Bird seasonal migration is underway. You should be seeing many birds at your feeders. Hummingbirds are on the move through mid-May, ducks, geese, and swans will soon follow. The timing dovetails nicely with the upcoming Earth Day on April 22nd.

If you don’t feed year-round, you should put out your feeders now. Remember that hummingbird nectar can go stale and should be changed often. There are nectar mixes widely available but all you need is 4 cups of warm water and 1 cup of sugar. Stir the sugar into the water and allow to dissolve. Birdseed can also get moldy if it has gotten damp, so watch that too. Grab your binoculars and a chair and watch the show at the beach, on a trail, in the forest and in your own backyard.

Rep. Larsen applauded the reauthorization of the  Migratory Birds of Americas Conservation Act.

“I am glad to see our migratory bird bill soar through the House! Pesticide pollution, deforestation and invasive species threaten the more than 350 migratory bird species that rely on the Pacific Northwest as their flyaway,” said Larsen, the lead Democrat on the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. “This bipartisan bill will help protect these diverse bird populations and their habitats in the Pacific Northwest and across the Western Hemisphere and provide a significant boost to the outdoor economy.”

“We have lost three billion birds since 1970—a staggering number—and this legislation is critically important to help communities and partners meet the challenges of the moment so we can conserve migratory birds for years to come,” said Marshall Johnson, chief conservation officer at the National Audubon Society. “96 million Americans engage in birdwatching, contributing $100 billion to the U.S. economy each year. Investing in migratory bird conservation across the hemisphere is essential to reversing these troubling bird declines. We thank the House and the co-sponsors of this bill for their leadership and urge swift passage of the companion bill in the Senate.”

“North Cascades Audubon Society wholeheartedly thanks Rep. Rick Larsen for his leadership and efforts to reauthorize and enhance the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act,” said Robert Kaye, conservation chair at the North Cascades Audubon Society. “This crucial legislation will help protect the neotropical migratory birds that perform such an essential role in the health and well-being of the ecological systems as they journey throughout our hemisphere. Additionally, so much of our forests, lakes, streams, wetlands and marine habitats that are essential to the health of our local ecosystems, and to the survival of these transient birds, will greatly benefit from the protections incorporated into this essential reauthorization legislation.”

“As members of the Skagit Valley community, we understand the vital role that migratory birds play in our ecosystem and our economy,” said John Day, president of the Skagit Audubon Society. “Our valley is home to myriad migratory bird species that rely on the region’s wetlands, forests, and farmland as critical stopover and nesting sites during their long journeys. Skagit Audubon Society greatly appreciates the leadership of Rep. Rick Larsen for passing this legislation to increase investments in protecting birds across the hemisphere, helping to ensure that birds have the habitat they need to thrive, no matter where they are on their migratory journey.”

Since 2002, the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act has awarded more than $89 million in grants to over 700 migratory bird conservation projects in the United States, Canada, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. Partner organizations have contributed an additional $346 million to these projects, which have protected more than 5 million acres of habitat in the Western Hemisphere.

Specifically, the bipartisan Migratory Birds of the Americas Conservation Enhancements Act:

  • Reauthorizes the NMBCA grant program through Fiscal Year 2028 at $6.5 million annually;
  • Lowers the cost-sharing requirement for grant recipients from 3:1 to 2:1 to make the grants more accessible to smaller organizations; and
  • Requires a report to Congress on the composition of the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act Advisory Group.