Foundation Rolls out New Waterbird Habitat Program

Foundation Rolls out New Waterbird Habitat Program

The California Ricelands Waterbird Foundation (Foundation) is proud to officially announce its new Bid4Birds habitat program. Enrollment opens today. Key information and application can be found on the Foundation website. 

The Bid4Birds program focuses on extending the post-harvest flooding period in rice fields for the benefit of waterbirds, particularly shorebirds. While the standard winter flooding period is beneficial for the majority of migrating waterbirds in the Pacific Flyway, there are many birds arriving just outside of this time period to find most fields and marshes dry. Providing flooded habitat when its most scarce is important in both the spring and fall seasons; however, the first round of Bid4Birds will only focus on providing early-spring habitat. 

This program is based upon the successful BirdReturns program implemented by The Nature Conservancy in coordination with the CRC for many years. Bid4Birds will provide incentive payments for growers to provide shallow flooding of their rice fields. Growers can use a range of options to pick their own start dates and duration of flooding. Additionally, rather than setting a fixed payment for providing this habitat, the Foundation will allow growers to submit bids based on their own assessment of their costs of providing this critical habitat. Bids will be reviewed and selected by the Habitat Selection Committee, which includes representatives from Audubon, California Rice Commission, Point Blue Conservation Science, and The Nature Conservancy. 

Enrollments will be done entirely through the Foundation website, unless other arrangements are made. The enrollment window opens today, December 27, and closes at 5 pm on January 15, 2020. Luke Matthews, CRC’s Wildlife Programs Manager, will be hosting office hours in Colusa and Maryville to assist growers with application and address any program related questions. Office hour details are outlined in the table below. 

Bid4Birds Office Hours: Luke Matthews

Colusa – Office Hours:
Tuesday: January 7, 2020
1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Colusa County Library
738 Market Street
Colusa, CA 95932
Marysville – Office Hours:
Friday: January 10, 2020
8:00 am – 11:00 am
Yuba County Library
303 2nd Street
Marysville, CA 95901

If you have any questions about the program please visit the Foundation website (, attend one of the office hour sessions, or contact Luke Matthews directly at or (916) 607-8988.

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