Protecting Migratory Birds Requires Focus on Habitat

This year, a team of educators and biologists came together and decided International Migratory Bird Day should focus on habitat restoration. Habitat loss and degradation are major threats to migratory bird populations. To protect the birds, we must restore the ecosystems they call home. Below you’ll find birds that depend upon unique ecosystems for survival, and how you can help.


Photo donated by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Matt Bryant.
The eastern and western meadowlarks are two gorgeous species that lives in open grasslands, meadows and prairies. These native grasslands are disappearing at an alarming rate, causing grassland-dependent wildlife to disappear, too.

Take ActionSend a message urging the Environmental Protection Agency to protect this critical habitat.


Photo donated by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Maggie Bond.
Photo donated by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Maggie Bond.
One of the most beautiful duck species, the pintail rely on wetland habitat for raising their young. They’re not the only ones. Migratory birds and a handful of other species depend on clean water and healthy wetlands for survival.

Take ActionSend a message to your members of Congress, telling them to protect wetlands and to strengthen the Clean Water Rule.


Rufous Hummingbird
Photo donated by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Elijah Gildea.
Rufous hummingbirds are common visitors to backyards with flowering plants. They spend much of the year on the move, and homeowners can support these tired travelers with native plants.

Certify Your Wildlife GardenProvide food, water, cover and a place for animals to raise their young, and your yard is on its way to becoming a Certified Wildlife Habitat.


Yellow Warbler
This photo, “Yellow Warbler” is copyright 2008 by Kelly Colgan Azar under a CC BY-ND 2.0 license.
Yellow warblers winter in areas with mangrove forests and marshes. Everglades National Park is home to the largest contiguous stand of protected mangrove forest in the hemisphere.

Take ActionTell Florida legislators to prioritize Everglades restoration for migratory birds and other wildlife.

Tropical Forests

Black and White Warbler
This photo, “Black and White Warbler,” is copyright 2011 by Richard Crook under a CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license.
We’re losing critical tropical forest and migratory bird habitat at a rapid rate. You can be a forest ally by selecting food and personal care products from companies with zero-deforestation commitments.  A list of these companies can be found at, and see how they are measuring up at

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