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.

Chicago park natural area sign. Credit: USFWSChicago, Illinois - March 25, 2000

Urban Conservation Treaty for Migratory Birds was signed March 25 by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Urban Conservation Treaty commits the Service to a long‐term partnership with the City of Chicago aimed at creating and enhancing urban natural areas, including bird‐friendly landscaping and habitat living for migratory birds. “The treaty is an important addition to our ongoing efforts through Nature Chicago to create open space, enhance habitat, and give Chicagoans the opportunity to appreciate and be stewards of the natural environment,” said Mayor Daley.

Approximately seven million birds pass through the Chicago area twice a year during their spring and fall migrations.

McCormick Place Bird Sanctuary,
built in 2003 by the Chicago Park District. Credit: USFWSChicago efforts include:

  • Conducted a study of 23 sites in Chicago to help determine which tree and shrub species are being used most frequently by which bird species, with the goal of using this information in future open space plantings.
  • Created the “Birds of the Windy City Booklet”. This educational piece provides information about migration, urban avian habitats, ways to attract birds to one's neighborhood or yard, protective measures to keep birds safe, seasonal sighting information, key birding locations, local bird clubs and conservation organizations, and other birding resources.
  • Supported the McCormick Place Bird Sanctuary, built in 2003 by the Chicago Park District becoming the Park District's fourth bird sanctuary on Chicago's lakefront.
  • Expanded the For the Birds! Program. This program encourages stewardship by students through classroom experiences focused on Chicago's birds and environmental experiences in Chicago's parks.

More information about birds and Chicago


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Last Updated: September 20, 2018