Nature Conservation and Birdwatchers

"Hey, listen up birdwatchers. I'm Alfie Bird. If you haven't heard already, North American bird populations have plummeted 29% over the past 50 years.
"Sure, to you that might just be the loss of some birds, but to me it's the loss of billions of relatives: aunts, uncles, second cousins thrice removed, third cousins once removed, first cousins twice removed, and so on.
"You might ask, 'What happened to all those poor birds?' It's a good question. Below is the answer and what you (hint! hint! hint!) can do about it.
Causes of Bird Mortality
Best Current Annual Estimate
How You Can Help
Habitat Loss
no estimate 
Support habitat protection and restoration 
Outdoor Cats
2.4 billion
Keep cats indoors
Collisions - Building Glass
 600 million
Treat your windows 
Collisions - Vehicles
 200 million
Ease off the gas pedal
Poison
 70 million
 
Collisions - Electrical Lines
 25 million
 
Electrocutions
6 million
 
Finally, birders can help birds by minimizing the negative impacts from birdwatching activities. Compared to the list above, it's likely that birdwatching impacts are relatively minor. That said, overeager birders who venture too close can cause breeding birds to abandon nests, or long-distance migrants to burn through precious energy.
Birders who become aware of even the minor impacts from birdwatching activities are likely to show a heightened concern for birds that can lead to action to address habitat loss and other major sources of human-caused bird mortality. Learn how to lower your impact while birding by browsing our compilation of ethical birding guidelines.