Thousands of bird populations and entire species are hanging on by their wingtips. Here are some ways you can help save birds that visit your home or that live in the wild.

  • Thousands of migratory songbirds, which are attracted by lights, are killed each year by colliding with lighted buildings at night. In the United States alone, up to one billion birds die each year from these window collisions. You can help: At night, turn off the lights or close the blinds of your high-rise offices or apartment buildings, and spread the word to your co-workers and neighbors.

  • Unleashed dogs and outdoor cats can harm birds by disturbing, chasing, and even killing them. House cats are one of the biggest threats birds face in the wild—cats kill somewhere between 1.3 and 4 billion birds every year in the U.S.

  • Birds that mistakenly eat plastic trash can become ill or even die. Avoiding use of plastic bags and bottles not only saves birds but also reduces plastic pollution and conserves resources.

  • Habitat loss is another threat to birds. The number of bird species at risk of losing half their habitat by 2080 is over 300. It's estimated that in our own Mississippi flyway alone, loss of habitat could lead to a 19 to 39 percent decline in ducks by 2030. Climate change is one of the culprits. As the climate warms, it's predicted that a significant rise in average sea level could eliminate up to 45 percent of our wetlands .

You can work to save habitat by:

    • You can put up bird houses (with proper ventilation). More than two dozen different bird species including the purple martin, house wren and eastern bluebird will nest in bird houses.
    • Providing bird amenities. With bird baths, you can provide year-round clean drinking and bathing water. Also, you can erect bird feeders and nectar feeders at proper distances from windows or in places where birds can't be ambushed by predators.
    • They are harmful not only to birds, but to a variety of wildlife.
  • When hiking, biking, going to the beach, or camping, you can stay on the trails and respect restricted sections of sensitive natural areas, especially during nesting season.

    • You can help preserve bird habitat in Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean by buying shade-grown coffee and chocolate. Shade-grown coffee plantations support tremendously higher numbers of bird species than full sun (deforested) coffee plantations. Forested, shade-grown coffee plantations also benefit other wildlife and the people who live there.  Check out the exhibits in the Bird House at the Saint Louis Zoo for more information.