Habitat is Hope

American Bird Conservancy’s Habitat is Hope 1:1 Match Campaign Highlights Why Habitat Is Critical for Bird Conservation
Wood Thrush. Photo by Michael J. Parr

Habitat loss is the most urgent threat facing birds today.

In less than a single human lifetime, 2.9 billion breeding adult birds have been lost from the United States and Canada, across every ecosystem. Some habitats show steeper losses than others. For example:

  • Forests have lost 1 billion birds since 1970.
  • Grassland birds are also hard hit, with a 53 percent population reduction — more than 720 million birds.
  • Aerial insectivores — birds like swallows, nighthawks, and flycatchers — are down by 32 percent, or 160 million individuals.
  • Coastal shorebirds, already at dangerously low numbers, have lost more than one-third of their population.
  • The volume of spring migration, measured by radar in the night skies, has dropped by 14 percent in just the past decade.
The Wood Thrush is one of the bird species that has been documented incorporating trash into its nests, a poignant reminder of human impacts on bird habitat. Photo © Michael Stubblefield

And as many of these populations continue to decline, habitat loss and degradation means that any remaining populations must work even harder to find suitable places to live on their breeding and wintering grounds.  For migratory birds, loss of habitat increases the likelihood of encountering additional threats on their journeys, such as collisions with windows and wind turbinesfree-roaming outdoor cats, pesticides, plastics and other trash, and more. This photo, of a Wood Thrush incorporating trash into its nest, poignantly illustrates the challenges birds face.

American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is committed to urgent and ongoing habitat conservation efforts, because like you, ABC believes there is hope for birds. 

ABC's Habitat is Hope 1:1 Match Campaign was designed to ensure that ABC experts can continue to fight threats to birds, including habitat loss and degradation. A dedicated group of supporters has already committed $250,000, and ABC is hoping to double that to $500,000 by June 30 — with your help. Your generous gift of any amount today will be used for crucial conservation projects, empowering ABC to conserve bird habitats and combat daily threats to birds in the most effective ways possible. 

Thanks to the support of generous donors, ABC is able to deliver significant conservation results to help ensure that birds have the habitats they need to thrive across the Western Hemisphere. That means that despite the magnitude of bird loss over the last several decades, conservation efforts by ABC and our partners have resulted in signs of recovery for many birds, including the Wood Thrush. Where nesting habitat is optimal — including in areas where ABC and our Appalachian Mountains Joint Venture partners are working — numbers of this silvery-voiced singer are beginning to increase. 

What does "Habitat is Hope" mean?

The Chestnut-collared Longspur are a species in decline that benefit from ABC's habitat work. Photo by Michael J. Parr

ABC's experts know that habitats managed for birds can support the birds and other wildlife that depend on them, providing sources of food, refuge, and places to nest and raise their young. With human-caused threats minimized, bird populations can stabilize and rebound — over time, reversing bird population trends from declining to thriving. Your support today will ensure that ABC can continue its critical work across the Americas to conserve wild birds and their habitats. 

What will your gift help achieve? In 2022 alone, ABC and its partners reached important habitat conservation milestones across the hemisphere, including:

ABC's Habitat is Hope 1:1 Match Campaign will help fund current projects and put even more into action for birds. Gifts will be used immediately to support work to halt extinctions, conserve habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation in the most effective ways possible, including: 

The FCAT reserve expansion in Ecuador protects valuable Chocó forest habitat for the Vulnerable Long-wattled Umbrellabird, which has declined due to forest fragmentation. Photo by Michaël Moens

Together, we can provide hope for birds. Across the Western Hemisphere, more than 500 of 4,230 bird species are declining in population and headed for extinction in our lifetimes without immediate conservation action. ABC's limited-time Habitat is Hope 1:1 Match campaign has a goal of raising $500,000 for bird conservation by June 30. Your gift today will go far in helping us reach this ambitious goal. 

Bird conservation has never been more important. Please make a gift to support ABC's critical work today.


American Bird Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving wild birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With an emphasis on achieving results and working in partnership, we take on the greatest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on rapid advancements in science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation. Find us on abcbirds.orgFacebookInstagram, and Twitter (@ABCbirds).

Media Contact

Jordan Rutter
Director of Communications