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) through supporting research, monitoring, and conservation efforts targeted on their behalf. Program focuses on supporting efforts that address priorities identified by national bird conservation partnerships (Partners-In-Flight, North American Waterfowl Management Plan, etc.) as well as networks of regional bird-focused partnerships such as Bird Habitat Joint Ventures, Flyway Councils, and state-level bird conservation initiatives, among others.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of The Interior
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2017 Anticipate funding 2 continuing projects for $35,000, receiving approximately 8-10 proposals for new projects, and funding approximately 5-6 of these for a total of approximately $200,000. 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 In FY18, the program received 12 applications and issued 6 awards.
Fiscal Year 2019 In FY19, the program received 10 proposals and issued 3 awards.
Fiscal Year 2020 In FY20, received 3 applications and issued 3 awards.
Fiscal Year 2021 In FY21, we received 6 applications and issued 2 awards.
Fiscal Year 2022 Program received two applications and issued one award.
Fiscal Year 2023 Anticipate receiving 10-15 applications and issuing 2-5 awards.
Fiscal Year 2024 Anticipate receiving 10-15 applications and issuing 2-5 awards.
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.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
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.
Not applicable.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.
Application Procedure
This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.
Award Procedure
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.
October 1, 2022 to May 19, 2023
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Decisions on funding of a proposal are usually made no later than 180 days after receipt of the proposal.
Not applicable.
A grant or cooperative agreement may be modified at the discretion of the Regional Office.
How are proposals selected?
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.
How may assistance be used?
Grants may be used for the conservation of any bird species protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and occurring in 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.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: Performance reports are required. Recipients must monitor and report on project performance in accordance with the requirements in 2 CFR 200.329. A final performance report is due within 120 calendar days of the award period of performance end date, unless the awarding program approves a due date extension. The FWS details all reporting requirements including frequency and due dates in Notices of Award.
Not applicable.
Records must be maintained in accordance with 2 CFR 200.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
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. 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.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Regional Office: Andrew Forbes, Migratory Bird Program, 612-713-5364, andrew_forbes@fws.gov; 5600 American Blvd. West, Suite 990, Bloomington MN 55437
Headquarters Office
Andrew Forbes
Migratory Bird Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 5600 American Blvd. West. Suite 990
Bloomington, MN 55437 US
Phone: 612-713-5364
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants (Discretionary)) FY 22$56,157.00; FY 23 est $200,001.00; FY 24 est $99,997.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Range $15,000 to $79,606; average $43,218 in FY21.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Not applicable.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2017 Program has not yet selected projects for funding, but anticipates funding projects that (1) increase the utility of the Midwest Avian Data Center, (2) build monitoring capacity of the Midwest Migration Network, (3) build technical capacity for strategic conservation of grassland birds, and (4) resolve migratory connectivity and full life cycle management issues for Common, Black, and Caspian terns, Bobolink, and Wood Thrush. 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 1) Filling critical knowledge gaps in the Eastern Whip-poor-will Annual Cycle; 2) Understanding limitations to grass-based agriculture in the Midwest; 3) Estimating grassland bird populations to inform landscape-level conservation in Wisconsin.
Fiscal Year 2019 Program funded three projects – 1) Expanding Capacity for Local Bird Conservation by Fostering Bird Cities, 2) Broadening the Motus Wildlife Tracking Network in the Midwest and Neotropics, and 3) Marshbird Habitat Requirements Across the Annual Cycle: Meta-Analysis and Synthesis.
Fiscal Year 2020 Minnesota Trumpeter Swan Breeding Survey, Sustaining Non-breeding Season Monitoring of Midwest Neotropical Migrants, Monitoring Strategies for Neotropical Migratory Birds on the Osa Peninsula.
Fiscal Year 2021 Whip-poor-will population declines and link to insect populations, development of PIF Gulf/Caribbean Slope Conservation Investment Strategy.
Fiscal Year 2022 Funded one project examining current and future migration and winter distribution of four priority bird species.
Fiscal Year 2023 Program has not yet selected projects for funding. Program anticipates funding 2-5 projects that will address priorities as outlined in NOFO.
Fiscal Year 2024 Program has not yet selected projects for funding. Program anticipates funding projects that address priorities as outlined in NOFO.


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