Administration Makes Last-gasp Assault on Migratory Bird Protections

Media Contact: Jordan Rutter, Director of Public Relations, 202-888-7472 | | @JERutter
Expert Contact: Steve Holmer, Vice President, Policy, 202-888-7490 |

Baltimore Orioles are among the hundreds of bird species that benefit from a strong Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Photo by Brian A Wolf

(Washington, D.C., January 5, 2021) The Administration has announced that it will implement a new rule that greatly weakens essential protections provided by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

This rule comes at a time when scientists have raised alarm over the loss of 3 billion North American birds during the past 50 years. It would end enforcement against incidental take of birds – the predictable and preventable killing of birds by industrial practices –  even though last summer a federal judge struck down the Interior Department legal opinion that the new rule seeks to codify.

“Americans want birds and nature taken care of – not swept aside to serve commercial interests. We urge the incoming Administration to right this wrong as rapidly as possible,” said Steve Holmer of American Bird Conservancy (ABC).

“Rest assured that we at American Bird Conservancy will do everything in our power to see that this assault on migratory birds is defeated,” said ABC President Mike Parr.


American Bird Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving 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, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@ABCbirds).