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  • That time of year again: The Annual Ornithological Council Pledge Break

    Fern Davies
    • What is the Ornithological Council and why should you support it?


      The Ornithological Council is a great resource for ornithologists. We help researchers navigate the permit maze, address animal welfare concerns, publish the peer-reviewed Guidelines to the Use of Wild Birds in Research. The Ornithological Council is the voice of scientific ornithology. Learn more here!


      When you join a society or renew your OSNA membership via Membersuite (2019 renewal notices will go out October 8), please remember the OC. Visit the donations page to make a contribution.




    What does the Ornithological Council do, and why should you care?


    The Ornithological Council gives voice to scientific ornithology wherever & whenever that voice should be heard in the making of policy decisions that affect ornithological research or wild bird conservation and management.


    The OC works with multinational, federal, and state governments and nongovernmental organizations to assure that the policies that affect the way you conduct your research have a biological basis and do not impose biologically unwarranted restrictions on your research.


    Permits, permits, permits: Migratory Bird Treaty Act (bird banding, scientific collecting, import/export), Endangered Species Act, CITES, Wild Bird Conservation Act, special use permits for the National Wildlife Refuge Systems, National Forest Service, research permits for the National Park Service, authorizations for BLM land, state permits, USDA APHIS import permits, CDC import permits. In Canada, working with the Canadian Wildlife Service and the provincial wildlife authorities on Migratory Bird Convention Act permits (banding, scientific collecting, import/export), SARA permits.


    Animal welfare: Working with USDA APHIS Animal Care on policies that affect ornithological research in the lab and in the field; working with the National Institutes of Health Office of Laboratory Animal Research and the National Science Foundation on implementation of the Animal Welfare Act through their grant policies; working with the National Academy of Science, Institute of Laboratory Animal Welfare on the authoritative guidance document; working with the AAALAC International (the private accreditation organization). For you and your IACUC, we wrote a Model Wildlife Protocol.


    Research integrity and peer review policies: Representing the views and concerns of the ornithological community to the federal agencies that establish national policies regarding research integrity and peer review


    Providing scientific information about birds: The Ornithological Council endeavors to ensure that the best ornithological science is incorporated into legislative, regulatory, and management decisions that affect birds. The scientific information you generate is made available by the OC to government, conservation organizations, industry, and private landowners; that information is provided in an unbiased manner that helps decision-makers to understand how their choices will affect wild birds.



    More examples of what the Ornithological Council does for you can be found in our bimonthly OC newsBRIEFS.


    In short? The Ornithological Council: Keeping the world safe for ornithology since 1992!


    The Annual Ornithological Council Pledge Break (only once per year!)

    Members of AOS, AFO, RRF, and WOS will soon receive annual membership renewal notices from the Ornithological Societies of North America (OSNA) via Membersuite. We hope that when you renew, you will consider contributing to the Ornithological Council. If you renew online, You can also contribute via the line for contributions to the OC, on the webpage where you enter the society membership dues and contributions. If you renew by mail, you will find a line on the printed renewal notice, at the top of the column where you will list your dues and contributions to the OSNA societies.

    Members of the Waterbird Society will receive renewal notices from the Schneider Group; the online renewal form has a contribution line for the OC.

    Those who are not joining or renewing memberships in the AOS, AFO, RRF, or WOS  via Membersuite of Waterbirds via Schneider Group can contribute directly through the PayPal button on our homepage using your free PayPal account or a credit card or by check (payable to the Ornithological Council and mailed to 6512 E. Halbert Rd., Bethesda, MD 20817, USA).

    About 90% of OC's support comes from annual contributions from its 12 member societies but we also rely on contributions from individual ornithologists.

    How and why the OC was hatched

    As early as the 1960s, ornithologists realized that they had no effective means of providing scientific information about birds to federal and state agencies, the private for-profit sector, and the conservation community. As awareness of the need for science-based bird conservation and management grew, ornithologists needed a way to assure that ornithological science was incorporated into decisions that affect wild bird populations.

    At the same time, ornithologists were struggling with the growing array of permit requirements. In fact, there were occasions when ornithologists even faced possible prosecution for violation of the Migratory Bird Treat Act due to problematic implementation of the permit requirements.

    Dick Banks (President, AOU 1994-1996; President Wilson Ornithological Society 1991-1993) proposed the formation of an ornithological council to speak for scientific ornithology with the publication of a paper in The Auk.

    And so...a committee was formed. And the committee recommended that such a council be formed.

    The Council was founded in 1992 by seven ornithological societies in North America: American Ornithologists' Union, Association for Field Ornithology, Cooper Ornithological Society, Pacific Seabird Group, Raptor Research Foundation, Waterbird Society and Wilson Ornithological Society. In recent years, the Society of Canadian Scientists, the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds, the Neotropical Ornithological Society, CIPAMEX, and the North American Crane Working Group have become members.

    The Ornithological Council - a consortium supported by 11 ornithological societies. Join or renew your membership in your ornithological society if you value the services these societies provide to you, including the Ornithological Council!

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