Migratory Bird Conservation

To maintain and enhance populations and habitats of migratory bird species found in the Upper Midwest (IL, IN, IA, MI, MN, MO, OH, WI).

credit: Wikimedia Commons

Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Fiscal Year 2017: 1) Surveys of Double-crested Cormorants and other colonial birds in the Great Lakes region, (2) development of monitoring protocols to evaluate success of the Minnesota Prairie Plan, (3) development of protocols for monitoring landbird occurrence and condition as migrants pass through the Upper Midwest, and (4) building engagement and capacity of Milwaukee inner-city communities through monitoring of Chimney Swifts, Common Nighthawks, and other urban bird species of concern.

Fiscal Year 2018: Program has not yet selected projects for funding, but anticipates funding projects that (1) build technical capacity for strategic conservation of grassland birds, (2) provide habitat management guidelines to States to support conservation of bird species of conservation concern, (3) increase support for birds in our urban centers, particularly among ethnically diverse communities, and (4) significantly advance the knowledge, methodology, or partner engagement that will further bird conservation in the Midwest.

Fiscal Year 2019: Program has not yet selected projects for funding, but anticipates supporting projects that relate to conservation partnership building and full life cycle focal bird species conservation.

Agency - Department of the Interior

The Department of the Interior protects and provides access to the Nation's natural and cultural heritage, including responsibilities to Indian tribes and island communities. Departmental goals include resource protection and usage, overseeing recreational opportunities, serving communities and excellence in management.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.

Regional Office: Tom Will, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Migratory Birds, 5600 American Blvd.


Suite 990, Bloomington, MN 55437-1458; 612-713-5362; tom_will@fws.gov.

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Selected Recipients for this Program

RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
Point Reyes Bird Observatory $ 130,000   2021-08-012024-07-31
Ozaukee, County Of $ 261,000   2021-01-012023-12-31
Birdlife International $ 55,000   2021-07-012023-06-30
Conservation, Missouri Department Of $ 57,330   2019-10-012023-06-30
Ducks Unlimited, Inc. $ 37,606   2021-09-012023-03-31
New Mexico State University $ 142,140   2021-10-012022-09-30
Natural Resources, Minnesota Department Of $ 12,000   2020-10-012022-09-30
Osa Birds: Research And Conservation $ 59,168   2020-10-012022-09-30
Institute For Bird Populations, The $ 98,266   2020-10-012022-09-30
University Of Missouri System $ 84,794   2019-09-152022-09-14

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2017: The program funded 2 continuing projects for a total of $30,000; received 9 new proposals, of which 5 were funded for a total of $272,528. Fiscal Year 2018: Anticipate funding 1 continuing project for $20,000, receiving approximately 10-12 proposals for new projects, and funding approximately 5-6 of these for a total of approximately $250,000. Fiscal Year 2019: Anticipate receiving approximately 10 proposals and funding approximately 6 of these for a total of about $220,000.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Grants may be used for the conservation of any bird species protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and occurring in U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Region 3 (the Upper Midwest, including IL, IN, IA, MI, MN, MO, OH, and WI).

Special emphasis will be placed on Midwest Birds of Concern (see https://www.fws.gov/midwest/midwestbird/concern.html) as these species are experiencing known or suspected population declines, are recreationally important, or are party to biological or social conflicts.

Implementing national, regional, and flyway bird conservation plans is the USFWS's highest priority?including the Partners in Flight North American Landbird Conservation Plan (http://www.partnersinflight.org), U. S. Shorebird Conservation Plan (https://www.shorebirdplan.org/), North American Waterbird Conservation Plan (https://www.fws.gov/birds/management/bird-management-plans/waterbird-conservation-for-the-americas.php), North American Waterfowl Management Plan (https://www.fws.gov/birds/management/bird-management-plans/north-american-waterfowl-management-plan.php), Mississippi Flyway bird management plans (http://mississippi.flyways.us/), and the habitat conservation strategies and research priorities of the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Region Joint Venture (http://www.uppermissgreatlakesjv.org/Plans.htm).

Proposals related to the priorities identified in these plans and Bird Conservation Region and state-level bird conservation planning efforts will receive high funding consideration.

The following activities are also of high interest to the USFWS: (a) Population surveys, monitoring, and assessments to determine the status, trends, distribution, demography, and responses to management of bird species and groups of concern.

Emphasis will be placed on landscape-level applications of standardized inventory and monitoring protocols as identified through the Midwest Coordinated Bird Monitoring Partnership (http://midwestbirdmonitoring.ning.com).

Local-scale bird monitoring (e.g., local land management units) will generally not be a focus of this grant program, nor will support for long-term operational bird monitoring efforts.

Rather, the program seeks to address coordination of monitoring efforts and development and evaluation of new survey and monitoring techniques (both field and analytical); (b) Conservation of focal species for which conservation plans and/or working groups have been developed and research, monitoring, and other priorities have been identified.

Examples of focal species with such plans include: Henslow?s Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, Bobolink, and other Midwestern grassland birds; Golden-winged Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, and Canada Warbler; Wood Thrush; American Woodcock, Wilson?s Phalarope, Upland Sandpiper, and Marbled Godwit; and Common Tern, Black Tern, King Rail, and Lesser Scaup.

