For more than 80 years Audubon Texas’s coastal wardens have been safeguarding the magnificent birds that live, breed, and nest on 80 islands on the Texas Gulf Coast. If the recent oil spill reaches them, they’re apt to confront it with the same guile and grit that has helped bring back the iconic brown pelican.
Lesser prairie chickens are almost cooked. But in the West, sensible planning and healthy partnerships hold promise—if Americans would only abandon their current policy of wind, oil, and gas development anywhere, at any cost.
In California’s Central Valley, where a quarter of the food varieties we eat are farmed, a new generation of growers is teaming up with conservationists to make sure that rice and long-billed curlews will always mix.
Along the Florida-Georgia border are 80 quail hunting plantations that make up 300,000 acres of accidental nature reserve. Each year scientists and land managers burn tens of thousands of acres and use various other means to mimic natural conditions, preserving a wealth of biodiversity, including the embattled bobwhite quail.
One of the world’s greatest wildlife spectacles takes place every autumn as millions of hawks and other soaring birds funnel through Veracruz, Mexico, where a pioneering program aims to keep them flowing for millennia to come.
With the holidays over, it’s worth noting that each year America’s mailboxes are clogged with 20 billion catalogs, many of them made from trees logged in Canada’s boreal forest. To see what’s at stake for birds, our writer ventures to a region so biologically rich it’s called “North America’s Amazon.”
By T. Edward Nickens/Photography by Per Breiehagen