Helping protect priority shrubland birds.
Shrubland bird banding. Photo: Charley Wilkinson/Audubon Vermont
Audubon Vermont's Shrubland Bird project enhances habitat for priority bird species breeding in the shrublands of the Champlain Valley. As part of National Audubon's Working Lands Initiative, this project works to protect priority bird species in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
The Champlain Valley is part of an international, multi-state Bird Conservation Region which extends from the lower Great Lakes through the St. Lawrence River Valley and west to the Lake Champlain Basin. It contains some of the most important grassland, shrubland and wetland bird habitat in the East. In partnership with Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), US Fish & Wildlife Service Partners for Wildlife Program, and Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife Habitat Stamp Program, Audubon engages people to manage land in ways that protect priority bird species in the region.
Vermont's Champlain Valley is a mosaic of fields, clay-plain forests, wetlands, lakes and rivers that host a diversity of breeding birds. These bird species are attracted to the valley because of its regionally unique habitats, including open farmlands, shrub patches, large emergent marshes and the Lake itself.
Breeding bird surveys have shown that the early successional grasslands and shrublands of the Champlain Valley are a globally important resource for birds throughout the hemisphere. Many relatively common birds in Vermont are declining throughout their range, however.
Top threats to birds in the Champlain Valley:
Rather than waiting for species such as the Eastern Towhee to become vulnerable and end up on a threatened or endangered species list, it is important to take action now to conserve birds in the core of their range. The advantage to this approach is that low-cost management activities, education, and monitoring can help maintain or increase the populations of these birds.
We work directly with landowners, foresters, municipalities, and other partners to support early successional habitat management that benefits a suite of priority birds in the Champlain Valley and along the Atlantic Flyway.
This program is funded in part through grants from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), the South Lake Champlain Fund, and other private foundations. For more information, please contact Mark LaBarr at firstname.lastname@example.org or Margaret Fowle at email@example.com or (802) 434-3068.