Supporting Beneficial Birds and Managing Pest Birds

This webinar took place on Tuesday, October 1 at 11AM Pacific, 12PM Mountain, 1PM Central, 2PM Eastern Time. Presenters: Jo Ann Baumgartner of the Wild Farm Alliance, Sara Kross of Columbia University, and Sacha Heath of the Living Earth Collaborative.

Handout of the webinar slides

Beneficial birds can help farmers keep pest insects, rodents, and pest birds at bay. They act the same way that beneficial insects do in helping with pest control. The overwhelming majority of songbirds are beneficial during nesting season because they feed pest insects to their voracious nestlings. Farmers may be able to reduce their pest-control costs by providing habitat for these beneficial birds and by only targeting detrimental birds at the right time and place. Wild Farm Alliance and two avian ecologists will present on: a) How birds’ diets, foraging strategies, and nesting periods affect the farm, b) How best to manage and co-exist with pest birds, c) Why on-farm habitat and the surrounding landscape influences pest control, and, d) What farmers can do to make farms more bird-friendly and resilient. With this webinar and the associated Supporting Beneficial Birds and Managing Pest Birds booklet, we aim to help all farmers and farm consultants make the most of birds on farms.

Find the bird resources from Wild Farm Alliance (booklet and multimedia story platform) at

About the Presenters and Authors

Jo Ann Baumgartner is the Executive Director of Wild Farm Alliance and she has writtenmany publications on the intersection between biodiversity conservation and agriculture. Before joining the Wild Farm Alliance in 2001, she was an organic farmer for over a decade. For her Master's research at San Jose State University, she studied bird predation of insects in apple orchards.  

Sacha Heath of the Living Earth Collaborative, is an ecologist with decades of research experience studying birds in protected, restored, and working lands. She has authored numerous papers on the habitat requirements of birds and their beneficial pest control service

Sara Kross, PhD, Columbia University, is a leading scientist in the fields of agroecology, ornithology, and conservation biology. She has authored numerous papers on the effects of birds on farms, and on the effects of farming practices on birds. 

Published October 1, 2019

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.