PLATINUM2023

Bird Conservancy of the Rockies

Connecting People, Birds and Land

Brighton, CO   |  www.birdconservancy.org

Mission

Conserving birds and their habitats through science, education and land stewardship

Ruling year info

1988

Executive Director

Tammy VerCauteren

Main address

14500 Lark Bunting Lane

Brighton, CO 80603 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

84-1079882

NTEE code info

Wildlife Preservation/Protection (D30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2022, 2021 and 2020.
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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

America’s grasslands, and the birds that inhabit them, are deeply imperiled. Unprecedented declines of grassland birds and unsustainable conversion of grasslands across the US, Canada and Mexico are signals of distress with widespread implications for migratory birds, pollinators, other wildlife, people, agriculture and the long-term resiliency of rural communities. Our Avian Conservation Scientist, Arvind Panjabi, was a co-author of a 2019 publication in Science documenting the loss of nearly 3 billion North American birds since 1970 with a 53% population loss of grassland species alone. This staggering research signals a widespread ecological crisis. The losses include diverse groups of birds and habitats and a majority of species—from iconic songsters like meadowlarks, to long-distance migrants such as swallows, and backyard favorites like juncos, and warblers. Grassland birds are especially hard hit, with more than 700 million birds lost since 1970 due to disappearing habitats.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Science

Bird Conservancy of the Rockies monitors, evaluates and researches birds and generates data that guides science-based conservation efforts across the full annual cycle of birds' lives, from the breeding grounds in the U.S. and Canada down to wintering grounds in Mexico and beyond. Strategic partnerships and volunteer citizen scientists expand our reach, and increase our impact on the ground. We work with state and federal agencies, universities, NGOs, local communities and landowners to build capacity, knowledge and support for the conservation of ecosystems important to migratory and resident birds. Join us in the discovery.


Our strong scientific approach distinguishes us from other environmental organizations that emphasize policy or political action. We lead the second largest bird monitoring program in the nation. We monitor bird breeding areas, wintering grounds, and the migratory routes between them, covering all aspects of the life cycle of birds. By monitoring and researching birds across their entire range we can understand why populations are declining and create cooperative solutions to address declines and help prioritize and focus on critical habitat.

Information gained from our research reveals bird population trends, helping prioritize and focus on critical habitat. We work with state and federal agencies, universities, NGOs, local communities and landowners to build capacity, knowledge and support needed to conserve migratory and resident birds.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Each year, Bird Conservancy education programs introduce tens of thousands of people to the birds that share their world. Programs include classroom experiences, youth summer camps, field excursions, training for teachers and landowners, and programming for seniors and others in long-term-care facilities. Our programs are delivered both by staff and volunteers. We instill a conservation ethic by providing dynamic, experiential learning opportunities that engage all the senses. Through hands-on learning at our Environmental Learning Center in Brighton, CO, and in the community, birds act as nature's ambassadors and foster a deeper appreciation for wildlife, habitats, and ecosystems.

Birds, nature and science are powerful sources of inspiration. Bird Conservancy focuses on connecting people of all ages with the natural world and helps them understand their role in it through training in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM). Through field and classroom programs, we spark the physical and mental abilities of the whole person to empower and encourage individual growth and confidence, well-being, and a passion and connection to nature.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

For more than 22 years, Bird Conservancy of the Rockies has operated a private lands program working alongside landowners and managers to enhance bird habitat at the local level. Together, we're creating win-win situations for people, birds and the land.

More than 56% of Colorado's lands are privately owned. Our network of strategically-placed Private Lands Wildlife Biologists engage directly with landowners and managers to enact voluntary, pro-active conservation action on the ground, building a grassroots land stewardship ethic that links birds, habitat and land productivity. With your support, we can engage private landowners in conservation efforts, working to balance the ecological health and economic drivers of Colorado's farming and ranching with the habitat needs of bird populations.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Science

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Count of peer-reviewed publications (accepted and in-press) that demonstrate the contributions of our research to the fields of avian science and conservation.

Attendance and outreach

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Education

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Annual number of people reached through programs, field trips, events, workshops.

Number of Breeding Surveys

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Science

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Count of breeding season point-counts COMPLETED as part of Integrated Monitoring Bird Conservation Regions (IMBCR).

Number of Non-breeding Surveys

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Science

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Count of non-breeding season transects COMPLETED

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

More than one-third of all North American bird species need urgent conservation action and a renewed, continent-wide commitment to saving our shared birds and their habitats.

Birds are resilient. When we come together to identify the causes of their declines and take action, they will bounce back.

At Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, our overarching strategic plan goals include:

• Guiding conservation action where it is needed most by conducting scientifically rigorous monitoring and research on birds and their habitats within the context of their full annual cycle
• Inspiring conservation action in people by developing relationships through community outreach and science-based, experiential education programs
• Contributing to bird population viability and help sustain working lands by partnering with landowners and managers to enhance wildlife habitat
• Promoting conservation and informing land management decisions by disseminating scientific knowledge and developing tools and recommendations

Monitoring long-term bird population trends to provide a scientific foundation for conservation action

Researching bird ecology and population response to anthropogenic and natural processes to evaluate and adjust management and conservation strategies using the best available science

Educating people of all ages through active, experiential programs that create an awareness of and appreciation for birds

Partnering with state and federal natural resource agencies, private citizens, schools, universities and other non-governmental organizations to build synergy and consensus for bird conservation

Fostering good stewardship on private and public lands through voluntary, cooperative partnerships that create win-win situations for wildlife and people

Sharing the latest information on bird populations, land management and conservation practices to create informed publics

Delivering bird conservation at biologically relevant scales by working across political and jurisdictional boundaries in western North America and beyond

"When you see Bird Conservancy and other vital organizations, it gives you optimism that there are ways to keep bird populations and the environment, healthy. Your work is invaluable." - Greg Owsley, Friend of Bird Conservancy and owner of The Storied Brand.

