A Call for Hope

When you protect birds, you protect the planet. And each one of us has the power to make things better for birds.

You are what hope looks like to a bird. Audubon’s members have known that for 110 years, but this modern Audubon is bringing an unprecedented torrent of energy to the most significant opportunities to protect birds and the places they need.

A Ruby-throated Hummingbird that weighs less than a quarter migrates across the 500 miles of the Gulf of Mexico, losing half its body weight; Arctic Terns log as many as 60,000 miles a year; endangered Whooping Crane parents will lead their young 2,300 miles from their breeding grounds in central Canada to the Gulf Coast of Texas—and back. Every one of these amazing birds is a window into ecosystems that we’re committed to preserving. But none of those birds can vote, none can write a check.

They rely on us. I’m fortunate to come to work every day with 650 staffers who are committed to making the world a healthier, more durable place. We’re proud to tell our friends and families that’s what we do—and the same is true for the one million members and supporters who ensure that Audubon is a trusted voice in communities across America.

If you’re like me and you make decisions at the end of the year about charitable gifts, think about a bird you enjoy seeing or a call that reminds you of a place you love. And then tap into that reservoir of respect and compassion you have for the natural world and help us do even more to protect the birds that mean so much to you. You can do that right now online at audubon.org/view, or you can send that gift to my office at 225 Varick St., New York, NY 10014. If you mention this column and you provide a phone number, I’ll give you a call to talk about the Audubon you want to help create.

All across the hemisphere, people are driven to act by their love for birds. I saw that this year in Florida, where Audubon chapters helped set aside nearly a billion dollars a year for conservation. I see it happening along the coasts of America, where ten thousand people take shifts to patrol beaches and protect birds like Piping Plovers while they nest. And it happened last month in Washington State, where members made calls and knocked on doors to rally support for the first carbon tax ever proposed in the United States.

That is what Audubon is all about. Every one of us has the power to make things better for birds, and we know that when you protect the birds, you protect the planet. There is so much you can do. 

At home, hanging up a bird feeder, reducing use of pesticides, putting decals on windows, or choosing native plants for your balcony or garden gives birds the places they need to thrive.   

Or get involved with your nearest Audubon chapter or nature center to take action on local issues and learn about volunteer opportunities in your community.

Raise your voice for birds—locally and nationally. Birds can’t vote, but you can, and your calls for change make a difference when it comes to lawmakers and policy decisions. 

As we head into 2017, make a commitment to make a difference.

The birds will thank you. And I’ll give you a call.