Tom Sheley: Song Sparrow

Extending our Conservation Reach Together” is the theme of the National Audubon Society’s five-year plan ending in 2020. “The birds are counting on us,” says David Ringer, Audubon’s Chief Network Officer.

The new strategic plan emphasizes the central role of the Audubon network and selecting what we can do best and most effectively. Audubon’s network is a collaborative, interconnected community of partners and local leaders. Every
Audubon chapter, nature center, sanctuary, volunteer leader, member, partner organization and advocate is a vital link in a web that supports migratory birds and the places they live throughout the hemisphere.

The plan focuses on five strategic conservation priorities: coasts, working lands, water, bird-friendly communities and climate. Here are a few details:


Coastal habitats –– beaches, tidal flats, salt marshes –– are crucial to birds. Our goal is to protect these places to preserve breeding, stopover and wintering sites for shorebirds. Audubon will target 16 flagship species and habitats, identify threats to breeding, and reduce predator and human disturbance with expanded coastal stewardship programs.

Working Lands

Working lands are one of the best hopes for conservation. Audubon will collaborate with landowners, land managers, government agencies  and private industry to increase or stabilize the quality of habitat on privately managed lands to benefit the populations of 20 flagship species.


Audubon will engage and involve the public in issues surrounding water rights and water quality; restore habitats along rivers, wetlands and deltas; and explore market-based solutions that contribute to these goals. This initiative will focus on landscapes where both water quantity and quality are necessary to birds’ survival.

Bird-friendly Communities

Audubon will provide tools to share information and make all communities safe for birds. Using local expertise the network will identify local opportunities to help birds thrive by addressing local threats and connecting people to conservation actions.


Climate change is the greatest threat to birds. Audubon’s climate initiative focuses on protecting the places that birds need in a warmer world and advocating for public policy changes to lower carbon emissions. Audubon will tap into people’s passion for birds to create a greater demand for change at the local, state, national and hemispheric levels.

Columbus Audubon’s goals align with those of the National Audubon Society: we all are about the conservation of birds, for their benefit and the benefit of humanity. Like the National Audubon Society, we work together to protect
birds and their habitats, and to introduce people to the wonder of birds. We encourage you to support both the National Audubon Society and Columbus Audubon. Together, we provide the tools crucial to bird conservation.

We thank Mickey Simonds, President of Audubon Miami Valley in Oxford, Ohio, for kindly allowing us to reprint this article.