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Eau Claire named ‘High Flyer’ bird city

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BIRD

EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - Each year, Bird City Wisconsin recognizes cities that make an effort to create better habitats for birds. For the second year, Eau Claire earned 'High Flyer' recognition.

In order to be named a 'High Flyer,' a city must demonstrate dedication towards local conservation and education.

Bird City Wisconsin currently has 111 registered members, and Eau Claire is one of 25 different cities to be named a 'High Flyer.'

According to its website, Bird City Wisconsin recognized Eau Claire for its community education programs on creating habitats for birds, its bird monitoring program and supporting an ecologically-minded club that pushes to implement bird policy.

"I think it is great for the whole community," said Steve Plaza, Eau Claire's Parks, Forestry, and Cemetery manager. "This is the second year we've got the 'High Flyer' status for the bird cities, and that means we went above and beyond. We do a little bit extra to promote birds, healthy bird habitat."

Bird conservation officials say there are two big things that help create a healthy bird habitat: monitoring cats, and planting bird-friendly plants.

"The most important thing people can do is keep their cats indoors," said Steve Betchkal, vice president of the Gaylord Nelson Audubon Society. "Cats kills birds. If they are not on a leash, and they are let out of doors by people, they kill billions of birds a year in the United States. When you plant your yard, plant it bird-friendly. Plant native plants that birds can eat."

People can also keep birds safe by using pesticides that do not include neonicotinoids - an insecticide that can kill birds.

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Evan Denton

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