The California Ricelands Waterbird Foundation (Foundation), in collaboration with the Migratory Bird Conservation Partnership, is happy to announce the upcoming enrollment period for the Fall 2020 Bid4Birds habitat program. Bid4Birds is the Foundation’s partner program to The Nature Conservancy’s BirdReturns program.
Bid4Birds 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 many migrating waterbirds on the Pacific Flyway, many birds arrive earlier in the fall and into the spring, when they find most fields and marshes dry. Providing flooded habitat when its most scarce is important in both the spring and fall seasons.
Bid4Birds will provide incentive payments for growers to implement shallow flooding on their rice fields over four to eight weeks between August 15 and October 15. The Foundation solicits program participants through an auction in which growers submit bids based on their own assessment of their costs to provide this critical habitat. The Bid4Birds Habitat Selection Committee, including representatives from Audubon California, California Rice Commission, Point Blue Conservation Science, and The Nature Conservancy, will assess bids in a standardized way using data on when and where birds need the habitat most.
Bids will need to be submitted through the Foundation website between July 1 and July 15, 2020. The bid submission form will go live on the website on July 1.
Thank you to The Nature Conservancy for providing the funding for this Fall’s Bid4Birds projects. We appreciate our partnership with them and the whole Migratory Bird Conservation Partnership team in building and advancing the Bid4Birds Program.