We’re less than a week into 2018 and already birds (at least those that migrate in and through the United States) are worse off than they were at the end of last year.

A new directive from the current administration wipes out protection engendered by President Obama. Namely, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act will no longer be interpreted to include accidental killings (such as from environmental hazards) as crimes, only intentional deaths. That means the prosecution of corporations which accidentally kill birds, such as Duke Energy for the deaths of two Golden Eagles at one of its plants, would not happen today.

Here’s hoping that the birds which wing their way through the U.S. this year—like those adorable Yellow Warblers Corey photographed last year—manage to steer clear of all harm, both intentional and otherwise.

Written by Meredith Mann
The lowly Red-winged Blackbirds in suburban New York triggered Meredith Mann's interest in birds. Five years later, she's explored some of the the USA's coolest hotspots, from Plum Island in Massachusetts to the Magic Hedge in Chicago to the deserts of Fallon, Nevada. She recently migrated from the Windy City (where she proudly served as a Chicago Bird Collision Monitor, rescuing migrants from skyscrapers and sidewalks) to Philadelphia, where she plans to find new editing and writing gigs; keep up her cool-finds chronicle, Blog5B; and discover which cheesesteak really is the best. And she will accept any and all invitations to bird Cape May, NJ.