Avian Advocates

Become an Avian Advocate

Postcards sent by Avian Advocates in support of Int. 1482, the Bird-friendly material bill, in Fall 2019. Photo: NYC Audubon
Since its founding, NYC Audubon has engaged in advocacy work in all five boroughs concerning bird conservation issues in New York City. In 1978, a cadre of regular Central Park bird watchers successfully opposed a Central Park Conservancy plan to “restore” the Ramble through changes such as tree removal. These fledgling activists soon founded the New York City Audubon Society—and launched over 40 years of dedicated advocacy for habitat preservation and protection for birds. Our successes throughout the years include the “Buffer the Bay” program to preserve priority lands around Jamaica Bay as well as the conservation of the grasslands of Brooklyn’s Floyd Bennett Field, the Harbor Heron islands, and Goethal’s Bridge Pond on Staten Island.

In 2019, NYC Audubon embarked on a Bird-Friendly Building campaign to pass Int. 1482, the bird friendly materials bill, in the New York City Council. Thanks to the collaborative work of our partners and advocacy volunteers through postcard writing, social media, testifying at hearings, and other direct action, this amendment to the building code passed and became Local Law 15 in January 2021. 
 
Whether it's by meeting with government officials, coordinating public letter-writing campaigns and public comments, or raising consciousness of the dangers facing our birds and their habitats via outreach events, distributed brochures and educational materials, and social media, NYC Audubon advocacy volunteers are integral in pushing this meaningful work forward. To keep informed on what you can do to help, become an Avian Advocate!

Sign up for our Avian Advocates email alerts using the form below to receive timely updates and actions that you can take for birds and people in and around NYC. 


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Actions You Can Take Right Now to Help Birds

Dirtying and clouding your windows is the easiest bird-friendly solution. Photo: NYC Audubon
Dirtying and clouding your windows is the easiest bird-friendly solution. Photo: NYC Audubon
Petition for the Protection of NYC Community Gardens
NYC Audubon has joined Earth Justice, NYCCGC, and 69 other organizations in submitting a petition to New York City government agencies that identifies community gardens meriting Critical Environmental Area (CEA) designation. 

Community gardens provide open space, fruits and vegetables, and also good habitat for wildlife, especially birds! 

Sign the petition to show your support!
Take Action
Advocate for Bird-Friendly Materials in Problem Buildings
Have you noticed that the building you live in or that a building you have passed by has windows that cause bird collisions during migration? You can use this template letter and additional outreach resources to let the building owners, board, or management team know that there are solutions to this issue.
Take Action
Protect Liberty State Park and Caven Point from development. Graphic: Friends of Liberty State Park
Protect Liberty State Park and Caven Point from development. Graphic: Friends of Liberty State Park
Tell the NJ Governor to Protect Caven Point
The Liberty State Park Protection Act, a bill that would protect the park from privatization and preserve critical habitat at Caven Point, has been reintroduced in the New Jersey Assembly and Senate. If public officials permit the purchase of this piece of the park, valuable habitat for over 200 bird species will be destroyed. Ask the Governor to support this bill and prevent a takeover by the already extensive golf course bordering the using this online petition created by Friends of Liberty State Park. 
Take Action
Black-and-white Warbler. Photo: Matthew Pimm/Audubon Photography Awards
Black-and-white Warbler. Photo: Matthew Pimm/Audubon Photography Awards
Urge Your Representative to Co-Sponsor the Bird-safe Buildings Act
New York City enacted Local Law 15 in January 2021, but we must continue to push our representatives to pass bird-safe legislation at the state and national level. The Bird-safe Buildings Act is a bipartisan bill designed to reduce bird mortality by calling for federal buildings to incorporate bird-safe building materials and design features, potentially saving millions of birds each year. Urge your representatives to co-sponsor this bill using American Bird Conservancy’s online petition tool. 
Take Action
Scarlet Tanager. Photo: Linda Steele/Audubon Photography Awards
Scarlet Tanager. Photo: Linda Steele/Audubon Photography Awards
Support the Migratory Bird Protection Act
The Migratory Bird Protection Act, H.R. 5552, reaffirms the Migratory Bird Treaty Act’s (MBTA) intent to protect migratory birds from big industries and provides incentives to responsible companies managing incidental take. Now, we have an opportunity to ask the incoming 117th U.S. Congress to ensure that any rollbacks to the MBTA are overturned. Please ask your Representative and Senators to be original co-sponsors of the Migratory Bird Protection Act now using American Bird Conservancy’s online messaging tool.
Take Action
Lights Out legislation aims to make New York City less attractive, and less hazardous, to night-migrating birds by limiting artificial light at night during peak migration. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/92057307@N05/" target="_blank">Keith Michael</a>
Lights Out legislation aims to make New York City less attractive, and less hazardous, to night-migrating birds by limiting artificial light at night during peak migration. Photo: Keith Michael
Support City- and Statewide Lights Out Legislation
Artificial light at night attracts night-migrating birds to dangerous urban areas, disorienting them and making them more likely to strike glass windows. Two important Lights Out Bills are currently being considered at City and State levels:
  • Lights Out Bill Int. 265 will require that all privately owned buildings in New York City turn out nonessential outdoor lighting and use occupancy sensors for indoor lighting between 11pm and 6am during peak migration. This important bill will complement two other bills, Int. 271 and Int. 274, which currently enforce these same limits in City-owned buildings.
  • The Dark Skies Protection Act (S7663), introduced by Senator Brad Hoylman (D/WFP-Manhattan) and Assemblymember Patricia Fahy (D-Albany), will require that most nonessential outdoor lighting across New York State be extinguished after 11pm, be motion-activated, or be covered by an external shield.

No advocacy action is recommended for these measures at this time. Become an Avian Advocate (see the form at the top of this page) to get updates on what you can do to move this legislation forward.
The pollinator garden atop the Javits Center absorbs rain water and provides stopover habitat for migrating birds. Photo: Javits Center
The pollinator garden atop the Javits Center absorbs rain water and provides stopover habitat for migrating birds. Photo: Javits Center
Help Spread Green Roofs across the City
Green roofs provide many environmental benefits, including absorption of rainwater, insulation, reduction of the urban “heat island effect,” and habitat for birds and other wildlife. We are working with several partners to improve New York City’s Green Roof Tax Abatement program, which provides a reduction of taxes payable to the City, so that these funds can help offset the costs of green roof installation. Learn more at greenroofsnyc.com/financingoptions.

No advocacy action is recommended for this measure at this time. Become an Avian Advocate (see the form at the top of this page) to get updates on what you can do to move this legislation forward.