"Thank you for the work you do and HOW you do that work." - Kathanne Lynch, Friend of Bird Conservancy

Through Bird Conservancy's summer nature camp programs, we introduce children to the wonder of birds and their habitats. Here is what one parent had to say about our week-long camp program, "On the Wing:"

"The day we dropped her off was the last we saw of our shy little caterpillar…when she returned, an amazing transformation had taken place-a beautiful butterfly had spread her wings and taken its place. For weeks and weeks all we heard were tales about camp, about all the incredible experiences she had, about all of the times she was gently nudged out of her comfort zone, and about all of the moments she never wanted to forget."

Bird Conservancy of the Rockies is governed by a 15-member Board of Directors who represent a diverse cross-section of the conservation community from private landowners to community leaders, industry, ornithologists and philanthropists. The board meets quarterly and all board members serve on at least one committee including executive, finance, development and governance. We currently employ 75 seasonal and regular full-time staff and have offices in Fort Collins, Western Nebraska and at our Environmental Learning Center in Brighton. Staff are also housed in 12- Natural Resources Conservation Service offices throughout the West. In addition, we have a collaborative partnership and help support three private lands wildlife biologists with Investigacion y manejo para la conservacion—vida silvestre (IMC) in Mexico.

To help deliver our mission, we have 97 volunteers who assist with environmental education programming, bird banding and several Community Science programs including Bald Eagle Watch and Eastern Screech Owl monitoring and conservation efforts.
Bird Conservancy of the Rockies is organized into three teams including: Science, Education and Land Stewardship. Each team has a leader or director to guide and inform the work of their teams as identified in our strategic plan. In addition, we have a Finance Team that oversees the business operations of the organization. We also have staff in IT, communications and development that support and elevate the mission of the organization. Team leaders as well as the support staff and executive leadership meet monthly as part of the Leadership Team to ensure our work expands our three disciplines, discuss strategy and address organization needs. Bird Conservancy has also established an executive team of the Executive Director, Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Conservation Officer that ensures strategic delivery of the mission and efficient processes and fiscal management.

Science = Discovery
Our avian conservation scientist was part of a collaborative that published a startling paper in the journal Science

Science outcomes are often measured quantitatively, such as the number of surveys completed, density and occupancy estimates, training courses provided, and data acquisition. We do all of those things, and more. Sometimes, though, it's the stories behind the numbers-those special discoveries and milestones-that really define our success and what makes Bird Conservancy a leader in avian conservation.

For instance, prior to 2012, no one knew the answer to a seemingly simple question: "Where do Black Swifts go in the winter?" With the efforts from Bird Conservancy scientists, key partners and teeny, tiny GPS backpacks, we discovered - for the first time - where these birds migrate - down in Brazil!

Monitoring efforts like this shed light on migratory patterns, breeding habitats and wintering locations, critical pieces of information to inform our knowledge of population density, distribution and habitat needs.

This fall

Your support helps our scientists continue to unlock the mysteries of bird conservation.

Education
In 2019, more than 42,000 children and adults were reached through Bird Conservancy's education and outreach efforts. Our Environmental Learning Center at Barr Lake State Parks sees thousands of visitors every year, and serves as a base of operations to deliver programming across Colorado's Front Range, down to Mexico, and north to the Nebraska panhandle where we engage 1 in 3 kids.

We also address the needs of persons with special requirements and collaborate with metro-area schools and organizations serving those with physical, emotional or cognitive challenges. Our customized programs enable participants to experience nature on their own terms. We help persons who are blind learn to bird by ear, children who have sensory issues learn to explore nature, and adults with developmental disabilities learn to identify birds.

This past summer 10-year old Simon attended Bird Camp for the first time. Simon has several medical challenges and requires a wheelchair for mobility and a feeding tube for nutrition. Our educators welcomed Simon and his grandfather to camp. His grandfather later shared with us, “The Bird Camp staff allowed us to adjust our schedule in order to meet his needs. Additionally, they made sure to involve him in all the Bird Camp activities treating him as an equal participant. We both will fondly remember Bird Camp not only as an education opportunity but also as an occasion for the two of us to bond as grandson and grandfather over a common interest in birding.”

Land Stewardship
In 2019, 116 landowner visits, workshops and outreach occurred with 195,000 acres enhanced through technical assistance, habitat and infrastructure improvements. 44 different bird species showed positive response to management enhancements.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time

Financials

Bird Conservancy of the Rockies
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Bird Conservancy of the Rockies

Board of directors
as of 10/31/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Eric Lane

Eileen Dey

Geoffrey Geupel

Point Blue Conservation Science

Eric Lane

Boulder County Parks & Open Space

Larry Modesitt

David Otis

Colorado State University

Nathan Pieplow

University of Colorado Boulder

Garth Spellman

Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Jean Tate

Ed Warner

Tonie Hansen

Christine Coolidge

Rosa Vidal

Alejandro Carillo

John Sanderson

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/31/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/31/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.