers a multitude of ways for your chapter to engage your membership, your community, and even your elected officials.

Read on for featured stories on BFC priorities including Plants for Birds, Bird-Friendly Buildings, and Bird-Friendly Habitat programs. The BFC strategy for community engagement provides flexible options that make outreach easy and effective for chapters of all sizes!
Cedar Waxwing. Photo Wayne Morse/APA
Common Loon
Flocking Together
A Note  from  Suzanne Biemiller, Executive Director for Audubon Mid-Atlantic

My first month as director of the newly-created Audubon Mid-Atlantic has been filled with discovery. Audubon staff have briefed me on regional work to protect watersheds, build resilient coasts, create healthier forests and extend Audubon’s reach—all continuing despite the continued pandemic. I have also had the pleasure of meeting chapter leaders via Zoom and participating in quite a few get-to-know-you meetings. What has emerged is a sense of the significant impact that Audubon has and the seriousness with which staff, volunteer leaders and members take our mission.

As we lean into spring, I encourage all of you to consider what you wish Audubon Mid-Atlantic to be. Let’s set clear, audacious goals and focused strategies on behalf of the birds we love. Let’s knit together conservation education and programming, policy and habitat restoration, raising our united voices in support of desired change.

With gratitude,
Suzanne
Common Loon. Photo: Gary Fiedler/Audubon Photography Awards
Baltimore Oriole
Bird-Friendly Buildings: Safer Passage for Birds
Glass and lights present major hazards to birds, killing hundreds of millions of birds each year in the U.S alone. Birds collide with buildings and other types of man-made structures for several reasons. At night migrating birds can be distracted by bright lights on buildings, street lights, bridges, or even ships. And birds can be deceived by the reflective and transparent qualities of glass regardless of the time of day and whether or not they are migrating.

In Philadelphia this month, Bird Safe Philly took flight, launching a Lights Out campaign across the city for two months during peak spring migration. Bird Safe Philly is a coalition of conservation organizations, buoyed by support from property managers and elected officials across the city, 

In Maryland, the Sustainable Buildings Act is aiming to make the built environment safer for birds to navigate. This bill was featured in the 6th annual I Bird. I Vote. event last month. 

Looking to get your chapter started with Bird-Friendly Buildings? Start here.
Baltimore Oriole. Photo: Glenda Simmons/GBBC
Plants for Birds: Cultivating A Growing Community
Downy Woodpecker
Grow Native 101
Native plants can make all the difference in local ecosystems. They provide nutrient-dense food in the form of seeds, nectar, berries, and nuts; and play a critical role in supporting insect populations that are crucial birds to survive and thrive. Chapters across the region are working to develop resource kits, programs, and workshops to support and encourage your efforts.

In MD-DC, the Prince Georges Audubon Society and Patterson Park Audubon Center are leading a Wildlife Habitat Advisors pilot program to offer bird-friendly guidance to gardeners.

And in PA, chapter leaders from across the state collaborated to expand chapter access to programs that elevate and promote native plants, including Bird-Friendly Habitat and Bird-Friendly Blooms.  
Downy Woodpecker. Photo: Suntesha Wustrack/APA
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Earth Day Opportunities
Earth Day is an excellent time to connect the dots between bird-friendly practices and community benefits. Sure, native plants are beautiful, but they can also be the muscle that a local ecosystem needs to stay healthy and vibrant. 

Native plants operate under a “feed two birds with one seed” philosophy of cooperation and support. They play a vital role in healthy food webs that support wildlife. And, they also contribute to healthier more resilient human communities by more sustainably adding shade, storing carbon, and absorbing stormwater to help reduce flooding and polluted run-off after storms than non-native plants.

Consider connecting these dots for local officials in your chapter territory during Native Plant Week from April 19-25. Get started with the Plants for Birds Municipal Action Toolkit and How Do I Protect Birds guide to proclamations, resolutions, and ordinances.
Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Photo David Shipper/APA
Audubon Mid-Atlantic Bird-Friendly Habitat Programs
Bird-Friendly Habitat Recognition Programs
Ready to bring Bird-Friendly Habitat into full bloom with your chapter?

Click here for the Pennsylvania program.

Click here for the Maryland-DC program.
 
Send Us Your Earth Day Events!
We would love to spread the word about your Earth Day events this April. Send us a brief description with all the details and we’ll gladly include your event on regional Audubon calendars and social media platforms. Email your event to Kelly
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Audubon Mid-Atlantic
3401 Reservoir Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19121
(610) 990-3431 | audubon.org

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