Endangered Owls Need Your Help!

ACRES FOR OWLS - HELP FIBA Purchase & Protect 64 Acres of "Critical" Bird Habitat

WE DID IT!! FIBA AWARDED $63,191 NYS GRANT toward 64 acre purchase - read News article below...

Short-eared owls were once one of our most common owls. Now, less than 100 remain.

The Washington County Grasslands Important Bird Area (IBA) is critical to the survival of Short-eared owls in New York State. The area provides important habitat for Short-eared owls, Snowy owls and over 100 other bird and animal species. It supports 10 of 11 of New York''s most imperiled grassland bird species, including Short-eared owls, Northern harriers, American kestrels, Eastern meadowlarks, Horned larks, Upland sandpipers, Grasshopper sparrows and Bobolinks.

Friends of the IBA (FIBA) is the only nonprofit acquiring and permanently protecting critical habitat in the Washington County Grasslands IBA for NY’s endangered and at-risk grassland birds.  We’re asking you to help us raise $125,000 so we can purchase and permanently protect another 64 acres of critical habitat! (photo of Snowy owl courtesy Ken Rohling)

Your contribution will help ensure that this land – and the life it supports – is permanently protected. 

Learn more about campaign

This 3 minute video highlights the endangered, threatened and rapidly declining birds of the Washington County Grasslands Important Bird Area. This unique area is critical to the survival of Short-eared Owls in New York State!

Friends of the IBA is working to conserve critical lands in the IBA before these amazing owls disappear from New York State - and our own back yard - forever. Contact us, if you would like to learn more.

Your tax deductible contribution can be mailed to: Friends of the IBA, P.O. Box 82, Fort Edward, NY 12828

Special thanks to Sean Junda Junda Video Enterprises for the generous donation of videography and production services, filmmaker David deVries for script development and oversight, and Dr. Gordon Ellmers for his terrific bird photos!

Friends of the IBA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit land trust dedicated to conserving NY's endangered and at-risk grassland birds. We are the only nonprofit conserving this critical habitat! 

Grasslands are the fastest disappearing habitat in the U.S. and grassland birds are disappearing right along with them! Short-eared owls, Northern harriers, Eastern meadowlarks and Grasshopper sparrows are just a few of the grassland bird species who have seen their populations plummet by 70% - 90% or more!

The Washington County Grasslands Important Bird Area (IBA) is critical to the survival of Short-eared Owls in New York State.  Listed as a regional conservation priority in the NYS Open Space Plan, it supports 10 of 11 of the state’s most imperiled grassland birds.*  Yet less than 300 acres of this 2,000 acre grassland area have been protected!  

Help ensure that Short-eared owls and other grassland birds do not disappear from New York State -  Donate Today!

*Species include: Short-eared owl (endangered), Northern harrier (threatened), Upland sandpiper (threatened), Horned lark (threatened), Sedge wren (threatened), Eastern meadowlark, American kestrel, Grasshopper sparrow

[PHOTO: View from FIBA's handicapped accessible Alfred Z. Solomon Grassland Bird Viewing Area in Fort Edward; photo courtesy Laurie LaFond]


Grassland Bird Trust Closes on 64 Acres!

ARGYLE Grassland Bird Trust, formerly Friends of the IBA, officially acquired another 64 acres of critical habitat in February. The two-year project was completed on schedule thanks to a $63,000 grant from NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (Parks), a $50,000 grant from the Open Space Institute (OSI) and donations from Grassland Bird Trust members and supporters.

“This purchase wouldn’t have been possible without support from NYS Parks, OSI and the Capital Region Economic Development Council,” said GBT founder and Executive Director Laurie LaFond.

Landowner Harassment Harms Owls

Love owls?  Actions speak louder than words, and the thoughtless actions of a small number of people who've been harassing landowners in the Washington County Grasslands IBA shows a blatant disregard for the owls and their hosts.

FIBA Awarded $63K New York State Grant!

Fort Edward Friends of the IBA (Important Bird Area/FIBA) received a nice surprise just in time for the holidays – a New York State Regional Economic and Community Development grant for $63,191. The grant, awarded through the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, is funded through New York’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the awards Monday, December 19.

Snowy owl released at FIBA Viewing Area!

FORT EDWARD The Snowy owl sprang from the crate and glided across the open field at Friends of the IBA’s (FIBA) Alfred Z. Solomon Grassland Bird Viewing Area. She glanced back once before landing on a fencepost at the edge of the property and sat there checking out her surroundings amidst the falling snow. She seemed relieved to be back in the wild as she took in her surroundings.

The owl was so emaciated when she was found dying of starvation this past May she didn’t react when her rescuer and his dog approached her, said North Country Wild Care rehabilitator Diane Hime.

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