History of Treaty and Bird Agenda in Chicago

Initial Alt Text

Mayor Richard M. Daley signed the Urban Conservation Treaty for Migratory Birds with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Jamie Rappaport Clark on March 25, 2000. The peregrine falcon (Chicago's Official City Bird) and her handler look on.

Photo credit: Stephen Packard

Additional Photos: previous, next

Chicago joined the Urban Conservation Treaty for Migratory Birds in 2000. This U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Program brought together a group of partners to improve conditions for the city's migratory birds. The McCormick Place Bird Sanctuary and Migrant Bird Habitat Study were some of the results of the 2000 Treaty. Soon after came the city's Bird Agenda, which has transformed Chicago into a model city for bird conservation efforts.

Excellent new habitats have been created, particularly on Chicago Park District lands. Bird Agenda partners work on reducing threats, monitoring birds, and leading programs for the public. The Bird Agenda has broadened its reach on the issue of bird collisions with buildings, especially through the Lights Out Program.

The Bird Agenda is entering a second phase: engaging partners who control significant migratory bird habitat but may not have bird conservation as a primary part of their mission. The Fish and Wildlife Service Urban Conservation Treaty has supported the creation in 2011 of the Chicago Migratory Bird Alliance, a coordinated program of outreach to landowners and advocacy groups to promote improved practices to greatly benefit migratory birds.