National Bird Day is February 5 – More than just another tweet!

 

Everyone likes birds. What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird? 

David Attenborough

An appropriate thought for January 5, 2017, the 15th Annual Bird Day – one of several days designated or the public to learn about and celebrate the wonders, diversity and elegance of birds and to play a role in protecting the world’s endangered bird population

National Bird Day is sponsored by Born Free USA, which sponsors a couple of fun websites:

Ideas for celebrating the occasion abound: There’s a downloadable coloring contest picture, an origami crane template complete with a how-to video and an intriguing bird call quiz that is not for the amateur birder.

Interesting to note, the January 5 date is set to coincide the end of the annual Christmas Bird Count – three weeks during which volunteers help to monitor the health of the nation’s birds by going out and counting the bird population. The date marks the end of the count and the beginning of a follow-up survey of bird species that are native to other countries but kept in captivity in the U.S.

Though focus of National Bird Day is on celebration of the beauty, songs and flight of birds, there is also a critical scientific purpose – to understand and slow or stop the extinction of bird species. Scientists underscore the fact that the swallow in the cave should remind us that the health of birds is an indicator of the state of the ecosystem and a reliable alert to incipient environmental hazards.

For those who just can’t get enough days to fete our fine-feathered friends, there are other opportunities, including International Migratory Bird Day, celebrated on the 2nd Saturday in May; the day was originated by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and is coordinated by Environment or the Americas.

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