For all you bird lovers out there, May 8th is World Migratory Bird Day! This celebratory event is the signature program of Environment for the Americas, the only international program that educates and celebrates the migration of almost 350 species of migratory birds.
Each year World Migratory Bird Day explores a different aspect of bird migration and conservation, and this year the focus is on artificial light. Read on to find out more about this special day and how you can get involved.
The idea for designating a day for migratory birds originated in the United States in 1993 when the International Migratory Bird Day was first established. Several organizations, including the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, the US Fish & Wildlife Service, and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology were involved in the effort, supporting education programs across the Americas.
World Migratory Bird Day works to spread awareness about migratory birds and the journeys they take between their summer and winter homes. Organizations around the globe celebrate this event by hosting bird walks, bird festivals, and addressing issues that affect these birds.
This year, the sponsors of World Migratory Bird Day are shining a light on the impact light pollution has on the flight of migratory birds. Birds, such as geese, ducks, sandpipers, and plovers migrate in an effort to move from areas that have low or dwindling resources to more verdant areas that can accommodate their food and nesting needs.
Most migratory birds migrate at night to avoid predators and enjoy a calmer air space. Many species travel thousands of miles on their journeys.
Unfortunately, the increasing presence of artificial light cast by businesses, homes, and other infrastructures can actually attract and disorient the birds and throw them off course. Consequently, flocks of birds often end up in areas that are unsafe for them. The effects of artificial light can also disrupt their instinctual behaviors during breeding and winter seasons.
For these reasons, World Migratory Bird Day sponsors will work to spread awareness throughout 2022, encouraging all of us to “dim the lights for birds at night.”
Getting involved with World Migratory Day is easy. You can:
You can find more information about how to get involved on the World Migratory Bird Day website.
And if you have questions about your own bird’s health and care or wish to schedule an appointment, feel free to contact us anytime!