Farmland Flyways

The loss of 3 billion birds since 1970 is a crisis. Birds are indicators of a healthy, functioning ecosystem, providing important benefits such as pest control, pollination and seed dispersal. Farmers can take advantage of these services and at the same time provide birds with habitat. It is mutually beneficial for famers and birds. 

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

Farmland Flyways Trail: One Million Bird Boxes and Raptor Perches

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.

Farmers are restoring natural areas, planting hedgerows and sunflower rows for habitat, and putting up nest boxes and perches to augment or replace habitat.

The accumulation of these practices among growers, along with the larger habitat conservation efforts of multiple stakeholders, will increase the amount of habitat and thus the number of birds that control pests throughout agricultural landscapes.

The overwhelming majority of songbirds are beneficial during nesting season

The overwhelming majority of songbirds are beneficial during nesting season because they feed large numbers of pest insects to their voracious nestlings. 

Many songbirds then continue to be beneficial throughout the year, although some species may switch to more plant-based diets in the fall, congregate in large flocks and become "pests." 

However, with specific practices and techniques these "pests" can be addressed, allowing farmers to reap the benefits and manage the risk. 

How Do I Get Started Supporting Birds?

Wild Farm Alliance offers a mix of resources for supporting birds with nest boxes, perches and habitat.

Publications

Video Resources

Farmland Flyways Trail

We are mapping farms that adopt practices to support beneficial birds. Once you've added nest boxes or perches, we invite you to join the Farmland Flyways Trail Map. Visit the map to learn where the farms are and how they are supporting birds.