The Bid4Birds program focuses on extending the post-harvest flooding period in rice fields for the benefit of waterbirds, particularly shorebirds.
While the standard winter flooding period is beneficial for many migrating waterbirds in the Pacific Flyway, many birds migrate through later into the spring when they find most fields and marshes are dry. Providing flooded habitat when its most scarce is important in both the spring and fall seasons.
Bid4Birds provides incentive payments for growers to implement shallow flooding on their rice fields over 4-10 weeks, starting Feb. 15 through May. The Foundation solicits program participants through an auction in which growers submit bids based on their own assessment of their costs to provide this critical habitat.
The Bid4Birds Habitat Selection Committee, including representatives from Audubon California, California Rice Commission, Ducks Unlimited, Point Blue Conservation Science, and The Nature Conservancy, will assess bids in a standardized way using data on when and where birds need the habitat most.
In spring, having habitat in March and April is the most valuable. Applications with flooding during this time period are more likely to be selected than earlier periods.
Applications need to be submitted through the Foundation website between Monday, Jan. 17 and Sunday, Jan. 30. The application form will be live on Monday, Jan. 17.
California Rice provided this article.