Farmland Flyways

 

One Million Nest Boxes and Perches

We have seen that participation in habitat provisioning for songbirds and raptors is a powerful gateway for farmers and ranchers to implement and expand their conservation efforts.

Today, with 3 billion fewer birds in North America than in 1970, it is more important than ever for farmers to support them.

Farmers who provide nest boxes and perches for birds benefit from their pest control, and also appreciate the birds and want to expand their habitat.

Our goal is to inspire 10% of U.S. farms to join a Farmland Flyway trail, having an average of 5 nest boxes and/or perches each, leading to 1 million structures. 

Supporting Birds Builds Biodiversity

How does attracting beneficial birds to a farm increase biodiversity and support the farm?

When farmers provide habitat for beneficial birds and bring them closer to crops, they are increasing their farm's pest control services. Birds help farmers keep pest insects, rodents and pest birds at bay.

Farmers can take advantage of these avian pest control services, and at the same time provide birds with habitat. It is mutually beneficial. 

The overwhelming majority of songbirds are beneficial during nesting season because they feed large numbers of pest insects to their voracious nestlings. Many songbirds continue to be beneficial throughout the year. Those few species which may switch to more plant-based diets, form large flocks and become "pests" during crop harvests can be discouraged by alternating visual and sound scaring techniques.

Raptors like American Kestrels also can help. Increasing their presence with nest boxes reduces ‚Äúpest‚ÄĚ bird, rodent and insect numbers. Perches boost the number of these and other raptor species, many of which focus on rodent prey. A case in point ‚Äď a pair of Barn Owls and their four nestlings eat about 3,500 rodents in a year.

Inspiring Farmers

What opportunities and tools are we making available to help farmers adopt practices that support beneficial birds?

We are informing, inspiring and encouraging farmers to learn and take actions that support birds through educational events, technical resources, and interactive farm mapping that tracks progress and encourages participation.

A mix of opportunities are available for farmers who are just starting to support birds, and for those who have provided some habitat and want to do more.

 

Education

We hold field day events on the farm and virtually, featuring farmers, researchers and conservationists who discuss the important roles birds play in pest control, and farmers play in supporting and benefiting from birds. We also offer online interactive classes with instructors who have experience with farm conservation practices and pest management strategies.

 

Tools and Resources

We create innovative technical publications and engaging short videos for farmers and agricultural professionals to use. 

 

Mapping Success

In order to inspire more farmers we are mapping farms that adopt these practices to support beneficial birds.

  • Visit the¬†Farmland Flyway Trail¬†across the U.S.to learn where the farms are and how they are supporting birds.¬†

Growing the Movement

Ready to get started?

We are here to help you get started. Learn about the many ways to get started with supporting beneficial birds. 

Three easy ways to get started:

Farmers - install a nest box or perch on your farm. Purchase a box or download raptor box plans to get started. Or if you already have these structures, let us know about them, and add your farm to the Farmland Flyway Trail.

Advocates - Sponsor songbird nest boxes on farms.

Spread the Word - Share our information with your farmer friends and others who care about wild birds and innovative pest control