Invasive alien plants constitute a major threat to local biodiversity. Moreover, their appearance often coincides with land use change. Many endangered groups of organisms suffer from habitat loss, which is often a consequence of the invasion of alien plants. This paper examines how invasive alien goldenrods Solidago spp. affect the richness of endangered grassland bird species and numbers of breeding pairs in abandoned meadows in southern Poland. Meadows invaded by goldenrods (n =15) had lower bird species richness and a lower number of breeding pairs than meadows in which goldenrods were absent (n =15). Two important factors positively influencing bird species richness were meadow area and shrub density (the latter only in meadows without goldenrods). Moreover, both the index of potential food density (number of butterflies) and plant species richness were much lower in meadows invaded by goldenrods than in meadows without these plants. Urgent action aimed at preventing the invasion of alien goldenrods in abandoned meadows is needed and such measures should involve regular mowing. Our results also highlight the fact that land abandonment in Central and Eastern Europe is not necessarily as beneficial for biodiversity as it is commonly believed and it may even lead to a decrease in the populations of several bird species in the agricultural landscape.