For all the 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 celebrates the migration of nearly 350 species of migratory birds.
Every year World Migratory Bird Day explores a different aspect of bird conservation and migration, and this year the focus is on artificial light. Keep reading to find out more about this awesome day and how you can get involved.
History of World Migratory Bird Day
The idea for designating a day for migratory birds took hold in the United States in 1993 when the International Migratory Bird Day was first established. Several organizations, including the US Fish & Wildlife Service, the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology were involved in the effort, promoting education programs across the Americas.
World Migratory Bird Day helps 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 festivals, bird walks, and addressing issues that affect migratory birds.
Focus for 2022: Artificial Light
This year, the sponsors of World Migratory Bird Day are shining a light on how light pollution impacts the flight of migratory birds. Birds, such as ducks. geese, plovers, and sandpipers migrate in an effort to move from areas that have dwindling resources to more verdant areas that can accommodate their nesting and food needs.
Most migratory birds migrate at night to enjoy a calmer air space and avoid predators. Many species travel thousands of miles on their journeys.
Unfortunately, the increasing presence of artificial light cast by homes, businesses, and other infrastructures can actually attract and disorient the birds, which throws 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 winter and breeding 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.”
How Can I Get Involved?
Getting involved with World Migratory Day is easy. You can:
Host an event
Volunteer at an event
Host a website on behalf of the cause
You can find more information about how you can 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, please don’t hesitate to contact us anytime!