(For further information on focal species, see http://www.fws.gov/midwest/midwestbird/concern.html); and (c) Strategic Conservation, wherein the USFWS and partners integrate biological planning, landscape design, conservation delivery, and monitoring and evaluation in a manner that generates the adaptive feedback that enables sound decisions and continue to improve our efficiency and effectiveness in saving birds (http://www.fws.gov/midwest/science/SHC/FAQ.htm).

Strategic conservation involves applied research, including studies of bird habitat requirements, threats, limiting factors, full life cycle migratory connectivity, and population responses to habitat conservation activities; testing of biological and conservation delivery assumptions; social science research that informs and facilitates conservation delivery; and use of Geographic Information Systems, modeling, and similar tools to identify bird habitat focus areas and further bird conservation planning efforts.

19% of funding is discretionary.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Federal, State and local government agencies; Federally-recognized Indian Tribal governments; private nonprofit institutions/organizations; and public nonprofit institutions/organizations.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Federal, State and local government agencies; Federally-recognized Indian Tribal governments; private nonprofit institutions/organizations; public nonprofit institutions/organizations; and general public.


. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program.

Award Procedures

The Regional Migratory Bird Program Chief convenes a committee of FWS biologists to review, rank, and select proposals for funding. Once a proposal is accepted, a grant or cooperative agreement is written and work can begin.


May 30, 2018 May 30, 2018.


Migratory Bird Treaty Act, 16 U.S.C. §703 et seq.; Fish and Wildlife Act, 16 U.S.C. §742 et seq.; Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, 16 U.S.C. §§661-666; and Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 16 U.S.C. §§2901 et seq.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Decisions on funding of a proposal are usually made no later than 180 days after receipt of the proposal.




A grant or cooperative agreement may be modified at the discretion of the Regional Office.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program. Matching requirements are not applicable to this program. MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Program obligates funds and sends a notice of award to successful applicants. Unless a project is extended, awarded funds must be spent during the approved Period of Performance of the grant or cooperative agreement and in accordance with financial and reporting procedures specified in the agreement. Grants are normally written for a period of 1 to 5 years and payments can be made in a lump sum or on a periodic basis. . Funds are disbursed to recipients as requested and in accordance with 2 CFR 200, Subpart E-Cost Principles unless otherwise prescribed in program specific legislation or special award terms. Program will include any special payment terms and conditions in the notice of award. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Funds are disbursed to recipients as requested and in accordance with 2 CFR 200, Subpart E-Cost Principles unless otherwise prescribed in program-specific legislation or special award terms.

Post Assistance Requirements


Program reports are not applicable.

Cash reports are not applicable.

All projects and activities are monitored for progress and compliance with agreed upon scope of work.

Written progress and financial reports using the SF-425 Federal Financial Report, and final reports on the project are generally required.

Recipients are responsible for monitoring and reporting performance each award and sub-award under this program in accordance with 2 CFR 200 and 2 CFR Part 170.


In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.



Financial Information

Account Identification



(Project Grants (Discretionary)) FY 17 $302,528; FY 18 est $250,000; and FY 19 est $220,000 - Project Grants (Discretionary): FY17 $302,528; FY18 $250,000; FY19 $220,000. FY18 and FY19 amounts are estimates based on prior year funding levels and projected budget allocations.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Range $15,000 to $79,606; average $43,218 in FY16.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Not Applicable.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices. Regional Office: Tom Will, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Migratory Birds, 5600 American Blvd. West. Suite 990, Bloomington, MN 55437-1458; 612-713-5362; tom_will@fws.gov.

Headquarters Office

Tom Will U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Migratory Birds, 5600 American Blvd. West. Suite 990, Bloomington, Minnesota 55437 Phone: 6127135362

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Proposals will be reviewed to determine how well they address the migratory bird program priorities outlined above and in a Notice of Funding Opportunity published annually on the Grants.gov website for CFDA 15.647. All applications received will be reviewed by a team of 4-5 USFWS wildlife biologists (GS-12 grade level or higher). (Any conflict of interest identified will require that a reviewer remove themselves from the evaluation process.) Each of the reviewers will independently score each proposal on a scale of 1-10 for each of the following criteria [criteria weights in brackets]: (1) relevance to the priorities and award requirements described or referenced in the NOFO [0.2]; (2) alignment with the DOI Priorities for Financial Assistance [0.1]; (3) novel contributions to, or significant advancement of, the knowledge, methodology, or partner engagement furthering bird conservation in the Midwest [0.2]; (4) clarity and justification of objectives relevant to overall project goals, and appropriateness of methodology designed to meet those objectives [0.2]; (5) demonstrated history of successful completion of similar projects by applicants, including nature of collaboration with relevant partners [0.1]; (6) budget within range of available program funds, and budget and timeline appropriate to attain successful completion of project [0.1]; and (7) partner match demonstrating applicant's commitment to project success [0.1]. Scores will be summed across all criteria for all reviewers; project proposals will then be ranked and grants awarded in priority order, subject to available funding, unless all reviewers agree that a particular proposal scored so low that the risk of failure or likelihood of inappropriate product is too great to justify an award.

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