This report focuses on breeding birds, but there are simple steps we can take to enrich the Commonwealth for all wildlife, as well as ourselves. Planting gardens, supporting your community farms, living lightly, and sharing your passion for nature—all help us stay connected to our homes, and to nature. We are making a difference.
Around the Home and in the Workplace
A Simple Step that Matters
- Keep your cats safely indoors, and do not feed stray or feral cats.
Bring Nature Home
- Landscape your property in a bird-friendly way and encourage the manager of your office landscape to do the same.
- Plant native trees, shrubs, and flowers, which provide food and shelter and are usually easier to maintain. Native plants that provide fruit or berries can also provide winter or fall color for you.
- Reduce or eliminate pesticides or fertilizers on lawns or in homes. Look for natural alternatives instead.
- In smaller yards provide nest boxes for House and Carolina Wrens, Black-capped Chickadees, and Tufted Titmice.
- Host a small dripping water feature to attract birds in summer.
Be a Good Host. Reduce bird-window collisions.
- Advocate for a seasonal Lights Out policy at your office if you work in a high-rise building.
- Install decals or other treatments to reduce reflections.
- Turn off lights in empty rooms at night.
- Move bird feeders so they are not directly next to windows.
When You Are Shopping
- Buy local! Choosing sustainably grown produce, eggs, dairy products, and meat helps birds by keeping farms in our communities. Farmer’s markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) “farm shares” are great ways to start.
- Coffee Break for Birds. At home and at work, buy Smithsonian Certified Bird Friendly coffee. It comes from bird-friendly farms in the tropics and will directly benefit long-distance migrants. It can be found at Mass Audubon gift shops, as well as other shops.
- Less is More. If you are buying new appliances, purchase Energy Star appliances to reduce your energy consumption.
- If available, buy green energy from your electric provider to further reduce your carbon footprint.
Farmers and Landscapers
- Detoxify. Minimize or eliminate the use of insecticides and herbicides.
- Give Them a Home. Allow swallows to nest in barns and outbuildings by leaving openings, or adding ledges to the outside of barns. Provide nest boxes for American Kestrels, Eastern Bluebirds, Tree Swallows, and House Wrens.
- Keep your fields “bird friendly.”
- Rotate your fields, leaving some free of disturbance for nesting birds.
- Avoid mowing between April and August to give grassland breeders a chance to fledge.
- Maintain hedgerows, weeds and brush along streams, field borders, and fence lines.
- Diversify. Growing a variety of crops creates better habitat structure for birds.
In Your Community—Get involved!
- Learn how through Mass Audubon’s Shaping the Future of Your Community program.
- Support Open Space Protection Plans and projects.
- Advocate for your town to adopt Conservation Design Zoning and local wetlands, floodplain, and buffer zone protections.
- Work to have your town adopt the Community Preservation Act and Green Communities Act.
- Support bird-friendly management of town parks, conservation lands, and land trusts.
- Manage lands for declining bird species, focusing on old fields, grasslands, agricultural lands, and other declining habitats.
- Eliminate chemical pesticides and fertilizers on town property, including recreational fields.
- If town-owned hayfields are cut during the breeding season, leave some for harvest after nesting birds have fledged.
- On municipal conservation lands, keep old fields open by mowing after July.
Use your voice
- Join us and advocate for wildlife and people!
- Sign up to receive Mass Audubon’s Advocacy Department’s action alerts.
- Ask your representative to focus on the following.
- Support the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act and oppose attempts at repeal.
- Support programs to fund land protection and habitat management, particularly the Environmental Bond and environmental agencies, in the annual state budget.
- Support state agency action to coordinate policies for renewable energy development with bird habitat conservation and wetlands protection.