While many migratory birds are spending warm sunny days in Central and South America, Vermont biologists are braving the cold to improve conditions for birds when they return from their wintering grounds to breed in Vermont. Golden-winged Warblers and other shrubland birds such as Field Sparrows, American Woodcocks, and Eastern Towhees will all benefit from habitat that has more native shrubs and fewer invasive plants. All of these species are declining range-wide, mostly due to loss or degredation of habitat.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service 's (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) provides financial assistance to private landowners to improve habitat on their land. Audubon Vermont has been working with Vermont's Department of Fish & Wildlife and NRCS to identify areas that can be improved for shrubland birds. Landowers who are interested in improving habitat can enroll in NRCS' EQIP program to perform habitat improvement work. Once a property is enrolled in the program, work is performed during the non-breeding season.
This video from WCAX's Wildlife Watch Program illustrates the on-the-ground conservation work and how it benefits shrubland birds.