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 2021 Bid4Birds habitat program.
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 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 is especially critical this year given the severity of the drought.
Bid4Birds will provide incentive payments for growers to implement shallow flooding on their rice fields for three to four weeks between July 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 June 4 and June 24, 2021. The bid submission form will go live on the website on June 4.
Additionally, we will be hosting a virtual workshop on June 3. A Zoom link for the workshop will be available on the Foundation’s website and any growers who are interested in this program are encouraged to attend.
Thank you to The Nature Conservancy for providing the funding for this fall’s Bid4Birds projects. We really appreciate our partnership with them and the whole Migratory Bird Conservation Partnership team in building and advancing the Bid4Birds Program.