A Quest for Safer Nests

On the ‘Nest Quest’ - protecting essential breeding grounds



As you read this, birds all around the world are embarking on an important quest – a quest to find a safe place to nest.

It’s one of the most important decisions they’ll ever have to make. The world is fraught with dangers for baby birds, and it’s vital the nesting spot is safe and secure, to give baby chicks the best possible chance of surviving to adulthood.

While birds are skilled at overcoming natural adversity, sadly, the impacts of human activity are often too overwhelming for them to survive. As humans move in on birds’ territories, nests go empty and babies starve as we alter the delicate ecosystems they depend upon beyond recognition.

This is happening all over the world, and it’s happening right now.

Grebes are famous for their bewitching mating dance rituals, but in South America, a Critically Endangered species, the Hooded Grebe, may be about to dance its last. Whilst their dance is truly a spectacle of nature, sadly these birds are Critically Endangered with less than 800 birds remaining. They face a daily struggle, predated by non-native American Mink and increasing numbers of Kelp Gull, killing both adults and chicks in their nests. Once breeding season is over, the Hooded Grebe still faces danger as one of its main wintering grounds - the estuary of the Santa Cruz River - is threatened by badly planned hydroelectric dams.

How can you help?

Donate to BirdLife's Nest Quest appeal - the best way of ensuring that  we can continue protecting vital nesting sites with our Partners over the globe.




Sign the Petition - Add your name to the list of people calling for the President of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, to STOP the building of new bird threatening dams.


Watch and share the film - Filmmakers Michael and Paula Webster's (a.k.a Living Wild in South America) beatiful film, Tango in the Wind, tells the story of the Hooded Grebes' fight for survival in the Patagonian lakes.


BirdLife and its Partners are fighting to protect crucial breeding grounds from the urgent threats they face. With your support, we can use our skills and expertise to keep breeding grounds safe, so today’s babies can grow to raise families of their own in years to come.

Your support will help us to:

  • Campaign for real change, to the people that matter, like our #LivingLand campaign. Fighting against intensive agriculture practices that have brought Europe’s farmland birds – such as the Lapwing – to the brink, with population declines of over 55% in recent decades. We’re using our influence and expertise to push for reform at the very top.
  • Combat the threat of invasive predators - one of the leading causes of bird extinctions worldwide. Defenceless baby birds have no way of protecting themselves from these alien invaders, and often die in agony. But the situation CAN be reversed. We recently cleared five Pacific islands of invasive predators, and we’re already seeing evidence of rare birds bouncing back. We need your support to continue our work in threatened bird paradises such as Rapa Iti.
  • Help us push for formal protection for the world’s most vital breeding grounds. These crucial habitats have been identified by BirdLife as Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas – a global network of over 13,000 sites. Nearly half of these sites lack full protection, but with your help, we can push for change, and continue co-ordinating critical conservation action on the ground. 

Thank you to Michael and Paula Webster (BirdLife Species Champions for the Hooded Grebe) for their support.