Who We Are
We are a husband and wife team committed to protecting and feeding birds with native plants. Doreen is a widely published wildlife writer and Jim is a long time public interest advocate, starting with Ralph Nader in the 70’s and ending as Chief Counsel of the Senate Agriculture Committee. This is a labor of love – donations will support and promote these causes. We receive no remuneration from any products discussed on this site.
Jim and Doreen have been life-time birders steadily working their way to the goal of seeing 700 North American species.
In recent years they noticed that they just were not seeing as many birds as they used to. When the Science report showing the 30% decline in bird populations was issued, they knew they had to act. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/366/6461/120 The report listed two actions individuals could take – plant native plants and prevent window strikes. They went to work on both.
This site is the culmination of those efforts. In the section “Native Plants” is presents an “easy to do” approach to native plants – ideal for non-gardeners. https://birdfriendlyyards.net/freeplans/ In the section “Protect Birds” it offers practical resources on how to protect birds from deadly window collisions. Protect Birds Against Deadly Window Crashes -download below
Jim is a retired lawyer who started his career working for Ralph Nader and continued with the Union of Concerned Scientists. During law school he organized a state-wide student public interest organization which is still operating. He has used his organizing skills to develop practical resources to help local clubs promote window collision prevention programs. https://birdfriendlyyards.net/protectbirds/
He began a 14-year career in 1979 in the U.S Senate retiring as Chief Counsel of the Senate Agriculture Committee. He was principally responsible for the conservation sections of two farms bills. The Washington Post October 11, 1996, p. 24 His greatest lasting accomplishment is the creation of a 2.9-million-acre Wetland Reserve Program, the largest wetland restoration effort in U.S. history. Wetland birds were one of only two bird types whose populations have increased.
Working on public policy developed his creative skills to see the connection between disparate issues. This led to his landmark analysis, featured at Doug Tallamy’s website, which shows the for native plans efforts to be successful, they must start with preventing bird deaths from cats and window collisions. https://birdfriendlyyards.net/2021/03/05/bird-friendlybirdsafe/ Doug Tallamy site link https://homegrownnationalpark.org/faq-2/window-strikes-and-native-plants
Following his service in the Senate, he created a non-profit which addressed farm related environmental problems.
In a third career, he was a pastor of three small rural churches in South Carolina. His blog posts include a post which asks the question, “Does God Care About Birds.? https://birdfriendlyyards.net/2021/03/02/godcares/
Doreen is a widely published writer in magazine such as National Wildlife and Audubon. She specializes in nature topics and native plants. Links to be added.