November/December NewsBRIEF from the Ornithological Council

The Ornithological Council is pleased to provide this bimonthly report covering activities in November and December 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:

Submitted comments to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, in response to the agency’s Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued in early October. The agency is soliciting feedback on the development of a new permitting scheme for incidental take under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. 

Attended the annual meeting of OC-member society CIPAMEX. Executive Director Laura Bies and OC Chair Gwen Brewer, along with one of CIPAMEX’s representatives to the OC, Paty Feria, gave a presentation about the OC and how CIPAMEX and the OC work together. Other OC societies who would like OC leadership to virtually attend one of their meetings or calls to talk about the OC’s work and answer member questions should contact Laura Bies ( We’re always happy to talk about the work that the OC does and how we can help our member societies!

Continued to work with a new National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine committee. Dr. William Bowerman, current Vice Chair of the Ornithological Council, was appointed as one of 13 members of the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research’s new Standing Committee for the Care and Use of Animals in Research. 

Continued participation in planning an animal welfare workshop. OC Executive Director Laura Bies is currently participating in the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Institute for Laboratory Animal Research’s workshop planning committee for a free virtual workshop to be held February 9-10 on “Discussing and Understanding Animal Welfare Challenges in Research and Education on Wildlife, Non-Model Animal Species, and Biodiversity.”  Please help spread the word about the upcoming workshop to your members! Contact Laura Bies (laurabiesoc@gmail.comif you need a blurb or summary to share or view the article on the workshop on OE. 

Continued work on our update of the Guidelines to the Use of Wild Birds in Research. We are currently in the process of reviewing the literature for new papers published since the 2010 publication of the current edition. New reference lists for each chapter are being made available on once completed, and once all chapter updates have been completed, a new PDF of the Guidelines with the new references will be compiled and posted online. 

Provided direct individual assistance to ornithologists who belong to OC societies regarding how to obtain the permits necessary to complete their research. During September and October, assistance was provided to 1 individual. 

Posted articles and updates on the Ornithology Exchange regarding:

Cactus Ferruginous Pygmy-owl proposed for ESA listing

USGS Winter 2021 HPAI Update

The OC submits comments on incidental take under the MBTA

USFWS increases Northern Spotted Owl habitat

All these updates, and more, are always available on the ‘News From the OC’ forum on Ornithological Exchange