National Bird Day
Birds have always held special place in our hearts, which is why we celebrate them on National Bird Day every January 5! While birds are amazing, they’re also a massive animal group under particular threat. And the phrase “canary in the coal mine” was named after birds for a reason—they’re the barometers of our planet’s environmental health. The fact that so many bird species are under threat thanks to the illegal pet trade, disease, and habitat loss means it’s more important than ever to raise public awareness of the needs of birds. The survival of hundreds of species depends on it!
HISTORY OF NATIONAL BIRD DAY
Whether they’re your backyard’s star cardinal or the common pigeons that flock to and fro in the park, birds have always held a spot of fascination, love, and adoration in our hearts. There’s a certain awe that can only be tapped into when watching an eagle soar. Unfortunately, most birds are either endangered or protected, this is mostly due to habitat loss or illegal pet trade.
That’s why the Avian Welfare Coalition created National Bird Day: to raise awareness of the hardships and plights of these important animals and how we can initiate the change needed to create a healthier, more sustainable relationship with them.
Birds are often considered living links to the past, being the closest-related animals to the evolution of dinosaurs. They’re often keystone species in the ecosystems, signifiers of its health and vitality. For example, the holes left behind by woodpeckers are often used as homes for a large variety of other animals. That means if woodpeckers were to run out of a food source – or out of the right kinds of trees – so, too, would all the animals dependent on their pecking skills.
While National Bird Day may be relatively new, having been founded in 2002, the adversity that birds have had to face is nothing novel to the animal kingdom. Just ask the Dodo, the Labrador Duck, or the Passenger Pigeon, considered sacred by many Native American tribes and often the subject of many works of American art until its demise.
NATIONAL BIRD DAY ACTIVITIES
1.Study some birds
Whether you pick up a birding book like the Sibley Guide to Birds, read a memoir like “H is for Hawk, or even a novel with birds in the title like Maya Angelou’s, “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings”, this is the time to brush up on your bird knowledge and reflect on the role of birds in our lives.
2.Watch some birds
According to the U.S. census, more Americans watch birds than play baseball and American football combined. By joining the quiet ranks of the country’s birdwatchers, you’ll discover a vast new hobby and a huge number of quietly contented people who can give you new insight into your place in this fragile world. Talk about a reason to try a new hobby!
3.Adopt a bird
Rather than buying a bird from a breeder, why not adopt a rescued bird and help ease the problems facing birds across the United States. National Bird Day is an opportunity for us all to get educated on the needs of captive birds—from regular water and light to an absence of air pollution—and to consider how we are helping or hindering birds’ chances in our wider world.
5 FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT BIRDS
No species of birds have teeth.
2.Birds communicate well
Through their chirping and singing, birds are able to communicate well.
3.Why birds sing and chirp
One of the reasons birds sing and chirp is to attract a mate.
4.A group of birds
A group of birds is called a flock.
5.What big eyes you have
Ostriches have the largest eyes of any mammal on land.
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