Monday, July 7, 2014

Top 40 Things You Can Do to Help Raptors - 11-20

In honor of our 40th anniversary, we'd like to share 40 things you can do to help raptors.  Our first 10 are in our Spring Raptor Release newsletter, in mailboxes now, and we'll post a link to a pdf soon.

The next 11-20 are:
11. Make your windows safer for birds. Bird mortality from window strikes has been recorded in more than half the bird species in the United States. Project BirdSafe is one place for great information here:

12. Shop smart. Buy items that are packaged in recyclable material and recycle it. Buy paper that has a high recycled content.

13. If you have gift to give-- furoshiki it! Furoshiki is the Japanese art of wrapping things with cloth. Here is a link to images of many ways you can use this creative way to give gifts all year long. . This reduces paper that is often not recyclable in the waste stream.

14. Knowledge is power. Find out how big your ecological footprint is—take the quiz!

15. Get involved with citizen science projects related to raptors and other birds. You and your family can personally contribute to understanding more about birds. Christmas Bird Counts, the Great Backyard Bird Count and Project FeederWatch are just a few you can participate in.

16. Mouse control - if you get mice in your home and decide to use lethal methods of removal use the old fashioned snap traps instead of poison to kill them. This prevents other animals---red-tailed hawks for example—from catching a dying mouse and getting a dose of poison themselves. After you have removed or excluded the mice from your house make sure you find where they are finding access and repair that area to prevent future access.

17. We all live downstream. Use the least toxic or non-toxic products inside your home for cleaning and outside your home on your lawn and garden. and 

18. Catch rain with rain barrels under your downspouts. Instead of the water going into the street gutter use it to water your plants during dry times.

19. Stay on trails when you bike or hike. It ensures the health of the plants and animals who share the space with you.

20. Enjoy birds from a distance. Birds need space for feeding, nesting, and other daily activities. Approaching too closely may cause them to become nervous and deplete much-needed energy reserves. During the nesting season, it may even result in loss of eggs or young to predators.

All of the 40 things listed can help the conservation of raptors and the world we share. How you ask? Saving energy leaves more resources for the future and cuts down on pollution. Conserving water is the same thing and we all need water. And, keeping the water clean (instead of cleaning it up) is something we all can get behind. Making space for wildlife by planting native plants creates habitat for many of the local wild neighbors---which also creates habitat for your local raptors. And learning about raptors and the world around us helps to make us critical thinkers. We need to ask good questions and the answers are not always simple. Help The Raptor Center soar for another 40 years. Better yet, help raptors soar toward a better future for them AND us by being thoughtful about your everyday choices.

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