Audubon Texas and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) are excited to announce Austin and Cedar Hill as the newest additions to the Bird City Texas flock. This certification program recognizes cities' efforts to ensure birds, wildlife, and people thrive in their communities. Austin and Cedar Hill have displayed leadership as Bird Friendly Cities by excelling in three criteria areas: community engagement, habitat enhancement and protection, and creating safer spaces for birds. Their Bird City Texas certification will continue through 2026.
Since the Bird City Texas program began in 2020, eight other cities have been certified. Certified cities participate in the community-focused program to protect birds and their habitats where people live, work, and recreate. To do this, cities employ science-based bird initiatives and community-centric action. The Bird City Texas communities are able to leverage this designation to attract 2.2 million bird watchers in Texas, a major component of the $1.8 billion economic impact from Texas wildlife viewing across the state.
“Where birds thrive, people prosper. Human dominated landscapes can support functioning ecosystems,” said Audubon Texas Engagement Manager, Chloe Crumley. “Bird City Texas is an opportunity for communities to commit to standards that elevate urban areas to be ecologically richer and in turn offer us more beautiful, resilient, and healthful places to live. We are excited to see more cities across Texas commit to this program.”
“As development continues across the state reducing viable habitat for resident and migratory birds, cities that engage their community to maintain or create habitat are crucial for our dwindling bird populations. We need everyone’s help!” said Judit Green, Urban Wildlife Biologist with Texas parks and Wildlife. “We all have the ability to make a difference in our homes, schools, businesses, and public city spaces by adding native plants and following environmentally friendly practices that support safe, healthy areas for birds and us.”
As we approach the start of spring, certified communities will host a variety of events across the state in support of breeding birds migrating back to northern nesting territories as well as World Migratory Bird Day on May 13th. Interested participants are encouraged to visit the websites of certified cities, Audubon Texas, and TPWD for opportunities to celebrate and learn more about how to support birds.
Communities interested in applying for a 2024 Bird City Texas certification can find general information here and view criteria information. The next Bird City Texas application cycle will begin late spring 2023.
About Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
The mission of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is to manage and conserve the natural and cultural resources of Texas and to provide hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation opportunities for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.
About Audubon Texas
Audubon Texas is the state office of the National Audubon Society. The National Audubon Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit conservation organization that protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon Texas's state programs, three nature centers in San Antonio and Dallas-Fort Worth, a South Texas sanctuary, and a network of 21 local chapters and numerous partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Audubon's vision is a world in which people and wildlife thrive. For more information and to find your local chapter visit https://tx.audubon.org/. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.