Cause for Celebration
Each year, hundreds of thousands of
people observe International Migratory
Bird Day (IMBD). They will gather in
town squares, community centers,
schools, parks, and refuges across the
Western Hemisphere to learn more about
wild birds, take action to conserve birds
and their habitats, and simply have fun.
Like any day of recognition, IMBD exists
to focus attention on something important
and marvelous -- in this case, the journey
birds undertake between their summer
and winter homes. IMBD was created
specifically to highlight the migration of
nearly 350 species of migratory birds
between nesting habitats in North
America and non-breeding grounds in
South and Central America, Mexico, and
the Caribbean. However, the day serves
as an opportunity to celebrate all the
species of birds whose annual movements
enliven our lands, waters and skies.
Migratory birds are some of the most
beautiful, observable, and remarkable
wildlife that share our world. Many know
migratory birds as symbolic harbingers
of spring and melodious songsters of the
woods. Migratory birds are also an
important economic resource, controlling
insect pests and generating billions in
Unfortunately, research has shown that
many migratory bird species are in
decline, facing a growing number of
threats on their migration routes and in
both their summer and winter habitats.
Thus, IMBD, in addition to being a day to
foster appreciation, is a call to action.
What Exactly Is
A Partnership for Birds
IMBD is the hallmark outreach event for
Partners in Flight (PIF)—a unique,
diverse consortium of individuals and
groups who share a vision of healthy bird
populations. Partners in this consortium
include government agencies, conservation
organizations, private businesses, academic
institutions, chambers of commerce, and
The 1993 creation of IMBD can be credited
to a PIF member, the Smithsonian
Migratory Bird Center, and the principal
responsibility for its national
coordination currently rests with two
other partners, the National Fish &
Wildlife Foundation and the U.S. Fish &
Wildlife’s Division of Migratory Bird
In the decade it has existed, PIF has
successfully developed research
programs and management strategies to
further bird conservation, in addition to
promoting outreach and education via
IMBD and other activities.
on the second
May, is an
web - http://birds.fws.gov/imbd
phone - 703 /358-2318
web - http://www.BirdDay.org
phone - 1-866/334-3330
March 2005 IMBD celebrates migratory birds
such as the American Redstart that
travel the Western Hemisphere.
The success of IMBD and other PIF
programs stems from their positive,
voluntary, grass-roots nature. A special
day for migratory birds provides
organizations, large and small, and
individuals, young and old, with the
impetus to take part in an enjoyable
activity to support migratory birds.
Activities might be a bird walk, a lecture, a
class, or a festival.
For those already involved in migratory
bird conservation, IMBD adds momentum
to the cause, raising local activities to the
level of an international movement.
In addition, IMBD provides celebrants
with a focus in the form of an annual
general theme. Themes have included the
importance of wetland habitats, the effects
homeowners have on bird conservation, the
Peregrine Falcon and its celebrated
recovery from an endangered status,
shade-grown coffee, Important Bird
Areas, and colonial bird conservation
From simply watching a bird, to hosting a
full-scale festival, there are many ways to
celebrate International Migratory Bird Day!
The IMBD 2005 annual theme is
Collisions: Clear the Way for Birds.
IMBD materials and celebrants will
focus on the human-created, often fatal
obstacles birds may encounter in flight
-- including communication towers,
vehicles, power lines, glass windows,
and wind turbines --
and explore the many ways that
agencies, industries, and citizens may
minimize the impacts these obstacles
have on bird populations.
IMBD has grown from a good idea to a
significant, annual occurrence. Successes
Growth in the number of annual IMBD
events. More than 500 public events, as
well as countless club, classroom, and
individual events, will take place this year.
An expanding web presence. At http:/
/www.birdday.org and http://
birds.fws.gov/imbd.html, one can find
general IMBD information, IMBD ideas,
downloadable materials, and links to an
Events Registry and other relevant sites.
Annual development of promotional and
educational materials to help event
organizers. These include posters, t-shirts,
educator packets, and resource directories.
An on-line catalog is available at http://
An Events Registry. An on-line database
that allows users to register and advertise
their event. Events are posted on a new
Explorer’s Map which offers up-to-date
information about festivals and more.
IMBD 2005 “officially��� falls on May
14. However, IMBD should not be
viewed as a single-day observance!
Event planners are encouraged to
schedule activities on the date or
dates best suited to the presence of
migrants in their area and the needs
of their facility and audience. Every
day is Bird Day.
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