Role of Birds on Farms Course - Lesson 1 Resources

Western Bluebird with insects photograph by Rick Lewis

Track 1. Introduction: Birds as Pest Control Allies

Lesson 1 - Beneficial Birds Have Saved Farmers Money for a Long Time

Presenters: Dr. Sara Kross - Columbia University &  Jo Ann Baumgartner - WFA

Sara’s research focuses on better understanding the interactions between wildlife and people, especially in human-dominated systems like farms and cities, which she sees as critical frontiers in wildlife conservation. She is currently a faculty member at Columbia University in NYC, and will soon be joining the faculty at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.

Jo Ann, Executive Director of Wild Farm Alliance, is the author of many farm publications on birds, biodiversity, food safety and organic agriculture. Before joining WFA in 2001, she received her Master’s researching birds eating codling moths in apple orchards, worked for other sustainable agricultural nonprofits and was an organic farmer for over a decade.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe several avian pest control studies in the US and around the world.
  • Share how avian pest control has helped slow the decline of birds.
  • Describe the tradition of ‚Äúeconomic ornithology‚ÄĚ, why it lost popularity, and now has resurged.
  • Be prepared to respond to farmers‚Äô perceptions of birds.

Presentation Recording


WFA Publications