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Tips for Helping Birds During Migration

Welcome, fall! Birds are on the move, migrating to their wintering grounds. Want to help birds as they make their long journeys? Here are a few tips from the Audubon Society of Rhode Island:

  • Lights out! Many migratory birds fly at night and the lights from buildings can confuse them, leading to unsuccessful migrations due to exhaustion and even death. Turning out the lights is beneficial for the health of other wildlife too, plus you will be conserving energy.
     
  • Window collisions are one of the top threats to both migratory and resident birds. Window tape or decals are an easy way to make sure your windows are bird-safe. Specific bird-safe window designs that can be used in urban planning can also help address this threat.
     
  • Keep your cats indoors or carefully supervised on a lead. Cats are domesticated animals, making them the greatest source of human-caused mortality for birds and mammals
     
  • Go easy on the yard work and select native species of plants for your yard and garden. Every yard, park, school ground, and natural areas around businesses can act as stopping points for migratory birds, providing much-needed sources of refuge and food! A “messy” yard with native plant species encourages biodiversity which is good for birds and all life.
     
  • Pesticides are dangerous for birds and wildlife - limit their use. If they are needed, follow the instructions carefully.
     
  • Keep bird feeders and water sources well-stocked and clean! Provide a variety of seed options for different bird species. Clean your equipment every two weeks: scrub with warm, soapy water then soak in a 10% bleach solution, rinse well, and allow them to air-dry completely.

Thanks for helping the birds - now head outside with a field guide and search for all the different species that will pass through Rhode Island this spring! For a list of Audubon Society of Rhode Island wildlife refuges and trails that are free and open to the public, visit www.asri.org/hike.

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