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On the ‘Nest Quest’ - protecting essential breeding grounds
As you read this, birds all around the world are embarking on an important quest – a quest to find a safe place to nest.
It’s one of the most important decisions they’ll ever have to make. The world is fraught with dangers for baby birds, and it’s vital the nesting spot is safe and secure, to give baby chicks the best possible chance of surviving to adulthood.
Birds go to incredible lengths to build nests to keep their babies safe from harm. From the desert-dwelling woodpecker, who spends months patiently hollowing-out a cactus, to the aptly-named ‘ovenbird’, who leaves its mud nest to bake and harden in the sun; these amazing designs are a testament to the genius and resourcefulness of birds.
But while birds are skilled at overcoming natural adversity, sadly, the impacts of human activity are often too overwhelming for them to survive. As humans move in on birds’ territories, nests go empty and babies starve as we alter the delicate ecosystems they depend upon beyond recognition.
This is happening all over the world, and it’s happening as we speak.
In Africa, the Flamingos of Tanzania’s Lake Natron are haunted by the looming threat of the construction of a soda ash mine at their last remaining breeding ground. Some elderly members of the flock will remember having to uproot from their previous home in Lake Magadi, Kenya, which dried up from soda mining. History must not repeat itself.
Grebes are famous for their bewitching mating dance rituals, but in South America, a Critically Endangered species, the Hooded Grebe, may be about to dance its last. Invasive minks, introduced to their remote breeding grounds by humans, are preying on these rare birds’ nests, ending their babies’ lives before they can even begin.
How can you help?
BirdLife and its Partners are fighting to protect crucial breeding grounds from the urgent threats they face. With your support, we can use our skills and expertise to keep breeding grounds safe, so today’s babies can grow to raise families of their own in years to come.
Your support will help us to:
- Campaign for real change, to the people that matter, like our #LivingLand campaign. Fighting against intensive agriculture practices that have brought Europe’s farmland birds – such as the Lapwing – to the brink, with population declines of over 55% in recent decades. We’re using our influence and expertise to push for reform at the very top.
- Combat the threat of invasive predators - one of the leading causes of bird extinctions worldwide. Defenceless baby birds have no way of protecting themselves from these alien invaders, and often die in agony. But the situation CAN be reversed. We recently cleared five Pacific islands of invasive predators, and we’re already seeing evidence of rare birds bouncing back. We need your support to continue our work in threatened bird paradises such as Rapa Iti.
- Help us push for formal protection for the world’s most vital breeding grounds. These crucial habitats have been identified by BirdLife as Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas – a global network of over 13,000 sites. Nearly half of these sites lack full protection, but with your help, we can push for change, and continue co-ordinating critical conservation action on the ground.
Donate £25 or more (or equivalent in your currency) to be in with a chance of winning an BirdLife IBA pin badge