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May 8th Is World Migratory Bird Day

May 1 2022

For all the bird lovers out there, get ready for May 8th, World Migratory Bird Day! This celebratory event is the signature program of Environment for the Americas, which is the only international program that celebrates the migration of almost 350 species of migratory birds. 

Each year World Migratory Bird Day spotlights 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. 

History of World Migratory Bird Day

The idea for designating a day for migratory birds originated 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, supporting education programs across the Americas. 

World Migratory Bird Day helps spread awareness about migratory birds and the journeys they take between their winter and summer homes. Organizations around the globe celebrate this event by hosting bird walks, bird festivals, and addressing issues that affect these birds.

Focus for 2022: Artificial Light

This year, the sponsors of World Migratory Bird Day are shining a light on how light pollution affects the flight of migratory birds. Birds, such as sandpipers, geese, ducks, and plovers migrate, moving from areas that have low or dwindling resources to more verdant areas that can accommodate their nesting and food needs

Most of these 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 homes, businesses, 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 dangerous for them. The effects of artificial light can also interfere with their instinctual behaviors during breeding and winter seasons. 

For these reasons, World Migratory Bird Day sponsors will continue to spread awareness throughout 2022, encouraging all of us to “dim the lights for birds at night.”

How Can I Get Involved?

There are many ways you can get involved with World Migratory Day. You can:

  • Host a website on behalf of the cause
  • Volunteer at an event
  • Host an event

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, please feel free to contact us anytime!

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