The Birdfest and Bluegrass Event in Ridgefield, Washington has received a 2017 Habitat Conservation Award for contributing to the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund (MBCF). The Festival is a model for birders everywhere to do the same and become conservation contributors to the MBCF.
Donating to the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund is among the most cost-effective, direct, and successful investments in conservation that anyone can make. Ninety-eight cents of every dollar raised goes directly to acquire wetland and grassland habitat for the US National Wildlife Refuge System. Since 1934, more than $850 million has been raised through this program to purchase or lease more than 6 million acres. These acquisitions combine a nationally prioritized "wish list" of high value habitat lands with property owners in a cooperative exchange. The land purchase is either outright or in protective easements. The Migratory Bird Conservation Fund is the account within the Refuge System into which Duck Stamp monies are deposited. Donations are tax-deductible.
The donation individuals can make to the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund should be made out to USFWS (note “MBCF donation” in the check’s the memo/for field) and mail it to:
Duck Stamp Office U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS-MB Falls Church, VA 22041-3803
Mindful Birding Award
The group Friends of Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge is the recipient of a 2016 Mindful Birding Award for its efforts to promote ethical birding guidelines and bird conservation through its popular Birdfest and Bluegrass event that celebrates the coming of fall and the wildlife that reside on the refuge.
Birdfest and Bluegrass has demonstrated a commitment to ethical birdwatching behavior by adopting and adhering to a code of birding ethics marked by clarity, specificity, and restraint. The festival distributes its code of ethics to field trip leaders and attendees to provide guidance on how birders can achieve safe and gratifying birdwatching experiences without altering the ability of birds to behave naturally. Additionally, the event publishes its ethics online for a wide distribution.
Birdfest and Bluegrass offers a variety of birdwatching field trips that will connect participants to nature through the splendor of birds. By strengthening participants’ connections to nature, and by providing guidance on ethical birding and nature conservation, the Birdfest is serving as a model for other birding festivals and helping attendees become even stronger messengers for and supporters of conservation for birds and people.
Mindful Birding is a charitable project of the Morrissey Family Foundation that presents ethical birding guidelines from around the world, and offers awards to birding festivals and events that demonstrate improved or superior ethics. The project has three goals: (1) increase awareness among birders of ethical birding guidelines, (2) increase the conservation contributions from America's birders, and (3) encourage a practice of mindfulness among birders.