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Bird Benefits

Bird Benefits

BirdReturns works. Since its launch in 2014, BirdReturns (and associated programs like Bid4Birds with the California Ricelands Waterbird Foundation) has partnered with over 100 farmers and wetland managers to provide over 60,000 acres of wetland habitat where and when it is needed most and the results speak for themselves:

  • 15 times more waterfowl use BirdReturns fields than surrounding areas during spring migration, showing that extended shallow flooding supports a diversity of bird species
  • BirdReturns fields have significantly greater shorebird density, richness and diversity compared to other fields in both spring and fall (especially September-early October, and late March-early April), but in fall the difference is greater
  • Providing habitat on BirdReturns fields during shorebird migration in late spring and early fall, when it is typically unavailable in planted rice fields, yielded the largest average shorebird densities ever reported for agriculture in the Sacramento Valley
  • During the 2013-2015 drought, BirdReturns fields were able to provide 39% of the available habitat on post-harvest flooded rice during the fall, and BirdReturns and the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Waterbird Habitat Enhancement Program (WHEP) together made up 100% of the available habitat on some days