March-April NewsBrief

The Ornithological Council is pleased to provide this bimonthly report covering activities from March and April 2021. The Ornithological Council’s mission is to:

  • Ensure that the best ornithological science is incorporated into legislative, regulatory, and management decisions that affect birds;
  • Enhance the ability of ornithologists to pursue professional activities; and
  • Promote the influence of ornithology in public affairs.

Our work focuses on animal welfare issues, permits, research funding, and other policies that affect ornithologists and ornithological societies. We greatly appreciate your support. Please contact our Executive Director with questions or concerns about this report or about any other matter of concern to your society or your society’s members. 

In this time period, the Ornithological Council:

1. Submitted comments to the Centers for Disease Control regarding their application for an import permit, noting the concerns that the OC has about the unclear requirements for CDC import permits and for treatment of samples imported under those permits.

2. Sent a letter to the new Interior Secretary Haaland, congratulating her on her confirmation and highlighting priorities of the OC.

3. Sent letters to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the House Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, introducing the OC and offering our scientific expertise to the committee staff.

4. Continued discussions with the Institute of Laboratory Animal Research (ILAR) about animal welfare and wildlife issues. ILAR is planning a workshop on animal welfare issues associated with wildlife research and Bies will serve on the planning committee.

5. Continued the update of the Guidelines for the Use of Wild Birds In Research. Volunteers are leading chapter literature reviews, so that an updated version with new references for the last ten years can be released. Volunteers are still needed for two chapters: Transport of Wild Birds and Major Manipulative Procedures. Anyone interested in helping with those chapters should contact the OC (

6. Sent a fundraising email to users of the Ornithological Exchange asking for donations to the OC, in an attempt to generate a new revenue stream now that OSNA has disbanded (eliminating revenue from dues renewals) and the American Ornithological Society has withdrawn from the OC.

7. Posted articles and updates on the Ornithology Exchange regarding:

Northern Spotted Owl Habitat Reductions Delayed – Again

Canadian Council on Animal Care releases animal welfare assessment guidelines

Hawaiian Stilt to be downlisted from endangered to threatened

Over 30 bird species to be added to CITES Appendix III

The OC congratulates new Secretary of the Interior Haaland

Virginia passes incidental take regulation

Bird-safe Buildings Act Reintroduced

Interior rescinds controversial MBTA memo

Controversial ‘Open Science’ Secretarial Order rescinded

USFWS seeking input on CITES topics and positions

All these updates, and more, are always available on the ‘News From the OC’ forum on Ornithological Exchange. Each time the OC posts in the News from the OC forum, the link is sent to the OC society representatives to share with their networks. If your society would like these emails sent directly to someone else in your society, please let me know.

8. Provided individual assistance to two ornithologist regarding permits and two regarding animal welfare issues. Name and society affiliations available upon request.

9. Held its annual meeting to discuss recent actions, budgetary issues, and plans for the coming year. The board initiated a new planning effort to develop options and possibilities for the OC moving forward, in light of financial challenges caused by changes in OC member societies.