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Maryland Bird Conservation Initiative

Marylanders working together to conserve birds and the habitats that support them



Maryland’s wild birds are facing many threats. A changing climate, sea level rise, sprawling development, and invasive species are pushing many birds to their limits. A warming climate is consuming thousands of acres of marsh, threatening every species of marsh breeding bird.

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Other birds, like Black Skimmers near Ocean City, have dropped to just 4% of what their population was 20 years ago. Maryland’s only quail, the Northern Bobwhite, has largely vanished, along with the haunting nocturnal calls of the Whip-poor-will. Populations of neotropical migrants, such as the Kentucky Warbler and Wood Thrush, have been in decline for decades.Kentucky WarblerMaa052313


To respond to these developing threats, bird watchers and scientists, hunters and farmers have formed the Maryland Bird Conservation Initiative (MD BCI). With a core steering committee made up of representatives from DNR, Ducks Unlimited, the Maryland Ornithological Society, Audubon Maryland-DC, US FWS, The Nature Conservancy, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Friends of Jug Bay, the National Wildlife Federation, and the American Bird Conservancy, the partnership is working to give birds one united voice in Maryland. This initiative is supported through a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Through collaboration with professionals, volunteers, and others, the MD BCI aims to:

  • Establish, by broadening citizen participation, diverse partnerships dedicated to the conservation of birds and their habitats.
  • Assist with implementation of Maryland’s State Wildlife Action Plan by coordinating and supporting conservation actions in the Plan that require diverse partnerships.
  • Ensure adequate monitoring of birds of conservation priority by strengthening and supporting existing monitoring programs and establishing new monitoring programs where necessary.
  • Become the principal gateway for people to understand Maryland’s birdlife and its conservation needs.
  • Increase the level of funding available for bird conservation in Maryland.

Current Coalition Partner Organizations:

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Fresh out of the nest. As the Bald Eagle breeding season draws to a close, it's time to submit your nest observations to the Maryland Bird Conservation Initiative @ marylandbirds.org.
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