Urban Bird Treaty

Urban Conservation Treaty for Migratory Birds logo. Credit: USFWS

A program that supports city partners in conserving birds and their habitats and providing opportunities for citizen engagement in bird-related recreation, education, and conservation activities in urban and suburban areas.

The Program

The Urban Bird Treaty program is a unique, collaborative effort between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and participating U.S. cities. Launched in 1999, the first treaty was signed with New Orleans and the second with Chicago in 2000. Since that time, an additional 28 cities have become Urban Bird Treaty cities, for a total of 30 spanning from Alaska to Alabama.  Read about our Urban Bird Treaty cities.

The program brings together federal, state, and municipal agencies, non-governmental organizations, and academic institutions to create bird-friendly environments and provide citizens, especially youth, with opportunities to connect with nature through birding and conservation. Cities can become effective sanctuaries for birds and other wildlife with an environmentally aware citizenry dedicated to learning about and conserving birds and their habitats. This is not only good for the birds, but also for the health and well-being of people living in and visiting our cities.

Urban Bird Treaty Program Goals

  1. Protect, restore, and enhance urban/suburban habitats for birds.
  2. Reduce urban/suburban hazards to birds.
  3. Educate and engage urban/suburban citizens in caring about and conserving birds and their habitats.

The Urban Bird Treaty program emphasizes habitat conservation through invasive species control and native plant restoration; hazard reductions through bird-safe building programs; citizen science activities involving bird and habitat monitoring; and education and outreach programs that give people, especially youth, opportunities to learn about and appreciate birds and participate in their conservation. Other key features of the program include constructing schoolyard and backyard habitats, learning about and adopting sustainable practices that benefit birds, and providing opportunities for wildlife and natural resource job skill and career development for young people.

The Urban Bird Treaty program includes two main components

  1. a grants program administered through the  National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and
  2. an Urban Bird Treaty City designation program.

For more information on becoming an Urban Bird Treaty city, contact Roxanne_Bogart@fws.gov.
For more information on applying for an Urban Bird Treaty grant, visit  National Fish and Wildlife Foundation or contact Roxanne_Bogart@fws.gov or Carrie_Clingan@nfwf.org.

 Download the V.3 UBT Guidebook (8.3MB), which provides a wealth of information and resources to support partners in existing Urban Bird Treaty cities and those interested in nominating their cities for Urban Bird Treaty Treaty City status. It includes an overview of the UBT grant program administered through NFWF and the process for city partners to apply for UBT city status as well as in-depth descriptions of program goals and links to a host of online resources.

Urban Bird Treaty Resources

Last Updated: September 30, 2021