Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley recently announced Chicago's Bird Agenda, which is meant to improve Chicago's environment for nesting and migratory birds.
The document lays out 18 priorities for creating bird habitat, increasing desirable bird species, decreasing bird collisions with buildings, and increasing public awareness of our local and migratory bird populations. In addition to laying out plans for action, the document describes recent actions taken by the City and its partners, along with suggestions for what citizens can do to help.
"Birds are vital natural assets that enhance our community, beautify the city and bring enjoyment to children and adults alike. Chicago Bird Agenda, which we are announcing today, will help create new bring habitats and will increase the number of desirables bird species in our city, "said Mayor Richard M. Daley.
Many actions proposed in the Bird Agenda are already underway. The City, The Chicago Park District and the Audubon Society have created draft "Habitat Guidelines for Priority Chicago Bird Communities" and will be working with landowners to promote specific preservation, management and protection strategies at sites throughout the city. For instance, to encourage certain birds of prey to nest in the city's parks the Chicago Park District is installing kestrel boxes and osprey platforms built by Greencorps Chicago, the City's ex-offender job-training and community landscaping program.
The Chicago Park District owns and manages over 7000 acres of bird friendly green space which includes 490 acres of dedicated natural areas. These areas contain 16 lagoons, 10 river edge parks, 4 savannas and woodlands, 3 wetlands, 7 nature and wildflower gardens, 4 dune habitats and 4 bird sanctuaries.