World Migratory Bird Day – the Second Saturday in May

World Migratory Bird Day is on every second Saturday in May
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World Migratory Bird Day is on every second Saturday in May. Image: Unsplash

Reading Time: 2 minutes

World Migratory Bird Day

#MigratoryBirdDay #BirdDay

World Migratory Bird Day is an annual holiday observed on the second Saturday of May in Canada and the US and the second Saturday of October in Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean. It is a day dedicated to raising awareness for conserving migratory birds and their habitats. It began in 2006 with the Secretariat of the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) in collaboration with the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). The first celebration was inspired by the phenomenon of bird migration and was attended by several international personalities from the worlds of art, business and conservation.

Migratory birds are vital components of biodiversity. They contribute to ecosystem health by participating in pollination, seed dispersal, pest control, and nutrient cycling. Migratory birds also serve as pollinators, moving seeds and nutrients across the world. Conserving migratory birds helps maintain these ecological processes.

The day draws attention to specific challenges migratory birds encounter, such as habitat loss, climate change, pollution, and illegal hunting. By focusing on these issues, it mobilizes action to address them.

World Migratory Bird Day is a vital tool in the global effort to ensure the survival and well-being of migratory birds, thereby contributing to broader environmental conservation goals. Hundreds of free virtual talks and educational programs dedicated to migratory birds will be offered by many organizations, including schools, parks, zoos, forests, wildlife refuges, wetlands, museums, and libraries and can be found at the World Migratory Bird Day homepage

How to celebrate:

  • Observe the different species of migratory birds that pass through your area
  • Download a bird-watching app
  • Rewild your yard with native plants and trees
  • Volunteer for a local bird conservation group or organization
  • Preparing nesting materials in your yard like string, hay, pet hair, strips of fabric, and natural sources of twigs or moss, 
  • Avoid using pesticides in our garden
  • Make your windows safer by breaking up window reflections using string, decals, or paint spaced no more than two inches high or two inches wide.
  • Donate to a local bird organization

Fun Facts:

  • There are over 4000 different species of birds that migrate annually
  • Migratory birds can fly from 15 to 600 miles or more per day during migration
  • The bar-headed goose holds the record for migrating at up to 30 000 feat high
  • Many songbirds migrate at night to avoid the attention of migrating predators
  • The majority of birds migrate from northern breeding areas to southern wintering grounds.
  • The seeds of over 90% of all woody tree species are moved around by birds.
  • Hummingbirds are the smallest migrating birds
  •  3 million birds cross the Wisconsin state border daily as they migrate back to their Wisconsin homes.
  • The Arctic tern can fly more than 49,700 miles a year, making a round trip between their breeding grounds in he Arctic and Antarctic.

See also Planting Trees and Shrubs Will Help Bring Woodland Birds Back to Farms, Study Finds

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