Conservation Committee

MN_w-BIRDWe are currently recruiting individuals who are interested in bird conservation to join the ACM Conservation Committee. In addition to our continued work on the Vikings stadium issue, window collisions are a major problem in our homes and currently existing buildings as well. It’s estimated that strikes with windows account for the deaths of over 500 million birds per year in North America alone, and approximately 5% of all fall migrants. As birders, we know that we are extremely fortunate to live a region central to the largest migratory flyway in North America. With that gift comes a great responsibility, to limit our interference with the impressive seasonal journeys that these animals have been making twice a year for thousands of years. The National Audubon Society recently released a comprehensive Climate Report summarizing 30 years of data including citizen-scientist observations from the North American Breeding Bird Survey, the Audubon Christmas Bird Count, and eBird. Included in that report is a list of 314 bird species predicted to go extinct by the end of the century if we don’t prioritize their conservation. There are things we can do at home and in our communities to reduce the number of threats facing our birds, thereby ensuring a future for them in Minnesota.

Our Conservation Committee chair is Elise Morton. To find out more about the committee or to join us, please contact Elise at elise.audubon@gmail.com.

For more information on bird-window collisions, visit:

Audubon Minnesota Project BirdSafe

American Bird Conservancy Bird Collisions with Glass and Buildings

Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP) Canada

Additional projects include:

Bird City Minnesota

Bird City Minnesota is based on the Bird City Wisconsin program. Joanna Eckles, Bird Friendly Communities Manager at Audubon Minnesota, is developing the MN program to be easily transferable to other states. Cities can qualify by meeting a subset of criteria, carefully formulated to maximize bird-safety and minimize cost and effort by participants. For more information on the Wisconsin program, visit Bird City Wisconsin. Some criteria include providing additional bird habitat in city parks, eliminating restrictions on “wild” or natural lawns in landscaping, and the development of outreach programs specifically for educating the public about bird conservation.

Bird Count Data for Minneapolis

Despite the excellent birding in this region and the numerous skilled birders in the area, we lack clear species count estimates for resident and migratory birds in Minneapolis. This data is essential for identifying critical bird habitats in the city, and understanding how they can be best protected. For this, we need volunteers to help with generating point count data, setting up net captures, and developing widespread use of the highly versatile electronic system eBird. For the latter you simply need to create you own account (ebird.org) which can be accessed from any electronic device with internet. We hope to recruit both expert and novice birders.

If you are interested in becoming involved, please contact committee chair Elise Morton for more information. Any contribution that you can make, small or large, is of value and will be appreciated. 

Other ways to volunteer:

Volunteering at Eloise Butler Wildflower and Bird Sanctuary

The Eloise Butler Wildflower and Bird Sanctuary is located within Theodore Wirth Park, which is on the western edge of Minneapolis, right before Golden Valley.

The Invasive Plant Action Group with the Friends of Eloise Butler organization coordinates volunteer pulls at the garden. For more information about volunteering, the Friends and the garden, visit:

Friends of the Wildflower Garden

Volunteering at Roberts Bird Sanctuary and William Berry Woods

Roberts Bird Sanctuary and William Berry Woods are located near Lake Harriet in Minneapolis. The Friends of Roberts Bird Sanctuary organization leads volunteer events at both sites. For more information, visit:

Friends of Roberts Bird Sanctuary

Volunteering at the Naturescape at Lake Nokomis

The Naturescape at Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis is located on the east side of the lake near the intersection of Lake Nokomis Parkway and East 50th Street. The  Naturescape is comprised of two prairie gardens and a hillside oak savanna restoration site. Members from the Twin Cities chapter of the Wild Ones volunteer at the site one evening a week from May through September. This friendly group of people is always looking for help with the gardening chores including weeding and planting. In return for your help, you have the chance to learn about native plants from the experts!

Vicki Bonk and the Wild Ones will be gardening at the Naturescape on Tuesday evenings May through September (depending on the weather).

Contact Vicki at vbonk@usiwireless.comfor more information about the Naturescape.

For more information about Wild Ones, go to:

Wild Ones Twin Cities chapter