Today’s a day for looking up at the skies, into the trees, and even on the ground. What are you likely to find in each of these places? Birds! January 5th is one of several national holidays designated to the celebration of birds. Specifically it’s National Bird Day. The goal is to draw our attention to the many important contributions our avian friends have for our planet. They’re critical to their local habitat, help keep insects to a reasonable number, and serve as food for larger birds and mammals. They also bring joy to observers with their colorful personalities, beautiful plumage, and melodic songs. National Bird Day is also important to recognize the many challenges birds face in the uncertain future. Of the nearly 10,000 species of birds on the planet, more than 12% are in danger of becoming extinct. One of the main causes for extinction of small animals like birds is lack of awareness, particularly loss of habitat through development. Don’t fret, however, because you can help the birds in your area live and thrive!
To celebrate this holiday, we thought we’d give you some tips on how you can help make life easier for our feathered friends and what you can do to enjoy them!
Tips for helping birds:
There are many ways you can help birds in your area. Check out these different ideas for something that works for you!
Join a bird count. There are several annual bird counts you can join in to help scientists keep track of what birds are in a particular area. If you’re new to birding, contact your local audubon chapter to see if you can join with another birder.
Don’t rake your leaves in the fall. These can provide critical habitat and food foraging for birds throughout the winter.
Plant bird friendly shrubs and trees in your yard, porch, or balcony.
Plant pollinator friendly plants as well. Birds go where the food is!
Put window clings or netting over large windows to help birds avoid collisions.
Don’t feed bread to ducks and geese. What seems like a harmless pastime can in fact be very detrimental to these birds.
Contact your representatives and encourage legislation that protects birds.
Tips for enjoying birds:
There are many things you can do to get out and appreciate birds. Try any of these and see which ones are most enjoyable for you!
Attend a meeting of your local audubon bird chapter. These are great places to meet other birders and learn more about birds. They often include interesting talks and field trips.
Take part in a birding festival. These affordable and fun events are held across the country throughout the year and are a great way to learn more about birds and habitat in a specific area. They usually have a variety of low-cost field trips and kid-friendly events!
Put a bird feeder in your backyard.
Participate in Cornell Lab’s Backyard Feeder Watch.
Keep a list of birds who visit your backyard. Try to learn their names.
Please share any additional ideas in the comments!
Quote of the Day:
“The pigeon here is a beautiful bird, of a delicate bronze colour, tinged with pink about the neck, and the wings marked with green and purple.” William John Wills