Bird-Friendly Communities is a partnership program that focuses conservation efforts where most people live - in cities and towns. Most Americans live in cities or suburbs, and people can play a critical role in fostering healthy wildlife populations. As the leading voice for birds, Audubon can inspire the one-in-five adults who watch birds to make daily lifestyle choices that add up to real conservation impact.
As a strategic initiative of the National Audubon Society, this program takes a full life-cycle approach to the conservation of North American birds by focusing on the protection of key sites and habitats that birds require at critical points in their annual cycle. The program combines local community engagement, the best available science and proven conservation methods to create sustainable, urban habitats for birds.
Audubon created a Bird-Friendly Communities implementation team that brought together people - including chapter leaders, state agency employees and individuals working for other nonprofit conservation organizations - who are already working to help birds. By collaborating and sharing expertise in green growth, landscape architecture, native plant work, backyard habitat programs, academic research, communications, environmental education and development, we are achieving goals and bringing down barriers to participation that we couldn't accomplish on our own.
Bird-Friendly Communities across North Carolina will give birds the opportunity to succeed by providing connected habitat dominated by native plants, minimizing threats posed by the built environment, and engaging people of all ages and backgrounds in stewardship of nature.
Over the next five years, Audubon North Carolina will:
- Implement a continuing-education course for landscape architects focused on bird-friendly landscaping
- Work with faith communities to achieve bird-friendly goals
- Install 10,000 Brown-headed Nuthatch boxes in appropriate locations
- Educate 100 architects on bird-friendly building design (LEED Pilot Credit 55) in collaboration with the American Bird Conservancy and the U.S. Green Building Council
- Achieve Lights Out during spring and fall migration seasons in three major NC cities
- Provide educators with BFC resources tied to the common core curriculum
- Increase participation in existing Audubon Citizen-Science activities - Great Backyard Bird Count, Christmas Bird Count and Hummingbirds at Home
Although the activities of the Bird-Friendly Communities Program will benefit all bird species, Audubon has chosen five species to focus our efforts. These were selected because they are a responsibility species for North Carolina, and because there is a good chance of positive impact on their populations through the actions of citizens. The chosen birds are the Brown-headed Nuthatch, Prothonotary Warbler, Chimney Swift, Wood Thrush and the Painted Bunting. The protection of each of these birds also helps other birds that share their habitat.
This initiative takes a coalition of concerned citizens, nonprofits, government agencies and businesses to protect our birds. Listed below are our current partners:
- Airlie Gardens
- B+O Design Studio
- Davidson College
- Green Growth Toolbox, a program of the NC Wildlife Resources Commission
- Mecklenburg County Division of Natural Resources
- NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher
- NC Birding Trail
- NC Interfaith Power & Light
- NC Museum of Natural Sciences
- NC Native Plant Society
- NC Partners in Flight
- NC Wildlife Federation
- Reedy Creek Nature Center
- Stevens Nature Center
- The Nature Conservancy
- The North Carolina Arboretum
- Birding stores
- Cape Fear Audubon Society
- Wake Audubon Society
- New Hope Audubon Society
- T. Gilbert Pearson Audubon Society
- Audubon Society of Forsyth County
- Mecklenburg Audubon Society
- High Country Audubon Society
- Highlands Plateau Audubon Society
- Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society
As the program grows, this section of the website will highlight successes and projects where everyone can get involved. If you'd like to get involved, contact Curtis firstname.lastname@example.org and Kim Brand email@example.com for more information.
To support Bird-Friendly Communities in North Carolina, you can donate to the program by clicking here.