Latin: Aix sponsa
Improving bird habitat, water quality, and natural systems throughout the Mississippi River floodplain in southeast Minnesota
Photo: Ted Bobosh
The Mississippi River is the backbone of the Mississippi Flyway which serves as a major aerial highway for 60% of North America's birds. An incredibly diverse ecosystem lines the Mississippi River, including wetlands, marshes, sloughs, channels, bottomland forest, and prairies. However, those systems have been altered by agriculture, locks and dams, and levees. Today, much of the Mississippi is a narrow window of habitat in a predominant sea of agriculture. In some areas, up to 80% of the original forests have been lost. For Audubon scientists, the threat to birds along the River from past and future impacts is clear and urgent.
With your help, we aim to maintain bottomland forests, restore islands and depth diversity, and re-establish more natural water levels. These efforts will help bird species like Wood Ducks, Cerulean Warblers, Prothonotary Warblers, Louisiana Waterthrush, and many others.
We are currently identifying large tracts of existing forest and overlapping Important Bird Areas. We are working with partners to determine priority sites to restore within those IBAs. We expect the restored habitat will become critical refuges for birds.