The Ornithology Center is the outreach arm of the Acopian Center for Ornithology at Muhlenberg College.  The Center Director is Dr. Daniel Klem who pioneered the research that identified bird window collisions as a major cause of avian deaths.

A summary of the material available at this site can be found at  https://ornithologycenter.com/summary-of-resources-available-on-this-site/

All of the material has been checked for scientific accuracy by Dr. Klem and others.  The site is managed by Jim Cubie who is responsible for its content, including the blog.  His blog includes thought provoking essays such as  The Fable of the 10 White Kittens.

Jim is a long time public interest advocate who has both organized citizen organizations written major legislation and conducted policy analysis.   His resume is at the end of this material.

The site section “Protect Birds” offers practical resources on how to protect birds from deadly window collisions. https://ornithologycenter.com/protectbirds/  The section “Native Plants” presents an “easy to do” approach to native plants – ideal for non-gardeners. https://ornithologycenter.com/freeplans/

Jim Cubie has used his organizing skills to develop practical resources to help local clubs promote window collision prevention programs.  https://ornithologycenter.com/protectbirds/

During a 14-year career in 1979 in the U.S  Senate in which he was Chief Counsel of the Senate Agriculture Committee.  Jim was principally responsible for the conservation sections of two farms bills.  His greatest lasting accomplishment is the creation of a 2.9-million-acre Wetland Reserve Program, the largest wetland restoration effort in U.S. history.  Wetland birds were one of only two bird types whose populations have increased.

Working on public policy developed his creative skills to see the connection between disparate issues. This led to his landmark analysis, featured at Doug Tallamy’s website, which shows the for native plans efforts to be successful, they must start with preventing bird deaths from cats and window collisions. https://ornithologycenter.com/2021/03/05/bird-friendlybirdsafe/  Doug Tallamy site link https://homegrownnationalpark.org/faq-2/window-strikes-and-native-plants


1974-1976 Public interest lobbyist on energy issues for Ralph Nader’s Congress Watch.

1976-1978 Public interest lobbyist on nuclear proliferation issues for New Directions.

1978-1979 Public interest lobbyist on nuclear safety issues for the Union of Concerned


1979-1981 Counsel of the Energy Subcommittee of the Joint Economic Committee, United States Congress, Senator Edward M. Kennedy Chair.  Responsible of energy and environmental issues for the Kennedy for President campaign against President Carter in 1980.

1981-1987 Professional Staff, Committee on Appropriations, United States Senate, Senator Patrick J. Leahy Subcommittee Chair. He was the professional staff member responsible for the budgets of the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, the Veterans Administration, among others.

1987-1996 Served as Chief Counsel, Minority Chief Counsel and press secretary for the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, United States Senate, Senator Patrick J. Leahy Chair. In this position he was responsible for the committee’s legal affairs. He was the principal staff person responsible for farm conservation and rural development matters.

1996 Farm Bill

During the 1996 Farm Bill, he played a central role in developing four new conservation programs, and established the Commodity Credit Corporation as their funding source.  He also succeeded in establishing Conservation@ as a fundamental purpose of farm programs by including it in the CCC charter.  Specifically, the major accomplishments include:

  1. Saving the Conservation Reserve Program, which was being phased out before the Senate acted.  The CRP reduced erosion by 700 million tons annually, produced a major increase in hunting opportunities, and prevented the listing of a number of avian species in the Great Plains under the Endangered Species Act.  At 36 million acres, it is twice the size of the National Wildlife Refuge System.  It is the Nation=s biggest — and most successful private lands conservation program.
  2. Started EQuIP – a new program to help working farmers meet their conservation responsibilities.  EQuIP helps both livestock operators and crop farmers.  He developed a broad coalition of private and state organizations in support of this program.  These included livestock, environment, crop commodity organizations, and state organizations.  This coalition successfully enacted a $1.4 billion conservation program at the same time that commodity programs were being cut by over $3 billion.

1993 – 1995

In 1993, as Committee Counsel, he initiated the effort that established the Emergency Wetland Reserve Program.  The effort began in a hearing on the 1993 floods, which Senator Leahy chaired.  Eighty-six thousand acres have been restored to wetlands under this initiative.

During 1994, he:

  1. Helped secure the passage of the most sweeping reorganization of the Department of Agriculture since the 1930s.  He led the effort to reorganize the importance of conservation by maintaining a separate Natural Resources Conservation Service.
  2. Led or played a major role in enacting a comprehensive reform of USDA=s crop insurance and disaster programs.  Hearings on the abuse of the disaster program were instrumental in achieving the reforms of the disaster program, which were included in this legislation.

1990 Farm Bill

As Chief Counsel during the 1990 Farm Bill, in addition to overseeing the legal staff, he managed the Committee=s activities related to conservation, farmland protection, forestry, food safety, and rural development and market promotion.

Specifically, during the 1990 Farm Bill, he negotiated the Senate Bill=s Conservation Title which was supported by both environmental and commodity organizations.  The Senate’s title was largely adopted by the House of Representatives and was the basis of the 1990 Farm Bill=s Conservation Title.  This included:

  1. Development of the million acre Wetland Reserve Program, which provides farmers incentives to restore wetlands they no longer wish to crop to wetlands.  Through the WRP, Congress has appropriated $283 million for the restoration of 325 thousand drained wetland acres.  As a result of his wetland efforts, agriculture is now in a no net loss wetlands status.
  2. Establishing the Water Quality Incentive Program — The purpose of this program was to reduce the amount of pollution flowing off farm fields by better management practices, instead of whole field retirement under the CRP.  The $59.75 million appropriated since 1991 for WQIP practices has financed water quality improvements on about 5,000 farms.

1996 Special Assistant to the Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, United States Department of Agriculture.


University of Maryland School of Law

            Outstanding Public Service

Natural Resources Council of America

            Exceptional Contribution to Farm Conservation Programs

Eastern Nazarene College

            Alumni of the Year – 50th Anniversary

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